New Release: Eric Nathan's J.S. Bach Arrangements Performed by Chelsea Music Festival Strings, Ken-David Masur Conducting

July 24, 2019

© Copyright - Chelsea Music Festival Records© Copyright - Chelsea Music Festival Records


Chelsea Music Festival Records has released the CD, “Nathan: Dancing with J.S. Bach,” featuring Assistant Professor Eric Nathan's two suites of orchestrations of various keyboard works by J.S. Bach (orchestrated for string orchestra, and oboe and strings, respectively). The album features premiere recordings led by conductor Ken-David Masur, with oboe soloist Amanda Hardy and the Chelsea Music Festival Strings.

To stream the album via Spotify:

Professor Nathan includes the following annotation with the release:

Dr. Michael Sporn approached me in the spring of 2012 with the vision for this project, wanting to commission an orchestration of a number of Bach’s keyboard works. Calling it “Dancing with J.S. Bach,” he wished to create a new dance suite assembled from favorite Bach movements. He provided me with the selections he had in mind, and together we worked to choose the specific movements and set the order of the suite. I have immensely enjoyed this collaboration, arising out of a shared love for the music of J.S. Bach, and the chance to intimately engage with Bach’s music.

I cannot claim credit for the inspiration or vision for this suite – Sporn’s foresight and deep appreciation of Bach’s music has given birth to this joyous new work, one that presents Bach’s music in a new context, allowing the music’s power to shine in a new light, illuminating connections between movements composed years apart. I have done my best to reflect Bach’s voice and style in these orchestrations, occasionally filling in counterpoint and adding other textural elements to realize my interpretation of these works for strings. The ornamentation used is inspired by Angela Hewitt’s performances from her CD recordings of Bach’s music, recordings that are also meaningful to Sporn.

This work is commissioned by Michael Sporn in memory of his wife, Kitte Sporn, premiered by the Boston-based string orchestra A Far Cry. The second suite, featuring oboe soloist Amanda Hardy, was commissioned by Michel Sporn and the Chelsea Music Festival, premiering in New York during the 2018 festival.

- Eric Nathan