Kernis' Brandenburg ::::: Schirmer News Fall 2009
8th September 2009
The conductor-less and perennially adventurous Orpheus Chamber Orchestra opens its 2009-10 season on October 8 with the world premiere of Aaron Jay Kernis’ Concerto with Echoes at Carnegie Hall. The New Brandenburgs, Orpheus’ groundbreaking commissioning project, involves six composers, each taking one of J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos and writing a companion piece inspired by the original.
Aaron Jay Kernis © Richard BowditchKernis’ new work, the fifth commissioned work in Orpheus’ series, draws from Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 6. Of the connection between his concerto and the sixth Brandenburg, Kernis states “The essential element in the Sixth Brandenburg Concerto that inspired this work comes from its very first measure — the opening passage with two spiraling solo violas, like identical twins following each other breathlessly through a hall of mirrors — the echoing of the title. Each of the Brandenburgs is exceptional in its use of instruments, and this concerto mirrors the Sixth by using only violas, celli and basses, while gradually adding reeds and horns into a loop back to the sound world of First Brandenburg Concerto (and extending it with trumpet and percussion).”