• Johann Sebastian Bach and Hans Abrahamsen
  • Bach/Abrahamsen: Befiehl du deine Wege (1991)

  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen (World)
  • 1.1.1.1/1.1.1.0/vib/hp/pf/str(1.1.1.1.1)
  • 5 min

Programme Note

Bach's Befiehl du deine Wege is a chorale setting (BWV 272), which Hans Abrahamsen has arranged for fifteen instruments. In Hans Albrahamsen's adaptation Bachs chorale gradually emerges from two melodic fragments, both borrowed from the Danish composer Poul Ruders' Four Dances in One Movement'. In fact both fragments are taken from the last three bars of Ruders' composition.

One of Ruders' small melodies is descending, the other is ascending. The metamorphosis from Ruders to Bach can be accomplished because both of Ruders' melodic fragments are in fact 'hidden' among the parts of this Bach chorale inasmuch as the composer has transposed it into B minor.

In the first verse we hear only the descending Ruders melody. In the secend verse Ruders' second, ascending and chrornatically coloured melody is added. In the subsequent verses more and more melodies are added. Thus the piece begins with Poul Ruders' melodic fragment in the foreground. In the course of the next verse Ruders' material gradually recedes into the background, and permits Bachs face to emerge with increasing clarity in the foreground.

The piece is dedicated to Poul Ruders.

- Thomas Michelsen




Please click 'More Info' for details about J.S. Bach's Befiehl du deine Wege, for large ensemble.

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