I’m excited to share that my Variations on a Fantasia of J.S. Bach for solo piano have been recorded by pianist David Rogosin, my friend and colleague, and will be released on his latest album, Theme: Variation (Leaf Music) on March 3, 2023. I’ve had an advance listen to the entire album and it’s a wonderful, joyful exploration of the theme-and-variation form over the centuries. You can pre-add the album to your library on most major streaming services now, and the score for my piece will be available on this website soon, too.
Composing the Variations was a long and collaborative process, and I am so grateful to David for his invitation to write them for him as well as for his thoughtful insights and feedback as they were being written.
Here is my program note from the front of the score:
These Variations on a Fantasia of J. S. Bach were written for my colleague and friend, David Rogosin, who commissioned them with the generous support of the New Brunswick Arts Board (artsnb). They have been a journey of collaboration and discovery for both of us as we have explored the nature of the variation form together, talking and playing through drafts over many months. The set uses as its inspiration Bach’s Fantasia in A minor (BWV 904), the opening of which is quoted at the beginning of the work. Any attempt to improve upon Bach is, of course, a fool’s errand, and so the twelve short movements that follow are not traditional variations on a theme. Instead, each variation takes as its basis a different musical component of Bach’s Fantasia (a melodic fragment, harmonic progression, or bass line, for example) and develops it into something new.
I can’t wait for you to hear David’s wonderful recording on March 3, 2023, and to be able to share this work with a wider audience.