Variations on a fantasia of J.S. Bach

  • for solo piano (18')
  • commissioned and premiered by David Rogosin
  • 2018

Score and Archival Recordings

This work will be recorded by David Rogosin in the summer of 2021 for his upcoming album of variations for the piano.

About the work

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. 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.