Bach + Bartók

Bach – The Art of Fugue

Béla Bartók – String Quartet No. 4

  1. Allegro
  2. Prestissimo, con sordino
  3. Non troppo lento
  4. Allegretto pizzicato
  5. Allegro molto

Baroque master Johann Sebastian Bach composed The Art of Fugue in the final decade of his life, and the work was unfinished when he died in 1750. The 14 fugues and 4 canons are all musical ‘investigations’ of the limits of counterpoint: the art of weaving multiple melodies (or multiple instances of the same melody) together into a rich, dense and highly mathematical musical fabric.

Bach did not specify which instrument/s the work should be played on (it may not have mattered to him); in this performance the Play On Collective forms a quartet (two violins, viola and cello) to present a selection of works from Bach’s The Art of Fugue.

Considered one of Hungarian composer Béla Bartók’s greatest achievements, the breathtaking and technically demanding String Quartet No. 4 was completed in Budapest in 1928. A life-long collector of folk music, this quartet is imbued with Hungarian, Romanian and Bulgarian folk sounds. The piece features a number of extended instrumental techniques, most notably the “Bartók pizzicato” – where the player plucks the string with such force that it snaps back against the instrument. 

Play On Collective

Kristian Winther // Violin

Ioana Tache // Violin

Tom Marlin // Cello