Requested by Evenings of New Music for the 'Bach 250 Years After' project
Parts on hire
Publisher: Bardic Edition
Score BDE 806
Duration: c. 13 minutes, 20 seconds
First performance: Friday 9 June 2000; Evenings of New Music, Bratislava Castle, Bratislava, Slovakia; Musica aeterna, Karol Kompas electric guitar, Marián Lejava conductor.
(Lower) String Quartet and Electric Guitar was my response to the request from Evenings of New Music 2000 for a piece having a connection with Bach’s Ricercar a 6 from The Musical Offering. I had always wanted to write for the delicious instrumentation of the Sixth Brandenburg Concerto and the four lower string instruments of the available ensemble more or less gave me that opportunity. Bur rather than use a Baroque plucked instrument, I chose the electric guitar as a kind of bridge to the 18th century, and then allowed that instrument to dictate much of the kind of material that appears in the piece. As a whole the ensemble seems to veer (sometimes quite frenetically) between a viol consort on the one hand, and a rock band on the other. The Royal Theme meanwhile appears in various guises and places in this “offertorium”. I worked on this piece while my father was very ill and he died during its composition. He loved Bach’s music and so I have dedicated my piece to his memory.