Gilded Goldbergs, a re-composition for two pianos after JS Bach

This year at the Two Moors Festival, we’re very lucky indeed to be collaborating with BBC Radio 3  for its Live in Concert series as part of 2012’s Piano Season, which began earlier this month.

On October 15th at St John the Baptist Church in Hatherleigh, Devon, we’ll be welcoming pianists Ashley Wass and Huw Watkins, who will wow the audience with a performance of Robin Holloway’s composition, a piece that was years in the making.

Holloway began work on his re-composition in 1992 with a transcription of the first canon. By early 1993, he had finished Variation 29, the penultimate toccata, which – as Holloway says – still shares something of the original’s exuberance.

Holloway himself said: “Perhaps what this adventure most resembles is the enchanting Humument of Tom Phillips. Like him with his lovingly decorated, desecrated, encyclopaedically-enveloping treatment of a Victorian novel, I believe I might go on annotating my original for ever. But there is one vital difference. Tom Phillips’s source is, by choice, a duff dead duck, whereas the Goldberg Variations is one of the supreme monuments by the greatest of all musical constructors. Like a Forth Bridge, like a mighty power station, Bach’s structure is so secure that it can take anything. Or rather, because less subject to change and decay, he resembles a mighty force of nature itself. Yet the actual stuff of his music is infinitely malleable, reproductive, fertile in new growth, perpetually inviting renewed collaboration down the ages.”

This concert promises to be a truly exciting one and we cannot wait until October 15th to hear the performance. We hope to see you there too!

Concert information

Robin Holloway, Gilded Goldbergs

October 15th, 19:30, St John the Baptist Church, Hatherleigh

Tickets: £12

Call (01643) 831 006 to book tickets


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