Gold.Berg.Werk / Xenia Pestova Bennett & Ed Bennett

Gold.Berg.Werk / Xenia Pestova Bennett & Ed Bennett

Sunday, 7 November 2021, 12.00pm

Gold.Berg.Werk by Karlheinz Essl (J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations: a radical re-interpretation)

The Goldberg Variations form a cornerstone of keyboard repertoire, yet we rarely question the mode of presentation for this piece. Austrian composer Karlheinz Essl offers a refreshing glimpse of a new performance practice through his unusual take in Gold.Berg.Werk. Originally envisioned as a performance environment for string trio, the new version for piano and live electronics features time-stretched harmonies manipulated in real time and played back through spatialised loudspeakers in between the piano variations, bringing together Baroque and contemporary sound worlds. This radical reimagining of Bach’s vision juxtaposes the variations in a new strictly symmetrical structure which reflects the binary form of the original aria (a microcosm within a macrocosm with binary divisions commonly found in digital systems). Gold.Berg.Werk transcends itself and becomes a new piece in its own right, creating a sense of space and grandeur through electronic distribution of the interludes.

Recording available at https://ergodos.bandcamp.com/album/j-s-bach-karlheinz-essl-gold-berg-werk

Xenia Pestova Bennett, piano
Ed Bennett, live electronics

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