Three Inventions After J.S. Bach

Allen Brings

About this work:
Three Inventions after J.S. Bach was inspired, of course, by the three two-part Inventions for Clavier of Bach on which they were based, namely, nos. 8 in F, 6 in E, and 2 in C minor, but even more so by the parody techniques employed by such masters as Josquin and Handel, who occasionally created new, often superior, works based on already existing compositions by composers nearly contemporaneous with them. While the tonal language of Three Inventions is clearly of this century (it would seem odd if it were not), the phrase structure of the new piece retains much of that found in the original Inventions by Bach (although even here, as in the first Invention, some typically twentieth century telescoping takes place). All the points of imitation and re-entries of the subject of Bach's F major Invention, for example, occur in the same places in my own first Invention; the changing relationships of the two parts of the canon which is Bach's C minor Invention are identical in my own third Invention. I have also tried to retain the same apparent "affection" of each Invention, perhaps extending the expressive limits that Bach himself probably imposed on the model for the second Invention. Three Inventions after J.S. Bach was originally written in 1972 for two violins or violin and viola but soon thereafter revised for performance by either two clarinets or B-flat clarinet and alto clarinet and recorded in that version by Edward Gilmore and Meryl Abt-Greenfield for Centaur Records( CRC 2079). Score and parts available from Mira Music Associates. Contact:
Version: 2 violins or violin & viola
Year composed: 1972
Duration: 00:03:18
Ensemble type: Chamber or Jazz Ensemble, Without Voice:Other Combinations, 2-5 players
Instrumentation: 2 Violin
Instrumentation notes: Alternative version for violin and viola
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