Three transformations (for 2 marimbists)
By Andrew Thomas
“I derived each of these three movements from works by J. S. Bach that I have recast and reconstructed in a new form and harmonic structure. Each movement is a metamorphosis and homage to Bach’s original composition.
All three of Bach’s compositions are in triple meters. I rebarred each in duple (4/4) meter, thus forcing myself to rethink the harmonic rhythms, making the music plausible in the new time signature.
Originally I composed the first movement, Lord Cavendish, for marimba and harpsichord. This score is dedicated to William Moersch and Charlotte Mattax for their wedding. The music in Lord Cavendish is the closest to Bach’s original composition.
Pedro and Olga Learn to Dance was the message (in the 1960’s) of a second-story neon sign on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. I have interpolated more of my own music into this work, also changing the original from major to minor.
I dedicate Rhumbarubio to Nancy Zeltsman and Janis Potter. The structure is a kind of mad chorale-prelude with Bach’s music flickering – ghost like – in and out of a perpetually moving texture.
Here are the sources for the music:
Lord Cavendish Strikes the Right Note: Prelude in Eb Major from the Well Tempered Clavier, Book II
Pedro and Olga Learn to Dance: Fugue in F Major from the Well Tempered Clavier,
Rhumbarubio: Gigue from the E Minot English Suite
(Notes from the Composer)
Annotated by Robert McCarthy