|Johann Sebastian Bach, Lydia Consilvio
Dr. Lydia Consilvio’s arrangement of Johann Sebastian Bach’s keyboard Partita No. 3 in A Minor (BWV 827) presents a fresh expression of Bach’s keyboard suite, giving listeners a new way to hear and appreciate this delightful work. Drawing upon the Bach-Gesellschaft edition, Consilvio’s reimagination for two oboes, English horn, and bassoon stays true to the original keyboard score and thoughtfully contributes to the double reed repertoire.
This adaptation for small wind ensemble naturally creates complementary and flexible dynamics that allow sonorities to emerge in a manner not possible on the harpsichord or piano—enhancing the phrasing and coloristic possibilities inherent in the music. Consilvio’s distribution of melodic material clearly highlights Bach’s use of voices (usually two or three within a single line) through a conversational woodwind dialogue.
Notably, Bach’s keyboard Partita No. 3 is comprised of movements based on Renaissance dance forms— allemande, corrente, sarabande, and gigue—each influenced by the step-pattern of that specific dance. These Renaissance dances were typically accompanied by families of like instruments in small ensembles called “consorts;” fittingly, the instrumentation of this arrangement captures both the original medium for the dance sets, and the Baroque taste and style of Johann Sebastian Bach.