Bach’s ‘Inventions’ Given a Whole New Life With Moog Synthesizer Magic

bach invention moogWe can all recognize Johann Sebastian Bach as composition master. Part of that mastery comes from the fact that the man didn’t just compose oratorios and preludes, or cantatas and fugues. He pinned the exploration of musical texture down to a science, and some of his works — The Well-Tempered Clavier and Art of Fugue are just two examples — are less concert pieces than exercises for students of the keyboard and music theory. Bach’s “Inventions” fit squarely into this category. They are a series of 15 (very) short, two-part contrapuntal pieces for the keyboard. Together with the 15, three-part “Sinfonias,” the collection was written for students to study and master. It’s always been about practice.

In Bach’s day, “electronic music” was a phrase that almost certainly was never uttered. But the timelessness of Bach’s music is reborn in these reimagined “inventions” for the Moog. Youtuber Hazy Ester washed the first three Bach “Inventions” in that all-too-familiar synth sound. Give them a listen; we’re sure J.S. would be happy. Full story.

James Bennett, II (WQXR) / August 8, 2017

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