Improvising on Bach’s Prelude in C minor (2009)

for piano

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Pure coincidence or how two different events can lead to momentary pleasure:

1. With some of my students at the Royal Conservatoire of the Hague, Netherlands, we were analysing and discussing different Bach-preludes over the last months.

The students have different backgrounds, rooted in Classical, Jazz and Pop-music, so I thought: “what would happen if they would choose one of the preludes and take it as a starting-point for a new composition”. While they were working on it, I thought it would be nice to make myself a version too, if time would allow me to.

2. Browsing the web I came across a text, that challenged composers not to take months on their composition, but a single day. There was an immediate spark, an immediate idea: it was clear that I had to make the assignment I set for my students. Bachs prelude in C minor from the first well tempered book would be my starting point.

3. Momentary pleasure: I wrote the piece on monday the 14th 2009, from 8.00 am 22.00 pm in 14 hours. I started to improvise, beginning with Bach and then drifted away from it, deconstructing Bach, constructing something new. In the end there are the chords from the prelude and over it a kind of free floating melody with notes taken from the preludes neighbour-notes to change the harmonic color. A further step in coloring is made by using chromatic notes.

Explenatory notes

The composition has no time-signature; the barlines indicate the change of harmony.

Trills start with the indicated appoggiatura. A trill should be varied in speed, in a natural way (improvisation)