Context and Contact: playing chords in Berio Sequenza or Bach Solo works

For a first example: on a violin, the venture away from the text and into context begins with the very first contact.

This is clear in the playing of chords.  In the matter of playing chords such as:

 in Berio


 in Bach

… there is not only a departure from the rhythmic simultaneity of the chord-notes as written, there is a certain amount of expressive time necessary to lift it from the page.

This is not to say that a chord is being interpreted from an expressive or even emotional point of view, but rather that the writing itself asks for a gesture beyond what it can represent. And this is only the very first step, before anything close to ‘interpretation’ might happen.

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