The 2019 Festival introduced a new series called "Bach Explorations" that included Bach & Bluegrass and Jazz Bach. The concerts were such a hit that the ABS Festival has now adopted "Bach Explorations" as an important direction in our programming.
The summer's offering—"Transformations"—presents works by Bach, in their original forms, followed by brilliant transcriptions by two composers noted for their enthralling piano works, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Franz Liszt. Noted for his recording of "The Art of the Opera Transcription" featuring music by Liszt, ABS keyboard continuo musician Steven Bailey will bring his renowned meticulousness to exciting performances of the Bach transcriptions.
Violinist Rachell Ellen Wong will present Bach's original version of the E Major violin partita movements that inspired Rachmaninoff, and Noah Strick will perform Eugène-Auguste Ysaÿe's solo violin fantasy, "Obsession," an amazing composition that combines Bach's partita with the ancient chant, "Dies irae." Bach's famous Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major will be heard in its incarnation arranged by Robert Schumann and Friedrich Wilhelm Stade performed by Gretchen Claassen and Kenneth Slowik.