New work for twelve cellists
The composer and orchestra musician Wilhelm Kaiser-Lindemann from Kiel (Germany) has for many years created very successful arrangements and compositions for the Twelve Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic. After his death in 2010, his former colleague and friend Dr. Johannes Bublitz followed in his footsteps and most recently worked on a transcription of Johann Sebastian Bach's famous solo violin chaconne for twelve cellists.
I studied the transcription and found that Johannes Bublitz did an excellent job. In his arrangement for twelve cellos, he had to expand Bach's score, which due to the number of strings on a violin can only represent a maximum of four-part harmonies. This has been done in the following extremely clever way:
- with the passage of an originally monophonic phrase through several instruments, either in unison or in octaves,
- by octaving and doubling a chord tone in several instruments,
- by alternating variations in sonorous chords with those that allow Bach's sometimes only two-part writing, as in the original text, to be rendered very delicately by only two or three instruments.
The overall design of the editing can be described as extremely successful. Bublitz has added a richly structured dynamic to the score, which is felt to be very romantic, but is nevertheless convincing in this version. I can only hope and wish that cello ensembles will soon include this version of Bach's Chaconne in their repertoire and that this version will enjoy a large audience in the concert hall.
(Prof.) Hans Gebhard, Hamburg (Germany)