BACH / MEÏMOUN - Goldberg variations for string quartetIBS Classical, 2018
About ten years ago we met François Meïmoun, a passionate musician and composer. During the course of our association we have played several of his quartets including one of his first Bach transcriptions, Tocatta BWV 913. When François Meïmoun spoke to us about his aspiration to transcribe the Goldberg Variations we naturally encouraged him. Since its first performance at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris in 2015 we have had only one desire: to record this new vision of a consummate work of art in order to be able to share it. We are happy to invite you to discover and rediscover this magnificent journey undertaken by J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations.
The transcription of the Goldberg Variations took place within a context of total respect for the original text. No change of notes or rhythms. The transcription is based on an “orchestration” of the text for four string players. As in an orchestra, all the instruments in the string quartet are not systematically required simultaneously: variations for two, three, or four instruments follow in succession. This redistribution of the material enables new lines to be heard that are often difficult to hear within the uniform sound context of the piano or harpsichord. The Goldberg Variations are a model of polyphonic writing, a synthesis of Bach’s art and contrapunctal mastery: the fugue, the canon, the French overture … Nevertheless, the work cannot be reduced to some mere austere exercise: the dances that permeate the cycle confer a superior dimension of accomplishment to the twilight of the baroque era.