Soundings: Bach’s Musical Offering


The Musical Offering, Johann Sebastian Bach’s miraculous monument of polyphony, is performed in its entirety and interspersed with Chinese-American composer Lei Liang’s Garden Eight, a musical interlude that pays tribute to the Ming Dynasty Yuen Yeh, the earliest and the most exquisite Chinese horticulture treatise. Liang’s connection with Bach is borne out of his fascination with the polyphony found within the single lines that Bach’s creates, at once experienced as melody and as part of underlying harmony. In Garden Eight he explores the possibility of introducing single notes as a polyphonic experience.

This concert honors the work of Soundings’ friend, Kay Cattarulla, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Symphony Space’s rebirth in 1978 with its Wall-to-Wall Bach Festival. Kay, who currently serves on the Symphony Space board, is the founder of Selected Shorts, the nationally broadcast literary program.