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Johann Sebastian Bach : Befiehl du deine Wege

Publisher Wilhelm Hansen
Large Ensemble (7 or more players)
Arranger / Editor Hans Abrahamsen
5 Minutes
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Programme Note

Bach's Befichl du deine Wege is a chorale setting (BWV 272), which Hans Abrahamsen has arranged for fifteen instruments. In Hans Albrahamsen's adaptation Bachs chorale gradually ernerges from two melodic fragments, both borrowed from the Danish composer Poul Ruders' Four Dances in One Movernent'. In fact both fragments are taken from the last three bars of Ruders' composition. One of Ruders' small melodies is descending, the other is ascending. The metamorphosis from Ruders to Bach can be accomplished because both of Ruders' melodic fragments are in fact 'hidden' among the parts of this Bach chorale inasmuch as the composer has transposed it into B minor. In the first verse we hear only the descending Ruders melody. In the secend verse Ruders' second, ascending and chrornatically coloured melody is added. In the subsequent verses more and more melodies are added. Thus the piece begins with Poul Ruders' melodic fragment in the foreground. In the course of the next verse Ruders' material gradually recedes into the background, and permits Bachs face to ernerge with increasing clarty in the foreground. The piece is dedicated to Poul Ruders.

Thomas Michelsen


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