Persona Classical Persona Digital

Classical Music

  • Counterpoint for Genius Volume 3

    Created by Stephen Gislason

    Concert Master

    My Counterpoint for Genius series is a collection of four albums that has evolved over several years though experimentation with a number of transcriptions of Bach pieces, many from the religious Cantatas, mixed with different voicing and, different tempos and transpositions. Mozart has received the most attention as the composer of smart music. Bach excels. I realized that many of the Bach pieces I recorded were among the best examples of contrapuntal composition and that counterpoint was the perfect brain exercise.

    A Bach Cantata was usually written for a small orchestra that consisted of violins, viola, cello and bass violin, a harpsichord, up to four singers, trumpets, oboe, tympani, and often, an organ continuo. Bach wrote for the musicians he had available to perform, often re-voicing parts as required. In addition to counterpoint, he harmonized using triads and octave duplications. Some of his orchestration duplicates parts probably to increase volume or to compensate for weak performers.Some of his orchestration duplicates parts probably to increase volume or to compensate for weak performers. As I progressed through the Bach catalogue, I discovered relatively short jewels buried in long and sometimes tedious works that were designed for church services that required repetition beyond musical interest. I also realized that big changes in tempo, voicing and articulation could transform; the pieces into really new compositions suitable for a 21st century audience.

    Counterpoint for Genius 3 contains excerpts from Cantatas 45 to 212

    Three pieces from Counterpoint for Genius Vol 3

    Cantata BWV 51-1

    Cantata BWV63-1

    Cantata BWV 64-7

    Digital Bach for the 21 Century A Persona Digital Studio Production

    Stephen Gislason Arranger & Performer