Bach & Friends is a two DVD set that contains a two-hour documentary about Johann Sebastian Bach and his musical legacy and an additional bonus disc with performances.
The producer of the documentary, Michael Lawrence, interviewed and recorded numerous world class musicians from the areas of classical music, jazz and American roots music. The participants provide their insights about Bach’s music and then play versions of some of his greatest works.
The folk-rooted musicians provide some of the most intriguing renderings of Bach’s music. Hawaii’s Jake Shimabukuro shows us what a ukulele can do in the right hands. Bela Fleck skillfully adapts Bach’s music to the banjo and bluegrass sensation Chris Thile shows the capacity of the mandolin.
Disc 1 features the two hour documentary. with subtitles available in English, Spanish, German, Italian and Japanese
Disc 2 contains performances of Bach pieces:
Felix Hell, concert organist; Fugue in D Major BWV 532
Bobby McFerrin, singer/conductor; Bach Improvisation
Matt Haimovitz, cellist; Prélude, Cello Suite No. 1 (BWV 1007)
Mike Hawley,pianist; Organ Fugue in G Major (BWV 577)
Ward Swingle, The Swingle Singers; Badinerie, Orchestra Suite No. 2 (BWV 1067)
Manuel Barrueco, guitarist; Fugue from Sonata No.1 in G minor (BWV 1000)
John Bayless & Anatoly Larkin Improvisation on Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (BWV 645)
Edgar Meyer, bassist/composer; Prelude, Cello Suite No. 2 in D minor (BWV 1008)
Simone Dinnerstein, pianist; Variations 13, Goldberg Variations (BWV 988)
Chris Thile, mandolinist; Partita No. 2, Gigue in Dm (BWV 1004)
Richard Stoltzman, clarinetist; Chromatic Fantasy in D minor (BWV 903a)
Béla Fleck, banjoist; Presto, Violin Sonata No. 1 in G minor (BWV 1001)
Emerson String Quartet; Art of Fugue, Contrapunctus No. 1, 9 (BWV 1080)
John Bayless, pianist, improviser; Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desire/Amazing Grace Improvisation (BWV 147)
Jake Shimabukuro, ukuleleist; Two-Part Invention No. 4 in Dm (BWV 786)
Zuill Bailey, cellist; Allemande, Suite for Solo Cello No. 6 (BWV 1012)
Hilda Huang, pianist; Fugue in D minor (BWV 948)
Joshua Bell, violinist; Chaconne, Partita No. 2 (BWV 1004)
Michael Lawrence’s intention with Bach & Friends is to connect the timeless music of Bach with dazzling young musicians from various musical backgrounds, who share his passion for Bach’s compositions.
The DVD is available from mlfilms.com/productions/bach_project
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.