48 Ways of Looking at Bach—Peter de Jager at the Melbourne Recital Centre

In December Peter de Jager gave a concert in the MRC's 48 Ways of Looking at Bach series, and programmed the premiere of PdeJ1 (facetiae) alongside the last eight of the 48, some lovely Stanchinsky canonic Preludes, and a Medtner Skazka. PdeJ1 came about because I had written another PdeJ piece, and Peter had thought it not an ideal fit for his recital, so I sat down and wrote another in a couple of weeks in late November 2017, finishing the work on December 2*. Peter's recital was on December 6another de Jager coup.

I had the good fortune to be able to attend the December concert, and noticed that it was being filmed--an unusual and rather gratifying prospect; I've been waiting impatiently ever since to get sight of the video. Today I was advised that this film is now available online, both on youtube and at the MRC's own website. It's a very pleasing record of what was a remarkable recital ...and I'm delighted to be able to revisit Peter's performance of PdeJ1. I hope those of you who give it a listen enjoy it as much as I do.

PdeJ1, subtitled facetiae (= apophthegms), is in seven sections, and the first three and last three are paired, separated by a brief flourish. The titles, semitributes, and timings are:

50:40 I Rustle of Spring [Sinding]

51:20 II Cyclopes [Rameau]

52:05 III Précis [Birtwistle]

54:26 IV Fructall

55:11 V Summer Breeze [Isleys' version, not Seals & Crofts]

56:16 VI biCyclopes [Jarry] and

57:03 VII Paraphrase [Liszt]


NB: If you really only want to hear my piece, as you can see it begins at about 50:40 and ends at 59:32. But that way you are missing out on, at the very least, the remarkable Stanchinsky works. Go on, listen to it all, it's only 75 minutes.

* The replaced work is now known as PdeJ2 (austerer measures), taking its title from Peter's description, and can be found on the Scores page. There will be a PdeJ3 (laminar flow), and the group will be known collectively as the Sonata de Jager.