ÜberBach - 4 Concertos for Piano, Vibraphone and Orchestra

Arash Safaian
Duration: 35'
Infinite Games
As Above so Below
Fuge like a Passion
Looping Bach
Newton´s Law

The album ÜberBach is a collection of compositions by the Munich-based composer Arash Safaian, based on themes by Johann Sebastian Bach. Safaian uses various pieces by Bach—from chorales to orchestral works, and from organ to piano music—as the starting point for his work, creating five concertos for piano, vibraphone, and chamber orchestra. These are new compositions inspired by Bach.

Arash Safaian's musical partner is the internationally renowned pianist Sebastian Knauer. Knauer said, "When I first heard an example from ÜberBach, I was immediately enthusiastic about the project. The virtuosity of the piano part, the melodic power of the compositions, and the dense sound deeply impressed me. I thought I was listening to Bach, yet it sounded too modern to be the original."

The very next day, Sebastian Knauer called his long-time musical partner, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra. He organized the recording and further developed the project with Safaian. For the shimmering crystalline sound, they enlisted the Luxembourg-born multi-percussionist Pascal Schumacher, who plays the vibraphone, blending it with the piano. Additionally, a synthesizer enriches the sound of the basso continuo—a function that the organ fulfilled in Bach's time.

At the heart of the project is the idea of creating music where one hears Bach without actually hearing Bach. Arash Safaian elaborates on the musical ideas inherent in Bach's compositions and reinterprets them: "For me, Bach's works are music in its purest form. They need no deconstruction, no historical context. I always feel like I am hearing the grammar of music. That is why I decided to compose music about Bach's music. It's like looking at a landscape through your own eyes and interpreting it."