J. S. Bach "Musical Offering"


The program within the framework of the D7 (Dmitry and Friends) project is a performance by Dmitry Onishchenko (piano) and Joseph Puritz (button accordion) of the late, penultimate work of Johann Sebastian Bach - the cycle "Das Musikalische Opfer" BWV1079.The history of the creation of this monumental work began on the day Bach met with the Prussian King Frederick II on May 7, 1747. Bach's son, Carl Philipp Emmanuel, worked as a harpsichordist in the king's chapel from 1740, and through him Friedrich conveyed the invitation to Johann Sebastian.

As soon as Bach arrived, the king immediately called him to the Potsdam Palace, canceling the concert (he played the flute). During the meeting, Bach was shown a novelty, Silberman's piano forte, an early kind of piano.The king had several such musical instruments. Bach, Moving from room to room, Bach improvised on them, and then, wanting to surprise the king, asked him to give him a theme in order to immediately compose a fugue on it. Frederick gave him the following theme (later called the royal, or Thema Regium (lat.). Two months later, Bach published a polyphonic cycle on the "Royal Theme", which is now known as the "Musical Offering".

Bach titled the cycle as follows: “Regis Iussu Cantio Et Reliqua Canonica Arte Resoluta”. It is an acrostic, the first letters of which form the word ricercar (an old name for a fugue). The appearance of the project for the performance of Musikalisches Opfer by an ensemble of button accordion and piano is due to philosophical, ethical and aesthetic considerations. Firstly, it is, speaking schematically, the unity of the heavenly and earthly principles.

If we interpret the button accordion as an instrument related to the organ, and consider the piano as the legal successor of the baroque clavier, then we have as a result the intersection of the spiritual and the secular, horizontal and vertical, that is, the cross, and with it the phenomenon of man as such, due to the fact that "man created in the form of a cross before Matthew and before the crucifixion" - as said by a modern poet already in the current 21st century.

Thus, it would be very organic to consider the performed work as a huge circle of human life that begins even there, in other dimensions, is assembled from particles free and devoid of gravity, after which it materializes step by step and acquires the features of an ordinary earthly person. In essence, this is the path of each of us. And the task that this work poses to the listener (and actually the performer) is to return to the “boiling point”, look at your path again, remember how it was seen from there, from the world of chaos and unconscious freedom, what was its meaning and purpose.

The work of J.S. Bach performed by Iosif Purits and Dmitry Onishchenko, leads us through several monumental polyphonic numbers - fugues and ricercars, small canons in terms of musical information, having no beginning and end, appearing from nowhere and undergoing dissolution and disappearance, and also through the trio-sonata - earthly, passionate, purely human in its ethical root, it is sonata-culmination, sonata - the focus of the life and destiny that we are living now.

After that, the canon comes again - and takes us far away, to those worlds from where it all began, but at a new semantic level. Dmitry Onishchenko and Iosif Purits are world-famous musicians, laureates of numerous international competitions, giving concerts both in Russia and abroad. Their performance of Musikalisches Opfer is a new reading and understanding of the work and a new word in the ensemble performing art of Russia.

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