12 thoughts on “Art Of Moog – Bach’s Adagio, From The Easter Oratorio

  1. Impressive work!

    It’s taken us 50 years to get here – we need more people arranging classical music for live synth performance!

    1. Am I the only one to find this really cheezy? Back in the 1960’s before electronic music that was probably decent, but today…?

        1. I disagree with TS and Zeta, because classical music is a meaningful slice of the pie. Some of it rocks. You don’t move on from Bach, you embrace him to some extent, hopefully. You should learn ‘the rules’ well enough to break ’em creatively. I get “cheezy;” a lot of that appeared after SOB came out and it sure reeked. Then there are works by Hans Wurman and Patrick Gleeson that show off some great sound design skills, emphatically not reeking. Any synther should leave room for areas about which they’re not exactly wild. This group did a perfectly expressive job of it, not to mention the fun synth spotting. The work they did to pull this off deserves the same applause we give Tomita. No matter who you are, you gotta woodshed to make it click.

          1. There is a “cheesy” aspect of performing Bach on synthesizers, because it recalls the 60s and the 70s.

            But it would be foolish to think that classical music on synthesizers is played out.

            Live performance of classical music on synthesizers was just not a viable option in the 60s and 70s, Beyond that, people have had TS’s attitude, thinking that it was cheesy or played out. So it’s something that’s never really been explored very well.

            There is no reason that classical musicians should not be experimenting with synthesizers, and this is an extremely competent demonstration of what is possible!

        2. I find the acoustic versions sooo much deeper and most of them actually touches me… which this just doesn’t…..
          I agree with TS and Zeta here: back then Switched on Bach was interesting because synths were relative new and rare instruments. Nowadays you should really compose new classical music for synths and not just rearrange the old masterpieces for synths …like just because you can

        3. Hi Zeta and TS – maybe on first listening, yes – but if you listen closer this *never* could have been done in the 1960s. The grammar and rhetoric of their playing is hugely influenced by the historical performance movement that has taken place over the last 30 years. Maybe these synth sounds were available in the 60s, but it’s the way AoM play them that is now and interesting.

      1. you certainly are not the only one of course. The performance is pretty boring.

        The only thing I find interesting is that musicians perform on electronic instruments as an ensemble. It is still far away from what a classical chamber quartet can create.

  2. I’d love to see more performances of Classical pieces that have been arranged with synthesis in mind, taking advantage of textures and timbres not possible with acoustic instruments. This piece doesn’t necessarily go there. I like it and I’m glad it exists but I think it lost something in its transition to synth world. I can however, imagine reinterpretations of masterpieces that break new ground for electronic music performance. Hopefully someone does the hard work because I know I’m not up for it!

    1. As Trigger Dave mentioned, Gleeson’s stuff is interesting. I think Art of Moog are also interesting, and different to Carlos, who iirc was mainly emulating traditional instruments, which was also interesting at the time. I would have liked to hear a bit more knob twiddling from AoM (but subtle, not squelchy), although maybe it fits Bach better to play without twiddling the knobs.

  3. Carlos definitely made use of emulations, especially when she first took up two GDS/Synergy synths, but I snicker when people want to hear “new” sounds and see “new” instruments appear regularly. Its really about context. The full version of her piece “Timesteps” from “A Clockwork Orange” is a modular milestone. Nothing I’ve heard since has been as imaginative or completely polished. It was done with just one modular Moog, a vocoder and a brief bit of Mellotron in a couple of places. Same with “Geodesic Dance” from “By Request.” Its not about the gear; its about inspiration and sweat. Its also partly that Bach’s work made the first synth splash, so yeah, there’s a small stigma on it. I think it’d work a lot better with some Debussy and Chopin. I’d pay $20 to see this group do 45 minutes of those two. Debussy’s work has Akai EWI written all over it, IMO.

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