Joan Martí-Frasquier presents “Suites”, a tribute to Bach's cello suites

Joan Martí-Frasquier

It is one of the most ambitious challenges he has taken on in his already long career. Recognized as “a superb saxophonist, with complete control of your instrument” by Fanfare Magazine, Joan Martí-Frasquier, which has already released more than 60 works of various genres, he is a master on the baritone saxophone, instrument with which he now looks at the greatest of Baroque composers, Johann Sebastian Bach. ¿A saxo playing Bach? That's it. and not just any work, but the revered Suites for solo cello, BWV 1007-1012 (1717-1723). "Since I heard them for the first time, I have always wondered what kind of music Bach – my favorite composer – would write for an instrument invented almost a century after his death.. If Bach lived today, What and how would I compose taking advantage of the rich palette of the saxophone?”, Martí-Frasquier questions.

The idea was taking shape and, between 2017 Y 2023, the Catalan musician began to include Bachian melodies in his concerts to, later, take them to the recording studio. A) Yes, fair 300 years after the composition of these masterpieces of the History of Music, now come to life with a completely different timbre palette. “For this recording I chose a movement from each suite and kept the original structure.: Prelude, German, Current, Sarabande, Bourrées I-II y Gigue. I also decided to keep the original keys to avoid some changes that would have inevitably occurred when transcribing them.. After multiple adaptations, it seemed appropriate to interpret this music with a historical criterion, even if it is a modern instrument”, Explain.

The result is Suites. A tribute to Bach’s cello suites (Just music), un EP –Extended Play, a mini album of medium length – recorded at the Auditori Josep Carreras in Vila-seca (Tarragona) he 24 February this year. The pieces reached the microphones after years of filming in live performances in theaters in Spain, France, Germany or Italy, always surprising the public with music that, even though it is three centuries old, it sounded new. It is the genius of Bach. Included on the disc, plus a Postlude, a bonus track what, as explained by the musician, “is nothing more than an improvisation on the Prelude of Suite No. 1, perhaps the most popular of these movements, but using extended techniques more typical of contemporary music”. The result is amazing.

Thanks to Bach, Joan Martí-Frasquier feels that he has grown as a performer. “Studying these Suites during my career has given me a much more detailed knowledge of my instrument and a broader vision as a musician., being also the counterpoint (never better said, talking about bach) ideal for my usual repertoire of contemporary music. I don't know if this tribute, made from my greatest respect and admiration to Johann Sebastian Bach, will answer the questions expressed above but I hope it will give ideas for new approaches”, assures.

Suites. A tribute to Bach’s cello suites is online from the past 19 of May. Martí-Frasquier will soon have a concert at the I Concerti del Principe de Loano International Festival (Italy) and collaborations with the Morphosis Ensemble in different cities of Mallorca, as well as in Reus (Tarragona) and Barcelona.