Brío Clásica: Taking into account that when Bach made his compositions there was no sax, How has the adaptation of the Suites to this instrument been?? Have you had to do any rewriting work??
Joan Martí-Frasquier: I think that the music of Johann-Sebastian Bach is so universal that it is above periods and instruments.. I have always played these Suites with the original score for cello without changing anything., except for some articulation that was better for the baritone saxophone. The only thing I don't play as written is polyphony (for obvious organological reasons, although with my instrument you can play double octaves), then omitting the double strings and playing the chords in arpeggiatto.
B.C: You are a versatile musician when it comes to genre, but he is mainly interested in contemporary electroacoustic music, What does Bach's music bring you?, more freedom or more discipline?
J.M.F: For me, all the music, regardless of composer and period, carries both aspects: discipline and rigor in the work so that the result is intelligible, and freedom within the style so that the interpretation is as organic as possible. In this case, the in-depth study of the suites has required an approach to my instrument in technical and interpretive aspects that is very different from that of my usual repertoire.
B.C: I have always thought that for contemporary music you have to have an adventurous ear and I am sure that the public that attends your recitals has it., How do they react to your interpretation of the Bach suites??
J.M.F: Have an “adventurous ear” and also an open mind, but not only with contemporary music. Going to a concert and not doing active listening is useless. When I play Bach in concert I always combine it with original music of our time for baritone saxophone. I think that the public is pleasantly surprised to hear such a different repertoire played with such a versatile instrument.. The fact of finding more affinities than differences between the cello and the baritone saxophone, perhaps it is what makes the public always respond so well.
B-C: How do you feel most comfortable on stage, you alone with your instrument or accompanied by an orchestra?
J.M.F: I always feel good on stage, either playing alone, as a soloist or as part of a chamber or orchestral ensemble. maybe playing solo, one feels more freedom and commitment to be transmitting their ideas and shaping the sounds. Playing together adds that complicity and shared energy that occurs when you are part of a collective.
B.C: Are you thinking of delving into interpreting more works by classical composers like Bach from now on?? any other in mind?
J.M.F: The project of carrying Johann-Sebastian Bach (one of my admired composers) to the stage and record it later, It has been more of a personal need and, above all, an artistic challenge that has occurred at a specific moment., coinciding with the 300 years of the composition of his Suites for solo cello. At this time I could not tell you if there will be another "classic" in the future since I have other ideas and plans with music of our days.
B.C: Surely you want to reach as many music fans as possible with this new work, who do you think can surprise more, to the public that knows their work best, more contemporary music fan, or someone in love with Bach?
J.M.F: I would like to arrive and surprise (pleasantly, Clear) to as wide an audience as possible to equally accept both styles of music (definitely, styles and periods have characteristics that should be used to classify music, not to "label" her). Also for the recognition of an instrument that does not enjoy the same regularity in the scenarios that other, many times for extra-musical reasons. But above all so that concert promoters update and standardize their programming, taking care of the greater diversification of artists and proposals of our days.: How will new audiences come to the concerts if the same thing is always played??
B.C: The disc surprises by original, I had never heard Bach on sax and it sounds great. In addition to the novelty, What can this version contribute to a fan of classical music??
J.M.F: Thank you very much for your comment. The truth is that I have not considered what this version can contribute. I could respond with a cliché such as "I made this recording with the intention of proposing a different listening to what the public expects from a wind instrument more associated with contemporary music or jazz.", and with a timbre very different from that of historical instruments”, but I'll let the listener decide.
B.C: Tell us about your next concerts and if we can see you in Madrid.
J.M.F: Saturday 27 May I will be at the international festival "I Concerti del Principe" in Loano (Italy) playing Bach along with original music for baritone saxophone and piano by Albena Petrovic with the same composer. In June I have other concerts with another repertoire and in mid-July I will present SUITES at the Mestral Academy, a summer course organized by the Kebyart saxophone quartet in Altafulla (Tarragona). At the moment I am specifying dates to present this tribute to Bach next season. I would love to go to Madrid to play Bach. Precisely, in May 2022 we presented there the album “Dreamlover” by Albena Petrovic, also recorded for the German label Solo Musica, and I keep a very good memory of the city.