Lizzi Kew Ross lifts the veil on her inspiration for Reading with Bach
Reading with Bach composer Ruth Elder writes about her process
When playing Bach I often think about what was going on in Bach’s life when he wrote the music. Bach always takes us on a musical journey. He begins with a statement and that statement develops, taking the listener to a wide range of expressive places. I like to think that his expressive choices are linked to his surroundings and situation at the time.
I relate the expressions and effects in Bach’s music to how books can change pace. Sometimes you’re reading at such a fast pace because the material is just so exciting that you can’t wait to turn over that page to see what happens, while at other times your pace is slower simply because the subject matter is troubling to take in. The pace of reading about a death in a love story or a chase scene in a thriller can, I think, be linked with Bach’s choices of tempo directions for particular movements and this can help the performer communicate the overall feel of that piece.