In January 2015, Moog Music, the 60-year-old analogue synthesizer company, announced that for the first time in more than 30 years, it would once again build the large format modular synthesizers that were first introduced by its founder, Dr. Robert Moog in 1964. 2015 also marks the 10th anniversary of the passing of Dr. Robert ‘Bob’ Moog (1934-2005), inventor of the Moog synthesizer.
To mark these anniversaries, Sony Classical is releasing Bach to Moogon May 4th. The new album showcases the reissued Moog Modular Synthesizer as well as the modern generation of Moog synthesizers and presents the glorious works of Johann Sebastian Bach in a compelling and contemporary way. Bach to Moog is produced by American-born composer, arranger and record producer Craig Leon, famous for his work with The Ramones and Blondie, as well as his work in the classical arena with such leading artists as Luciano Pavarotti, Joshua Bell and Sir James Galway. Leon is also celebrated for his seminal synthesizer albums from the 1970s, Nommos and Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music Vol. 1 which were rereleased in 2014 to great acclaim and to a new generation of electronic music fans. On Bach to Moog, Leon blends his love and mastery of classical music, electronic music and synthesizers and is joined by acclaimed British classical violinist, Jennifer Pike (the youngest ever winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition) alongside the Sinfonietta Cracovia.
In 1968, the album Switched On Bach inspired many musicians of the time to explore the wondrous new world of synthesized music making. This ground-breaking album was the first to ever take standard classical repertoire and interpret it solely on a device which generated new sounds electronically. Although there had been research and sonic experiments conducted earlier, it was namely after this breakthrough release that the synthesizer entered the mainstream of modern experimental and pop music recording.
As a welcome extension to the synthesized exploration of Bach’s music and the many creative opportunities that opened up 50 years ago, the Bach to Moog album integrates the Moog modular synthesizer into the orchestra as a solo instrument, in ensemble and also as a processor of other instruments. Excitingly, this is also the first album to be recorded utilizing the newly re-issued Moog System 55 Modular Synthesizer, which duplicates and modernizes the iconic Moog modular synthesizers of the 1970s and in the album adds the modular synthesizer to the palette of a modern classical orchestra.
1 Violin Partita No.3 in E Major, BWV 1006: Preludio
2 Violin Sonata No.4 in C Minor, BWV 1017: Siciliano
3 Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147: Jesus bleibet meine Freude
4 Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565
5 Ich steh mit einem Fuß im Grabe, BWV 156: Arioso
6 Brandenburg Concerto No.4 in G Major, BWV 1049: I. Allegro
7 Brandenburg Concerto No.4 in G Major, BWV 1049: II. Andante
8 Brandenburg Concerto No.4 in G Major, BWV 1049: III. Presto
9 Orchestral Suite No.3 in D Major, BWV 1068: Air
10 The Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Aria
11 Fourteen Canons on the Goldberg Ground, BWV 1087