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Fred Thomas|J.S. Bach: Three Or One - Transcriptions by Fred Thomas

J.S. Bach: Three Or One - Transcriptions by Fred Thomas

Fred Thomas

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On "Three Or One", Bach appears in transfigured light. Fred Thomas’ ECM New Series debut presents organ chorale preludes, vocal cantata movements and orchestral sinfonias – 24 pieces in all – transcribed for trio and solo piano by the British pianist himself. Throughout, Bach’s idiom is thoughtfully explored by three innovative players – a process Thomas describes as "quietly joyful" – and the trio pieces, primarily drawn from Bach’s Orgelbüchlein, acquire a fresh character in the hands of Thomas, violinist Aisha Orazbayeva and cellist Lucy Railton.

Both respectful of the original musical texts but unique in their execution, Thomas’ reformulations strike a rare balance between moderation and innovation. In the process, the pianist draws attention to various techniques used to "separate the voices and avoid the typical blending and blurring of the organ in a church. Particularly interesting to me", he explains, "was to illuminate how the musical characters interact, sometimes stubbornly ignoring one another as they continue their trajectories, other times moving in separate dimensions, unaware of anything but themselves, and often intertwining in a kind of blissful symbiosis".

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J.S. Bach: Three Or One - Transcriptions by Fred Thomas

Fred Thomas

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6 Choräle von verschiedener Art, BWV 645-650 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

1
Ach bleib bei uns, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 649 (Arr. Thomas)
00:02:34

Johann Sebastian Bach, ComposerLyricist - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Fred Thomas, Arranger, Piano, Work Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Lucy Railton, Cello, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Aisha Orazbayeva, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alex Bonney, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 ECM Records GmbH

Orgelbüchlein, BWV 599-644 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

2
Herr Christ, der ein’ge Gottes Sohn, BWV 601 (Arr. Thomas)
00:01:59

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Fred Thomas, Arranger, Piano, Work Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Lucy Railton, Cello, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Aisha Orazbayeva, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alex Bonney, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 ECM Records GmbH

3
Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639 (Arr. Thomas)
00:02:22

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Fred Thomas, Arranger, Piano, Work Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Lucy Railton, Cello, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Aisha Orazbayeva, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alex Bonney, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 ECM Records GmbH

4
Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt, BWV 637 (Arr. Thomas)
00:02:22

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Fred Thomas, Arranger, Piano, Work Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Lucy Railton, Cello, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Aisha Orazbayeva, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alex Bonney, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 ECM Records GmbH

5
J.S. Bach: Erbarm dich mein, o Herre Gott, BWV 721 (Arr. Thomas)
00:04:46

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Fred Thomas, Arranger, Piano, Work Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Lucy Railton, Cello, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Aisha Orazbayeva, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alex Bonney, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 ECM Records GmbH

Der Herr denket an uns, Cantata BWV 196 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

6
Sinfonia (Arr. Thomas)
00:01:54

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Fred Thomas, Arranger, Piano, Work Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alex Bonney, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Elliott Perkin, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 ECM Records GmbH

Orgelbüchlein, BWV 599-644 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

7
Alle Menschen müssen sterben, BWV 643 (Arr. Thomas)
00:01:39

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Fred Thomas, Arranger, Piano, Work Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Lucy Railton, Cello, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Aisha Orazbayeva, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alex Bonney, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 ECM Records GmbH

8
Der Tag, der ist so freudenreich, BWV 605 (Arr. Thomas)
00:01:15

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Fred Thomas, Arranger, Piano, Work Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Lucy Railton, Cello, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Aisha Orazbayeva, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alex Bonney, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 ECM Records GmbH

9
Christe, du Lamm Gottes, BWV 619 (Arr. Thomas)
00:01:23

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Fred Thomas, Arranger, Piano, Work Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Lucy Railton, Cello, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Aisha Orazbayeva, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alex Bonney, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 ECM Records GmbH

10
Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier, BWV 633 (Arr. Thomas)
00:03:48

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Fred Thomas, Arranger, Piano, Work Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Lucy Railton, Cello, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Aisha Orazbayeva, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alex Bonney, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 ECM Records GmbH

Herr, gehe nicht ins Gericht mit deinem Knecht, Cantata BWV 105 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

11
Aria "Wie zittern und wanken der Sünder Gedanken" (Arr. Thomas)
00:04:59

Traditional, Author - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Fred Thomas, Arranger, Piano, Work Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alex Bonney, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Elliott Perkin, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 ECM Records GmbH

Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten, Cantata BWV 202 "Wedding Cantata" (Fred Thomas)

12
Aria "Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten" (Arr. Thomas)
00:02:51

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Anonymous, Author - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Fred Thomas, Composer, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alex Bonney, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Elliott Perkin, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 ECM Records GmbH

O heilges Geist- und Wasserbad, Cantata BWV 165 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

13
Aria "Jesu, meines Todes Tod" (Arr. Thomas)
00:02:09

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Fred Thomas, Arranger, Piano, Work Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alex Bonney, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Elliott Perkin, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 ECM Records GmbH

Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, Cantata BWV 33 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

14
Aria "Wie furchtsam wankten meine Schritte" (Arr. Thomas)
00:03:58

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Fred Thomas, Arranger, Piano, Work Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alex Bonney, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Elliott Perkin, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 ECM Records GmbH

Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein, BWV Anh. II 78 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

15
Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein, BWV Anh. 78 (Arr. Thomas)
00:00:54

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Fred Thomas, Arranger, Piano, Work Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Lucy Railton, Cello, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Aisha Orazbayeva, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alex Bonney, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 ECM Records GmbH

16
J.S. Bach: Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ, BWV 723 (Arr. Thomas)
00:02:10

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Fred Thomas, Arranger, Piano, Work Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Lucy Railton, Cello, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Aisha Orazbayeva, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alex Bonney, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 ECM Records GmbH

O Gott, du frommer Gott, BWV 767 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

17
(Arr. Thomas)
00:03:09

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Fred Thomas, Arranger, Piano, Work Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Lucy Railton, Cello, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Aisha Orazbayeva, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alex Bonney, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 ECM Records GmbH

Orgelbüchlein, BWV 599-644 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

18
O Lamm Gottes unschuldig, BWV 618 (Arr. Thomas)
00:04:11

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Fred Thomas, Arranger, Piano, Work Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Lucy Railton, Cello, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Aisha Orazbayeva, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alex Bonney, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 ECM Records GmbH

19
Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 610 (Arr. Thomas)
00:02:59

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Fred Thomas, Arranger, Piano, Work Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Lucy Railton, Cello, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Aisha Orazbayeva, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alex Bonney, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 ECM Records GmbH

20
J.S. Bach: Allein Gott in der Höh' sei Ehr', BWV 711 (Arr. Thomas)
00:02:30

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Fred Thomas, Arranger, Piano, Work Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Lucy Railton, Cello, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Aisha Orazbayeva, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alex Bonney, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 ECM Records GmbH

21
In dulci jubilo, BWV 608 (Arr. Thomas)
00:01:10

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Fred Thomas, Arranger, Piano, Work Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Lucy Railton, Cello, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Aisha Orazbayeva, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alex Bonney, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 ECM Records GmbH

22
Gott, durch deine Güte, BWV 600 (Arr. Thomas)
00:00:44

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Fred Thomas, Arranger, Piano, Work Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Lucy Railton, Cello, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Aisha Orazbayeva, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alex Bonney, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 ECM Records GmbH

23
Das alte Jahr vergangen ist, BWV 614 (Arr. Thomas)
00:02:17

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Fred Thomas, Arranger, Piano, Work Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Lucy Railton, Cello, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Aisha Orazbayeva, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alex Bonney, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 ECM Records GmbH

6 Choräle von verschiedener Art, BWV 645-650 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

24
Meine Seele erhebt den Herren, BWV 648 (Arr. Thomas)
00:03:04

Johann Sebastian Bach, ComposerLyricist - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Fred Thomas, Arranger, Piano, Work Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Lucy Railton, Cello, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Aisha Orazbayeva, Violin, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alex Bonney, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 ECM Records GmbH

Album Description

On "Three Or One", Bach appears in transfigured light. Fred Thomas’ ECM New Series debut presents organ chorale preludes, vocal cantata movements and orchestral sinfonias – 24 pieces in all – transcribed for trio and solo piano by the British pianist himself. Throughout, Bach’s idiom is thoughtfully explored by three innovative players – a process Thomas describes as "quietly joyful" – and the trio pieces, primarily drawn from Bach’s Orgelbüchlein, acquire a fresh character in the hands of Thomas, violinist Aisha Orazbayeva and cellist Lucy Railton.

Both respectful of the original musical texts but unique in their execution, Thomas’ reformulations strike a rare balance between moderation and innovation. In the process, the pianist draws attention to various techniques used to "separate the voices and avoid the typical blending and blurring of the organ in a church. Particularly interesting to me", he explains, "was to illuminate how the musical characters interact, sometimes stubbornly ignoring one another as they continue their trajectories, other times moving in separate dimensions, unaware of anything but themselves, and often intertwining in a kind of blissful symbiosis".

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