Transcribing keyboard music for guitar and accordion

June 5, 2017

On Thursday I performed a new program with accordionist Iosif Purits at Kansas Smittys bar in London. For this program we transcribed and performed the first ten of Bach’s Goldberg Variations as well Piazzolla’s Histoire du Tango.

The project was particularly exciting because of the possibilities and contrasts available to both instruments. Both instruments have polyphonic capabilities, a diversity of colours and timbral nuance, but radically different sustain. It seems like placing both instruments together polarises the contrast between the instant attack and decay of the guitar and the long lines of the accordion.

When transcribing the Variations, we had the opportunity to change the distribution of voices to bring out figurations and textures that we felt particularly drawn to. It was striking to see/hear the level of intricacy in Bach’s writing and explore the voice leading from the “inside-out”. I’m looking forward to working through the remaining movements in the coming months.

Bach: Goldberg Variations, No. 1

Practicing the Goldberg Variations with Iosif Purits. Catch us tomorrow night at Kansas Smitty's for Living Stereo!

Posted by Andrey Lebedev – Classical Guitarist on Wednesday, May 31, 2017