In DouBlebACH , Sofie Vanden Eynde (theorbo) and cellist Benjamin Glorieux delve down to the core of Bach’s musical firmament to uncover the bedrock on which it rests. The deep resonance of the theorbo and violoncello piccolo, strikingly complemented by live electronics, takes listeners straight down to the foundations that underpin the Baroque soundscape: the use of bass.

The warmth of the theorbo, with its purring bass and gently plucked strings, lends Sofie’s transcription of Bach’s Cello Suite No. 2 a contemplative air. The instrument’s polyphonic capabilities allow an independent voice to rise out of the accompanying part and resonate softly alongside the melody. The theorbo may be less flamboyantly expressive than its bowed counterpart , but this technique is still a very effective way of setting up subtle vibrations in the bass. Overall, this gentle suite basks in an atmosphere of almost devotional peace.

As Benjamin’s bow blazes over the strings, however, it becomes clear that Suite No. 6 for violoncello piccolo is a completely different story. The music speaks for itself: emphatic accentuation, declamatory runs and virtuoso passages all proclaim that joy reigns triumphant and uncontested. The addition of an extra string opens the higher registers up to exploration.

The final piece, a contemporary personal arrangement of the chorale Ich ruf’ zu Dir, Herr Jesu Christ  for cello, live electronics and theorbo, propels the duo’s quest for musical concord beyond the confines of time and space towards chance discoveries and unexpected resonances .

  •  Sofie Vanden Eynde, theorbo
  • Benjamin Glorieux, violoncello piccolo & live electronics

Music by  J. S. Bach en S. L. Weiss


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