Response to Bach

Commissioning new works for recorder duo

To celebrate their 20 year working partnership Kathryn and Peter embarked on a project to commission new works for recorder duet.

The Concept

To arrange the fifteen Two-part Inventions of J.S. Bach for soprano (descant) and bass recorders and to commission seven composers to write a "Response to Bach" — one new work for each of the seven pairs of inventions. Bach composed his Two-part Inventions as study pieces for his son Wilhelm Friedrich to provide "... a clear method not only of learning to play cleanly in two parts but also with further practice to proceed correctly and well to three obbligato parts and also to acquire at the same time not only good inventions but also the ability to develop them well and above all to cultivate a cantabile style of playing and to gain from the beginning a strong foretaste of composition.

The "Response to Bach" project was launched on 24th October 2006 at a concert held in St Gregory's, the performance centre of the music department at Canterbury Christ Church University which included two world premieres and the first complete performance of our arrangements of Bach's Two-part Inventions.

We have commissioned a total of five new works for the "Response to Bach" project:

On Reflection (2006) for tenor and bass recorders by Roderick Watkins

Intervention (2006) for alto and tenor recorders by Michael Wolters

One Voice in Two Parts (2006) for soprano and bass recorders by Nicola LeFanu

Two Lines (2007) for tenor and bass recorders by Gavin Bryars

J. S. B. Readdressed (2007) for tenor and bass recorders by Hans-Martin Linde

New works were commissioned with assistance from Canterbury Christ Church University and audience donations

The Quarter-tone Recorder

An ongoing project begun in 1995 in which we have explored the microtonal potential of the recorder. The work has resulted in the publication of The Quarter-tone Recorder Manual (Moeck Ed 2084) and the CD A Journey Among Travellers.

Kathryn und Peter durchqueren die Antarktis

(Kathryn and Peter Cross Antarctica)

A radio play and stage production by Michael Wolters and Marcus Dross

No title

Antarctic Cross-section

The music for recorder duo, composed by Michael Wolters, is based on a cross-section through Antarctica along the route taken by the explorer Robert Scott and his team. The rising and falling contours of the bed-rock and the ice sheet are transformed into a 35-minute duet composed entirely in eighth-tones for alto and tenor recorders.


New works for Recorder Duo by:

Gavin Bryars

Nicola Lefanu

Roderick Watkins

Michael Wolters

Hans-Martin Linde

Donald Bousted

Nicholas O'Neill

Maud Hodson


Last updated on Thursday, 19 May 2022 at 9.51, serial 308-419 ( • [ Webmail ]