Bach and Shimkus

The "Bach and Šimkus" programme will involve nine religious discoveries by Johann Sebastian Bach and nine dreamy scenes from Vestards Šimkus. "Faith in God, like dreams, is a mystical experience that cannot be described precisely," says the pianist. "It is found under the conscience of human beings, and I feel that this experience is particularly important and inspirational."

The first part of the concert will feature nine of Bach's many choral preludes that he composed for organ performances during various phases of his career. These are adaptations of Lutheran chorale melodies. In 1989, the outstanding Italian pianist and composer Ferrucio Busoni transposed the nine preludes for the piano and merged them into a dramaturgically unified cycle. The second part of the concert, in turn, will feature a series of piano opuses composed by Šimkus himself -- "Scenes of Dreams: Nine Etudes for Piano." The pianist composed these etudes in 2014 and performed them at the Luzern Festival and in Paris, Munich, Berlin and other venues in Europe.

"The cycle consists of nine of my dreams or irrational aspects of my subconscious, when I suddenly find myself in a different environment or situation without any sense of how I got there," explains Šimkus. "That's why the musical dramaturgy in each part of the cycle happens immediately, as opposed to being developed in a gradual manner. The improvisational nature of the etudes is no accident. I do not engage in any improvisations when performing the opuses, but it is this subconsciously improved sound that seemed to be most appropriate to me when I composed music about the artworks of the human conscience -- dreams."


Johann Sebastian Bach / Ferruccio Busoni Nine choral preludes
Vestard Shimkus “Dream scenes. Nine etudes for piano”


Vestard Shimkus, piano

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