There is an old phrase called "The Three Bs" that generally refers to Western music's most influential giants, "Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms." You may come across a clever classical music nerd who would replace Brahms with a different composer whose last also name starts with the letter B, such as Bruckner, Barber, or Berlioz, who was actually the original third B until a famous nineteenth century German conductor Hans von Bülow replaced him with Brahms. Nobody dares to mess with Papa Bach or Ludwig, though if you ask some of the BSPers, they might say "Bluegrass, Bebop, Blues", or "Kenny Ball, Chris Barber, Acker Bilk".
In "Bach to Björk," we give you a new set of power-B's: Bach, Britten, Bartók, and Björk, musicians whose roots spread out to four different countries: Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, and Iceland. Their music presents such vast differences in characters and styles, yet are all extremely complex, profoundly intellectual, and dramatically elaborate. Scholars and theorists have analyzed the musical compositions of Bach and Bartók using mathematics like the Golden ratio and Fibonacci series. Both Bach and Bartók (along with Alban Berg, another composer with the B last name) were obsessed with peculiar conditions such as symmetry and palindrome, applying them in their own musical compositions with the use of forms, harmonies, and counterpoints. Britten was a famous prodigy who was composing music before the age of nine, and went on to write over a dozen operas. Björk also started her career at the early age of twelve, and has been considered eclectic or poly-stylistic for constantly changing directions for each of her new works, never ceasing to amaze not only the pop audience but all music fans.
Besides the obvious, the initial letter B these four musicians' last names have in common, what else is binding the four together on this program? What specific concept will you find that connects every destination on this musical journey of "Bach to Björk?" The answer lies in the same mission each of these musicians committed themselves to throughout their artistic careers: creating stories through simplicity.
Musicians dedicate their lives to mastering the craft of creating art with sound, striving to overcome the monuments that artists of the past erected. As a result, Western music has gotten increasingly more complex, sophisticated, theoretical, intellectual, or just too difficult. However, the best of the best have always had eyes on the most widely acknowledged theory that simply, less is more. All four pieces on our program were built on simple ideas, and regardless of how old some of these pieces are, they are all timeless examples of music that will still speak to the audience of 2012.