Composer Elena Kats-Chernin and Recorder virtuoso Genevieve Lacey on reimagining J.S. Bach’s inventions.

Two of Australia’s most celebrated musicians, the country’s preeminent recorder virtuoso Genevieve Lacey, and acclaimed composer Elena Kats-Chernin, talk about their collaboration for the new album, Reinventions, released by ABC Classics.

Genevieve: How did the idea for the Reinventions project come about?

I’d always wanted to work with Elena, as I’ve loved her music for years. A mutual friend, Chris Latham, kindly introduced us, and generously facilitated the commission of ‘Re-Inventions’.

Musically, the idea of the work emerged at the end of a wonderful afternoon, improvising with Elena. I visited her place to introduce my instruments and myself, and after hours of playing and talking together, I played something that reminded her of a Bach invention, and then marvelled as the Re-Inventions idea took shape in Elena’s head, ears and fingers, right before me, with uncanny speed and clarity.

How did you choose particular Inventions and what parameters (or limits) did you set yourself?

Elena:  My first introduction to the Inventions was as a very small child.  When I was about 5-6 I was at home alone most of the time, having not...

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