On Oct. 26th, 2022 Tanja Bechtler was invited to celebrate Public Radio Music Day by playing some of her favorite solo pieces on the public radio station WDAV. Host Frank Dominguez’s easy demeanor made the event interesting with a light back-and-forth conversation including a discussion about the health benefits of the HORA chair. One of Tanja’s favorite composers is J.S. Bach, as his music is timeless and is always played in a new and fresh way. In the 1980s, Pablo Casals performed J.S. Bach’s Suites for Solo Cello, and only then were they recognized as more than just exercises but as legitimate repertoire for the cello. Part of the interview consisted of answering a few questions which led to the following blog.
Few notes from Tanja Bechtler’s interview with WDAV:
“I created the Bechtler Ensemble, which presents interdisciplinary programs that connect art, poetry, and dance to music. There are so many different types of occasions that people need music for. We create programs for specific events, like art exhibitions, or music lectures for different institutions. Our programs are designed to deepen and enrich the musical experience and also to educate the audience. I like to explore why the music was written and what it is about. Often I find very interesting topics that I can then bring to the listeners. For example: we played a contemporary piece by the Haitian composer Jean (Rudy) Perrault that was based on the Vodou (Voodoo), a folk religion, and I discovered that Vooddoo is not a dark sinister practice but an ancient belief system. Vodou honors not only their ancestors but also has a creator, their God known as Iwa. When the African slaves were traded to various countries many were prohibited to practice their faith so they merged their spiritual gods with the Catholic saints.
Music let’s me have a glimpse into the flavor of other countries from the past to the present. I get to take a break from thinking to purely listening and I love that. Knowing about other cultures enriches my world and opens up new doors to different lifestyles hence the world becomes a more interesting place to live in. It‘s important to remember master composers like Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, and so on, as the development of music builds on the shoulders of these great musical giants. I also believe that the beauty of sound, the harmonies, and the melodies, have a wonderful effect on our spirit. As the Artistic Director of the Bechtler Ensemble, I think it is very important that I find composers that have been overlooked from the past but also from the contemporary world and to expand the musical repertoire of the audience by not only playing the music but also by explaining the significance of why it was written.”
Read the full interview: