Artist interprets Bach pieces, performs shows


Photo by: Rosalina Abuaita

Christopher Hutton performed a show of Bach pieces to show the musical effects of the suite. Britton is the coordinator of string chamber music at Furman University.

Christopher Hutton, coordinator of string chamber music at Furman University, performed a concert on Sept. 29 at the FMU Performing Arts Center.

Hutton, who is originally from Wellington, New Zealand, has spent much of his life performing across Europe, the U. S. and his home country.

The series that he performed at the PAC was titled “Reflecting Bach.” The first hour of the performance was a suite sampler, consisting of one movement from each of Bach’s suites in a different key.

Hutton said the reason for doing this was so attendees could hear the musical effects of each suite. Between each suite set, Hutton briefly described the life of Bach and how he was influenced to compose each of his pieces.

The last hour of the performance, “Suite for Cello No. 1,” was written by Benjamin Britten and later performed by Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich.

Hutton said that the second suite was inspired by Rostropovich’s interpretation of Bach’s music. The cello, which is typically not a solo instrument, uses different techniques in “Suite for Cello No. 1” to sound like other instruments are involved in the suite. According to Hutton, one movement was intended to sound like a band coming down a street.

Julia Crevvs, who attended the performance, said her favorite song of the night was “Prelude from Suite in G major,” the first song performed

“I’m a cellist, and I enjoyed hearing the first song he played because I knew every note before he would play it,” Crevvs said. “It was beautiful and also a very unique interpretation and quite different from how I play it.”

According to Crevvs, it’s important for college students to experience live music and be involved on campus. Crevvs said students should take advantage of the many opportunities such as this that are offered at FMU.

The final set of the performance, “Fancy on a Bach Air,” composed by John Corigliano focused on Bach’s biographical experiences. Hutton said that this movement was less about Bach’s music and more about the time period surrounding Bach’s life and the ways in which these events affected him.

Hutton said he enjoys playing Bach’s pieces, but the suite composed by Benjamin Britten is his favorite to perform in front of an audience.

“As much as I love Bach, I have to say I think the Britten suite is a real masterpiece,” Hutton said. “It has a dramatic arc from start to finish, which I really enjoy, and I love the extraordinary variety of expression and the wide variety of colors that Britten draws from the cello.”