Go to page contentGo to menu

Author's projects

Bach Stories - Choral preludes by J.S.Bach with performers' improvisations

Bach Stories - Choral preludes by J.S.Bach with performers' improvisations

Marcin Zdunik – cello
Aleksander Dębicz – piano

The BACH STORIES programme originated from the fascination of the cellist Marcin Zdunik and the pianist Aleksander Dębicz with the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. The Polish artists were inspired by the process of “preluding”, which for the eighteenth-century German organist-composers was both a way of honoring religious services and ceremonies, as well as a road to continuous artistic exploration. The concerts entitled BACH STORIES show the modern continuation of this creative process.

Selected chorale preludes by Johann Sebastian Bach have been arranged for cello and piano by the instrumentalists, giving these works an extraordinary freshness of sound in their performance. The musicians have worked on such well-known compositions asWachet auf (BWV 645) and O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß(BWV 622). These works are interspersed with improvised music, i.e. continuing “preluding” on the subject of the Bach miniatures.


In 2017 the BACH STORIES programme has been released as a 2CD album by Warner Classics label.

Dębicz and Zdunik’s sensitive Bach chorale transcriptions have been punctuated with their own improvisatory responses to them, and the emotional and stylistic directions these have taken often carry us off to surprisingly profound new musical waters
Charlotte Gardner


For long have I not listened to a recording, that would project as much of energy inspired by the music by Johann Sebastian Bach as the newly released album published by two young Polish musicians - Aleksander Dębicz and Marcin Zdunik. (...) "We want to reach for a deep expression" - young artists claim in the short promo movie of "Bach Stories". And one has to admit they succeed. (...) Dębicz and Zdunik paint a different picture with every piece using various means of expression and styles.
Michał Szułdrzyński