?It is no secret that twentieth century composers revered Bach for his contrapuntal genius. Anton Webern said himself: "You find everything in Bach: the development of cyclic forms, the conquest of the realm of tonality-the attempt at a summation of the highest order." By presenting Bach and Webern side by side, the Richter Ensemble strives to highlight hidden connections between the two composers. The program begins with Bach's final work, The Art of Fugue, where Bach is at the apogee of his career. Bach displays his mastery of counterpoint in each fugue while expressing starkly different human emotions from ecstasy to absolute desperation, with succinctness and purpose. In the works for string quartet that span his career, Anton Webern utilizes the same traditional contrapuntal techniques that with the utmost concision grasp toward the ideal. Although inarguably modern in a style that stretches from free atonality to dodecaphonic, the expression is just as varied and powerful. The Richter Ensemble invites a new perspective, experience, and soundscape by performing these works on gut strings.