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Fantasia in G Major (Bach)

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Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach (trans. Richard Franko Goldman and Robert L. Leist)

This work bears the designation BWV 572, Gravement.

General Info

Year: 1703-7 / 1960 / 2012
Duration: c. 6:35
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Organ
Publisher: Theodore Presser
Cost: Score and Parts - $85.00   |   Score Only - $9.95


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet Solo-I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal


In parts:

  • Cornet II, 11 meas. after reh. B: Add reh. C
  • Trombone I, 15 meas. after reh. H: Add reh. I ("eye")

For more errata, see Kopetz article in The Instrumentalist

Program Notes

The great G Major Fantasia for organ was composed between 1703 and 1707 during Bach's residence in Arnstadt. It was here, at the beginning of his career, that his music was found to be too full of "wonderful variations and foreign tones"; and certainly the Fantasia is strikingly dissonant in its constant texture of suspensions. But the breadth of the five-part polyphonic writing and the richness of the harmonic sonority make the Fantasia one of the grandest of all Bach's compositions for organ. It is also one that lends itself most perfectly to the sound and sonorities of the modern wind band.

The transcription by Richard Franko Goldman and Robert L. Leist was undertaken as a memorial to Edwin Franko Goldman, who was the first bandmaster to include the works of Bach regularly in the band's concert repertoire, and who did so much to introduce the music of this great master to wide audiences. In this transcription an attempt is made to recapture the sound of the Baroque organ through the medium of the modern band. The first performance of this transcription was given by The Goldman Band, Richard Franko Goldman conducting, on July 1, 1957.

- Note by

Perusing the score of Bach's Fantasia in G Major may give the impression that this work has little technical challenge and will come together with ease. While this work can indeed be performed by community bands, honor bands, high school bands, and collegiate groups, ample rehearsal time must be allotted. For younger players, the primary challenge is to look beyond whole notes and half notes to find the expressive musical line in each part. Controlling the timbre and pitch of sustained harmonies will take concentration and muscular development. Fortunately, this piece translates very well to the wind band medium and would program appropriately in the middle portion of a concert set.

- Note from Great Music for Wind Bands


State Ratings

  • Arkansas: Grade IV
  • Florida: FBA Band Grade V
  • Georgia: GA Band Grade V
  • Louisiana: BAND 2011 GRADE III
  • Louisiana: BAND 2011 GRADE V
  • Massachusetts: GRADE IV
  • Minnesota: Category 1
  • North Carolina: Concert Band.Grade V
  • New York: 20 05 CONCERT BAND LEVEL V
  • South Carolina: SC Band Grade V
  • Tennessee: Grade IV
  • Texas: Band Grade V.Complete


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Iowa (Iowa City) Concert Band (Eric Bush, conductor; Yu-Hsiang Abby Chen, organ) - 18 February 2023
  • University of New Mexico (Albuquerque) Symphonic Band (Brett Penshorn, conductor) - 9 December 2022
  • University of Indianapolis (Ind.) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Jon Noworyta, conductor) - 20 November 2022
  • Cleveland (Ohio) Winds (Birch Browning, conductor) – 20 November 2022
  • The Packard Concert Band (Warren, Ohio) (Loras John Schissel, conductor) - 13 November 2022
  • Ringgold Band (Reading, Penn.) (Loras John Schissel, conductor) - 16 October 2022
  • The Naperville (Ill.) Winds (Sean Kelley, conductor) - 7 April 2022
  • Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.) Wind Ensemble (Sarah McKoin, conductor) - 2 March 2022 (87th Annual ABA National Convention)
  • University of British Columbia (Vancouver) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Josh Rauw, conductor) - 19 November 2021
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) Wind Ensemble (Emily Threinen, conductor) – 1 October 2021
  • University of Texas at Arlington Wind Symphony (Douglas Stotter, conductor) - 9 May 2021
  • Wayne (Neb.) State College Wind Ensemble (David Bohnert, conductor) - 17 November 2020
  • James Madison University (Harrisonburg, Va.) Wind Symphony (Isaac McMahon, conductor) - 26 October 2020
  • Texas Tech University (Lubbock) Symphonic Band (Sarah McKoin, conductor) – 19 February 2020 (CBDNA 2020 Southwestern Division Conference, Norman, Okla.)
  • University of Colorado Boulder Wind Symphony (Melinda Mason, conductor) – 6 February 2020
  • Austin (Tx.) Symphonic Band (Richard Floyd, conductor) – 1 February 2020
  • Milton (Ga.) High School Wind Ensemble (David Vandwalker, conductor) – 19 January 2020
  • San Luis Obispo (Calif.) Wind Orchestra (Jennifer Martin, conductor) – December 15, 2019
  • University of Oklahoma (Norman) Wind Symphony (Tim Parduen, conductor) – 24 November 2019
  • United States Coast Guard Band (New London, Conn.) (Jeffrey A. Spenner, conductor) – 24 November 2019
  • Texas Tech University (Lubbock) Symphony Band (Eric Allen, conductor) – 24 November 2019
  • University of Cincinnati (Ohio) College-Conservatory of Music Wind Ensemble (Thomas Gamboa, conductor) – 20 November 2019

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Bach, J.; Goldman, R.; Leist, R. (1960). Fantasia in G Major [score]. Mercury Music: Bryn Mawr, Penn.
  • Kopetz, Barry. (1993). "Bach's Fantasia in G: An Interpretive Analysis." The Instrumentalist 48, no. 1; pp. 25-34.
  • Miles, Richard B., and Larry Blocher. (2010). Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 1. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 481-487.
  • Nicholson, Chad. (2009). Great Music for Wind Band: A Guide to the Top 100 Works in Grades IV, V, VI. Galesville, MD: Meredith Music Publications. pp 2-3.
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 24.