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Fantasia on a Bach Chorale Prelude

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Yasuhide Ito

Yasuhide Ito

Subtitle: O Mensch, bewein' dein' Sünde groß

General Info

Year: 2002 / 2013
Duration: c. 8:20
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Organ
Publisher: Bravo Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $150.00   |   Score Only (print) - $20.00


Full Score
C Piccolo (doubling Flute)
Flute I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium (div.)
Tuba (div.)
String Bass (div.)
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Antique Cymbals
  • Bass Drum
  • Bell Tree
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Ratchet
  • Sleigh Bells
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-tam
  • Tom-toms (3)
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Wind Chimes
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

I have always been fascinated by Johann Sebastian Bach's music, ever since I was studying musical composition during my high school days in Hamamatsu. I have enjoyed very much playing Bach's chorales as well as their developed forms, the chorale preludes and fantasias on the piano, recognizing at the same time the fabulous architecture of Bach's music. Among the pieces I know, I came to notice that his excellence in note placements and part writings were most remarkably accomplished in the chorale prelude, O Mensch, bewein' dein' Snde gros (Oh Man, bewail your great sins) BWV622.

On September 11, 2001, I witnessed on TV the shocking images of the collapse of the twin towers of the World Trade Center, and mourned the fact that we have to embrace the beginning of the 21st century with such horror. The previous century has already seen all but too many wars. It was then that I came across this chorale in my mind.

At the very same period, I was commissioned to write a piece for the Chubu Japan Air Self-Defense Force Band, which I named Chorale Fantasia, a work inspired by the chorale. It premiered in 2002. This present rendition is a shortened version, and is eight minutes long, instead of the original 14 minutes. Instead of simply cutting the piece down, the details were meticulously modified during the reconstruction of the whole fantasia. It was commissioned by the wind band of Hamamatsu Municipal High School and premiered in 2013.

For the opening, I quoted another arrangement of a chorale, BWV402, while a quote from BWV622 is presented in the final section, and with the middle section being a free-form variation of the same chorale. The irregular meter section starting from the 150th measure is based on The Seventh Seal I composed in 1979.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Ito, Y. (2014). Fantasia on a Bach chorale prelude o mensch, bewein' dein' sünde groß [score]. Ito myujikku: Tokyo, Japan
  • Perusal score