Fervent is My Longing; Fugue in G Minor

From Wind Repertory Project
Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach (trans. Lucien Cailliet)

Fervent Is My Longing is also known by its German title Herzlich tut mich verlangen and bears the designation BWV 727. Fugue in G Minor is also known as the Little Fugue, and bears the designation BWV 578.

General Info

Year: c. 1710 / 1935 / 2006
Duration: c. 6:40
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Organ
Publisher: Southern Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $139.95   |   Score Only (print) - $17.95

Information on an updated but unpublished edition of this work by Tiffany Galus may be found in the Discussion tab, above.


1. Fervent Is My Longing – 2:45
2. Organ Prelude in G Minor – 3:50


Condensed Score
C Piccolo
D-flat Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet Solo-I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Contrabass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Bass Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II
Flugelhorn I-II
E-flat Horn or Alto I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion (4-5 players), including

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel (extended range required (high D-flat))
  • Snare Drum
  • Tam-Tam (or Suspended Cymbal)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Let there be no confusion about it: J.S. Bach's Fugue in G Minor for organ (BWV 578) is known as the "Little" G minor not because it is a work of small importance or even because it is an unusually short work in its own right, but simply so that it and the much longer and later "Great" G minor Fantasia and Fugue (BWV 542) might not be mistaken for one another. Bach probably composed the "Little" G minor fugue sometime between 1703 and 1707, when he was a young up-and-coming organist in the city of Arnstadt.

- Program note by Blair Johnston, Rovi

The frequency with which Johann Sebastian Bach’s works are performed in their original settings, adaptations, and arrangements, in addition to the exhaustive research that continues into his life and works, bears ample evidence to his enduring genius. The statement that Bach’s compositional ability was the “most stupendous miracle in all music,” seems to be as true today as it was when uttered by Richard Wagner in the nineteenth century.

The melody Bach used in the organ chorale prelude Herzlich tut mich verlangen (loosely translated as “Fervent is My Longing”) is of ancient origin, but it is known to have been used at least as early as the sixteenth century by Hans Leo Hassler, who arranged it in sacred and secular choral settings. The best-known examples that survive today are found in the music of Bach, who included this melody in various chorales and in the St. Matthew Passion to the text “O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden” (O Sacred Head Now Wounded).

Bach’s four-voice “Little” Fugue in G Minor is thought to have been composed around 1707 and is considered one of his greatest masterpieces. It is often studied in music schools for the clarity and perfection of its form and counterpoint.

- Program Note from Southern Music

This transcription by Lucien Cailliet contains two separate Bach compositions -- Chorale prelude Herzlich tut mich verlangen (Fervent is My Longing), BWV 727, 1708-1717; and Fugue in G Minor "The Little", BWV 578, c. 1713 or earlier -- in one publication, often played together as if two movements of a single suite.


State Ratings

  • Virginia: I


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

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  • California All-State High School Wind Symphony (Kevin Sedatole, conductor) - 22 February 2020 (2020 CASMEC Conference, Fresno)
  • Texas Christian University (Fort Worth) Wind Symphony (Bobby R. Francis, conductor) - 13 February 2020 (2020 TMEA Conference, San Antonio)
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  • Illinois State University (Normal) Symphonic Winds (Anthony Marinello, III, conductor) – 19 November 2019
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  • University of Florida (Gainesville) Wind Symphony (David Waybright, conductor) – 26 September 2019
  • Colorado State University Symphonic Band (T. André Feagin, conductor) - 7 May 2019
  • State University of New York, Potsdam, Concert Band (Joshua Roach, conductor) – 14 November 2018
  • University of Cincinnati (Ohio) College-Conservatory of Music Wind Ensemble (Kevin Michael Holzman, conductor) – 15 February 2018
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