Toccata, Adagio, and Fugue, BWV 564

From Wind Repertory Project
Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach (trans. John P. Paynter)

General Info

Year: c. 1717 / 2000
Duration: c. 14:10
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Organ
Publisher: Ludwig Masters
Cost: Score and Parts - $145.00   |   Score Only - $25.00


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

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Triangle


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

These masterworks of J.S. Bach's organ oeuvres are respectfully and masterfully presented in this wonderful transcription by the late John P. Paynter.

- Program Note from publisher

Toccata, Adagio, and Fugue in C Major (BWV 564) is an organ composition by Johann Sebastian Bach. Similar to most other organ works by Bach, the autograph score does not survive. The earliest manuscript copies were probably made in 1719–1727. The title of the piece in these copies is given, as expected of organ literature of the time, simply as Toccata in C major (or more precisely, Toccata ped: ex C in one source and Toccata ex C♮ pedaliter, referring to the obbligato pedal part). The piece is an early work, probably composed in the mid-to-late Weimar years, i.e., 1710–1717. It shares some similarities with other toccatas composed around the same time, such as BWV 538, BWV 540, and others: all show the influence of concerto style and form.

- Program Note from Wikipedia

Although he was born and educated in Germany, Bach's knowledge of foreign music was extensive, and many of his works rely on Italian and French musical idioms. The Toccata, Adagio, and Fugue in C Major, BWV 564 is a fine example of this stylistic blending, where Bach expertly grafts the Italianate concerto into the North German prelude and fugue. The work almost certainly dates from the Weimar period. The first movement is strictly sectional, and is seen by Bach scholar Peter Williams as “a deliberate enlargement of an old prelude-type: manual passaggio + pedal solo + motivic-contrapuntal section.” The second movement is unique among Bach's works, not so much because of the solo/accompaniment texture, but because of its obvious reliance on instrumental idioms, leading Peter Williams to speculate that it may have originated as a movement for oboe solo. The Adagio is concluded by a contrasting section in the "Durezze e Ligature" style, characterized by strong dissonances and dense sonorities. The fugue is similarly unique in Bach's output. Its lighthearted subject recalls the youthful exuberance of the opening toccata, but its complex counterpoint, virtuosic writing, and unique fugal treatments reveal the designs of a mature musical mind.

- Program Note from University of Texas Wind Symphony concert program, 18 November 2015


State Ratings

  • Georgia: VI


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) Symphony Band (Richard Fryer, conductor) – 26 October 2023
  • Southern Adventist University (Chattanooga, Tenn.) Wind Symphony (Ken Parsons, conductor) - 9 October 2022
  • Texas All-State Concert Band (Jamie Nix, conductor) - 16 February 2019 (2019 TMEA Conference, San Antonio)
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.) Symphonic Band (Shawn Vondran, conductor) – 26 October 2018
  • University of Texas Wind Symphony (Jerry Junkin, conductor) – 18 November 2015
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.) Concert Band (John P. Paynter, conductor) – 2 March 1958

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

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