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Toccata & Fuge d-Moll

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Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach (arr. Siegmund Goldhammer)


This work bears the designation BWV 565


General Info

Year: 1706 / 2011
Duration: c. 10:05
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Musikverlag RUNDEL GmbH
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $120.00   |   Score Only (print) - $30.00


Instrumentation

Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
B-flat Clarinet I-II-III (all div. a2)
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
F Horn I-II-III-IV
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III (I doubling optional Piccolo Trumpet)
B-flat Flugelhorn I-II
Trombone I-II-III
B-flat Baritone
Euphonium
Tuba
String Bass
Timpani
Percussion (2 players), including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor is certainly the best-known work for organ in all of European music history. Yet, there always have been musicological arguments against the validity of Bach’s claim to authorship. The composer may have either copied or rearranged a work by his pupil Johann Peter Kellner (1702-1772).

These doubts are based on the simple harmonies, atypical for Bach’s writing, the frequent use of octave and fifth parallels and the rather paraphrased formal structuring of the work as a whole. Musicological researchers do, however, also admit that this could be an early work written in Arnstadt between 1703 and 1707 or else a free improvisation by Bach, committed to paper at a later date, such as was usually demanded at the time as proof of technical and musical skill on the organ.

Following three call-like motifs, a diminished seventh chord is built up over a pedal point, thus supplying a musical core from which the entire work develops. As an arpeggio it forms the structural basis between rapid and extreme virtuoso parallel movements. Tense contrasts result from deep, dark sustained bass notes and extremely intense runs in the upper registers. An important formal element of the composition is an incomplete scale cascading downwards from the fifth to the leading tone and a two-voiced technique borrowed from violin literature, also known as bariolage technique (French: bariolage = variation), in which a further voice is added to held or repeated tones by changing the position and therefore the tone colour. In the fugue, too, Bach utilizes this technique, which is why here he avoids a narrow concentration of voices and organises this part more as a free fantasy whose movement is lightened by the insertion of intermezzi. In the concluding climax, the improvising power of the introductory toccata is taken up once more.

The Toccata and Fugue in D Minor has been arranged innumerable times for almost all combinations of instruments. In a congenial adaptation for large symphonic wind ensemble, Siegmund Goldhammer has used an impressively colourful instrumentation for this work and even enhanced the impression of energetic improvisation, thereby lending it the character of a great Romantic and inspired organ.

- Program Note by publisher


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