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Chaconne (Bach)

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Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach (arr Yasuhide Ito)

Subtitle: From Partita No. 2 for Solo Violin in D minor, BWV 1004

General Info

Year: c. 1720 / 1987
Duration: c. 8:30
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Violin
Publisher: Bravo
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $180.00   |   Score Only (print) - $20.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet 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-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Castanets
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Marimba
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Tam-Tam
  • Triangle


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Chaconne is a form of ancient dance, one of many variations. Bach adopted the form and transformed it into a grand ten-minute masterpiece that features a solo violin. This work has seemingly inspired many composers after him. Brahms and Busoni, for example, have arranged the piece for the piano. There are also arrangements for string orchestras.

This summer, I myself have written an arrangement featuring the saxophone, too. This rendition for the wind band was originally written in 1987.

- Program Note by arranger

The Partita in D minor for solo violin (BWV 1004) by Johann Sebastian Bach was written between 1717 and 1720. It is a part of his compositional cycle called Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin. The Chaconne (called Ciaccona) is the fifth of five movements.

Professor Helga Thoene suggests that this partita, and especially its last movement, was a tombeau written in memory of Bach's first wife, Maria Barbara Bach (who died in 1720), though this theory is controversial. Yehudi Menuhin called the Chaconne "the greatest structure for solo violin that exists". Violinist Joshua Bell has said the Chaconne is "not just one of the greatest pieces of music ever written, but one of the greatest achievements of any man in history. It's a spiritually powerful piece, emotionally powerful, structurally perfect."

Raymond Erickson has identified approximately two hundred transcriptions and arrangements of Bach's Ciaccona.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


State Ratings

  • Louisiana: V
  • Texas: V. Complete


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