Please DONATE to help with maintenance and upkeep of the Wind Repertory Project!

Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor (Bach)

From Wind Repertory Project
Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach (trans. Donald Hunsberger)


This work bears the designation BWV 582.


General Info

Year: 1703-1713? / 1968 / 1975
Duration: c. 13:05
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Harpsichord
Publisher: G. Schirmer
Cost: Score and Parts - $100.00   |   Score Only - $10.00


Instrumentation

Full Score
C Piccolo/Flute III
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
Contra-Bassoon
Eb Clarinet
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Bb Bass Clarinet
Bb Contrabass Clarinet
Eb Alto Saxophone
Bb Tenor Saxophone
Eb Baritone Saxophone
Bb Flugelhorn I-II
Bb Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III-IV
Euphonium (Bass Clef & Treble Clef)
Tuba
String Bass
Organ


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

Though one of the great organ classics, the Passacaglia in C Minor was first composed for the double-manual harpsichord. Despite the fact that the key of C minor is constantly present throughout all 20 variations and much of the fugue, Bach maintains a freshness in each variation which distinguishes it from the next. Albert Schweitzer advised that "Each of the twenty sections ... must have its own characteristic tone colour (but) ... no colour must be sharply differentiated from its predecessor or its successor."

In his transcription for wind ensemble, Donald Hunsberger follows this advice by employing woodwind voices in groups of three and brass voices (mellow vs. brilliant) in fours.

The work opens with a stately eight-bar theme followed by the 20 variations and an overwhelming tutti. The double fugue is built on the first part of the passacaglia theme in combination with a countertheme in eighth notes. The work closes with a massive climax of suspended harmonies and full instrumental sonority.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band


Commercial Discography


State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class AA
  • Arkansas: V
  • Georgia: VI
  • Kansas: VI
  • Louisiana: V
  • Maryland: VI
  • Michigan: Senior High AA
  • Mississippi:VI-A
  • New York: Concert Band VI
  • South Carolina: VI
  • Virginia: VI


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Missouri, Kansas City, Wind Symphony (Steven D. Davis, conductor) – 29 September 2019
  • Shenandoah Conservatory Wind Ensemble (Winchester, Va.) (Timothy J. Robblee, conductor) – 21 September 2019
  • Manhattan School of Music (N.Y.) Wind Ensemble (Kevin Fitzgerald, conductor) - 18 September 2019
  • Eastman School of Music (Rochester, N.Y.) Wind Ensemble (Mark Scatterday, conductor) – 6 October 2018
  • Colorado Wind Ensemble (Denver) (David Kish, conductor) – 11 February 2018
  • Lawrence University (Appleton, Wisc.) Wind Ensemble (Andrew Mast, conductor) – 15 October 2016
  • University of North Texas Symphonic Band (Dennis Fisher, conductor) – 17 September 2015
  • Illinois State University (Normal) Wind Symphony (Martin Seggelke, conductor) - 28 September 2014
  • The College of New Jersey Wind Ensemble (David Vickerman, conductor) - Ewing, NJ 25 April 2014
  • San Francisco Wind Ensemble (Martin H. Seggelke, conductor) - 27 October 2012
  • Knightwind Ensemble [Milwaukee, Wisc.] (Erik Janners, conductor) - 1 April 2012
  • High School Symphonic Band [Interlochen, Mich.] (Frederick Fennell, conductor) - 14 August 1981


Works for Winds by this Composer


Resources

  • Bach, J.; Hunsberger, D. (1968). Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor: For Symphonic Wind Ensemble [score]. G. Schirmer: New York.
  • Miles, Richard B., and Larry Blocher. (2010). Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 1. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 878-885.
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 25.