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Talk:Fantasia in G Major (Bach)

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Actual notes from the arranger

I would like to add some history as to this arrangement of the Bach Fantasia in G. As my dad, Robert L. Leist, in reality, did this arrangement as a master's project while at Columbia U. in NYC. I have taken an excerpt from a speech my dad gave to the American Bandmasters Association annual meeting in 1993 in New Orleans. He was speaking to the history of the Goldman's and had this personal reminisce about the project with Richard Franco Goldman.

"About the Bach Fantasia: Having graduated from Juilliard in 1949, I entered Columbia University in pursuit of a Masters Degree. At that time Juilliard was just two blocks away and we kept in close touch. At Columbia I enrolled in an independent study course entitled “Special Problems in Arranging.” Upon hearing this, Richard said, “Great, do the Bach Fantasia. Father has been asking for this for a long time.” (We probably should have called it The Chorale from the Fantasia in G, because the fantasia parts are keyboard flights of fancy before and after the chorale section.)

Richard’s instructions were to go to the New York Public Library and study everything I could find about organs—the stops, the couplers, the ranges, the registration, etc. And I did. Bach did not designate what stops were to be used. I simply imposed the stops I would have used if I were an organist. (Incidentally, I do this with everything I write.) In effect, The Bach Fantasia was my Masters Degree Arranging Project".

Dad passed in 2011 at the age of 89. I try to add this history to posted recordings of the Bach, as it is still widely performed and I think his personal reflection can aid the director.

Steve Leist, son of Robert L. Leist