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Topic: J.S. Bach - Toccata, Adagio & Fugue in C-Major

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  1. #1
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    J.S. Bach - Toccata, Adagio & Fugue in C-Major

    The Toccata, Adagio & Fugue is another of Bach's that I refer to as one of his Big Five organ works. It was composed in 1712 and follows the form of the three movement Italian concerto and represents another high point of his composition skills.

    This transcription for brass choir was written for the Eastman Brass Guild as 4T, 2H, 2T, 1B. As with the other transcriptions of his major organ works, the challanges were many including how to make a very long work playable while remaining true to the intent of the work and yet not burn out the musicians.

    The beginning is a rapid fire thread that is passed back and forth between solo instruments as appropriate for their respective range followed by the well known pedal solo residing with the bass instruments leading into the main body of the toccata.

    http://www.garybricault.com/mp3/Toccata%20BWV564.mp3

    The Adagio is especially interesting as I wrote it as essentially a duet between two trumpets. In the live performance you can clearly hear the difference between the two different instruments as if in a sort of a dialogue.

    http://www.garybricault.com/mp3/Adagio%20BWV564.mp3

    The brilliant Fugue encompasses the flair of the Toccata in fugal form, passing the theme thread between the instrument groups. It eventually reaches a grand music conclusion.

    http://www.garybricault.com/mp3/Fugue%20BWV564.mp3

    GPO Instruments: Trpt 1 Plr 1, Trpt 2 Plr 1, Trpt 2 Plr 2, Trpt 2 Plr 3,
    French Horn 1 Plr 1, French Horn 2 Plr 1, Ten Tbone Plr 1, Ten Tbone Plr 2,
    Tuba Solo 1, Tuba Solo 2

    Gary

    www.garybricault.com

  2. #2

    Re: J.S. Bach - Toccata, Adagio & Fugue in C-Major

    This is really grand. I was eager to hear how you would do the toccata, since, like you mentioned, it covers a huge range. I was pleasantly surprised to hear how well it goes. When the trumpets entered, I almost thought it was an organ playing trumpet stopps! I enjoyed this very much, thank you.
    Kind Regards

    Louis Dekker
    My Music Site

    Pour être grand, il faut avoir été petit.

  3. #3
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    Re: J.S. Bach - Toccata, Adagio & Fugue in C-Major

    Quote Originally Posted by LouisD
    This is really grand. I was eager to hear how you would do the toccata, since, like you mentioned, it covers a huge range. I was pleasantly surprised to hear how well it goes. When the trumpets entered, I almost thought it was an organ playing trumpet stopps! I enjoyed this very much, thank you.
    Thanks very much for your comments on this wonderful Bach work. As with all of my piece, the playback is from the actual performance scores so the instruments are set at you hear them. When of course you cannot easily tell from listening is how a groups, such as the trumpets, are separated by range and time. The fugue was especially challanging as the voice threads are so tightly interwoven in its final half, making it difficult to pick them apart and to place the entries on a beat and in a good range. I was especially pleased with the outcome of the four trumpets beginning at 2:21, the long shared and high passage. And again at 3:30.

    Thanks again for having a listen to it.

    Gary

    www.garybricault.com

  4. #4

    Re: J.S. Bach - Toccata, Adagio & Fugue in C-Major

    I'd listened to these earlier but hadn't had time that day to comment.

    Clever work with the tocatta; the adagio I think works wonderfully well;
    and that fugue, good job handling the densely packed latter part, Gary!

    Best,

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .

  5. #5
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    Re: J.S. Bach - Toccata, Adagio & Fugue in C-Major

    Quote Originally Posted by etLux
    I'd listened to these earlier but hadn't had time that day to comment.

    Clever work with the tocatta; the adagio I think works wonderfully well;
    and that fugue, good job handling the densely packed latter part, Gary!

    Best,

    David
    www.DavidSosnowski.com
    .
    Thanks David. I spent many hours picking the fugue voices apart with a pair of tweezers and then reorganizing it into instrument passages. But each of the three movements presented their own unique challanges. The result you hear with the GPO is a very good indicator of what the live performance sounds like. This speaks well for the product, and or course the original composition by Bach.

    Gary

    www.garybricault.com

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