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for wind quintet

Year:  1994   ·  Duration:  12m
Instrumentation:  flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon

Year:  1994
Duration:  12m
Instrumentation  flute, oboe, clarinet, horn...

Composer:   David Farquhar

Films, Audio & Samples

Sample Score

Sample: Pages 1-3,6,8,10,13

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These six Chorale Preludes are arranged from Bach's Orgelbüchlein, while Divisions on a Bach Pasacaglia Bass are from Bach's organ Passacaglia and Fugue. The Preludes and Divisions may be played as a set, or as individual pieces.

Six Chorale Preludes

Bach's organ had three keyboards, two manuals and one pedal, which enabled him to write organ music featuring three lines in contrasted colours. His chorale prelude settings make frequent use of this potential, particularly in those preludes where the tune is treated in canon. In fact, in some of these, Bach would very probably have included a fourth colour if the limitations of his organ and his body had not precluded this.

One of the most noticeable qualities of the wind quintet ensemble is the contrast in colour of the five instruments. Only the oboe and bassoon belong to the same family. This makes it an ideal vehicle to present the four contrasting lines in these Preludes, while the fifth instrument contributes an organ-style doubling (at the octave, twelfth or fifteenth).

While these arrangements are clearly not "authentic", I believe they do present Bach's musical thinking faithfully and bring these marvellous settings out from the organ loft to a non-organ public.

Divisions on a Bach Passacaglia Bass

Except in the final two variations, these "divisions" literally divide Bach's bass among the five instruments — in other words, the bass is treated serially.

Contents note

  1. Alle Menschen
  2. Erscheinen ist
  3. Hilf Gott
  4. O Lamm Gottes
  5. Vom Himmel kam
  6. In Dulci Jubilo: Divisions on a Bach Passacaglia Bass