Writings Content 1

ABOUT MY ARRANGEMENT OF BACH’S PRELUDE & FUGE BWV 847

The idea of reworking a three-part fuge into a solo piece bubbled up when I heard an organ version of a fugue that Johann Sebastian Bach had conceived for violin solo. It appeared to me that this arrangement (the organ version) actually sounded more like an original whereas the violin solo version could have been the arrangement. In which case Bach would have done a superior job in (re)designing the subject and countersubject in such a way that they could be played as a single line (even if the violin uses more than one string). I set off browsing through Bach’s smaller-scale fugues from “Das Wohltemperierte Klavier” in order to find a suitable fugue and test if I could do a similar thing (as I had imagined Bach doing) but then for my instrument. Soon, I got entangled in the world of counterpoint as I had never been before in my explorations as an arranger. It is hard to explain exactly what procedures were necessary to create a version that had a somewhat flowing character, but shifting passages up or down one or several octaves was one of them. Also, the main subject had to be rhythmically redesigned to be able to fit the countersubject between its notes. Since then, I have tried this way of working out on several other fugues, but it is such a time-consuming business that I have (so far) given up. I have played this piece many times to my own joy and that of the audience.

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