Description: Along with his major cycles such as the English and French suites, the Goldberg Variations or the Well-Tempered Clavier, Bach also left a wealth of single pieces with a great diversity of titles; they stem in large part from his early youth and student period around the years 1700-1710. The title of the present work – translated as “Capriccio on the departure of his most beloved brother” – reveals that this is programmatic, onomatopoeic music of the kind that was very popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. In its six short and imaginatively-titled movements Bach shows a different side of himself from the usual polyphonist. Perhaps we owe this piece to the departure of his brother Jacob Bach, who entered service in Sweden in 1704.
Description: Along with his major cycles such as the English and French suites, the Goldberg Variations or the Well-Tempered Clavier, Bach also left a wreath of single pieces with a great diversity of titles; they stem in large part from his early youth and student period around the years 1700-1710. The title of the present work – translated as “Capriccio on the departure of his most beloved brother” – reveals that this is programmatic, onomatopoeic music of the kind that was very popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. In its six short and imaginatively-titled movements Bach shows a different side of himself from the usual polyphonist. Perhaps we owe this piece to the departure of his brother Johann Jacob Bach, who entered service in Sweden in 1704.
Description: Feared, respected and loved. Touchstone, limit experience and temptation. One of the greatest, most mysterious works in music history to date is the Chaconne by Johann Sebastian Bach, a work that was composed for the violin and transcribed several times for the piano, a work played by orchestras, organists and guitarists, cellists and drummers.
In the summer of 1720 Bach returned from Karlovy Vary after a business trip lasting several months. What he didn't know: he came back as a widower. Maria Barbara, his wife, had died shortly before. Bach could only say goodbye to her at the grave. A little laterhe started composing a partita for solo violin. The key: dark, D minor. The first four movements are 155 bars long, but the fifth, the chaconne, is beyond the scope. It stretches over 257 bars and revolves around several choral themes dealing with death and resurrection. As later in the Goldberg Variations, Bach places the main theme in the bass part, and both works are based on a saraband rhythm. Robert Schumann arranged the Chaconne in 1853 for violin with an obligatory piano part, and Johannes Brahms designed a version for piano around 1877, “An exercise for the left hand”, as he called it. In Ferruccio Busani's Bach arrangements published between 1916 and 1919, the Chaconne occupies the most prominent place. Busoni created a sophisticated concert piece from the template, with opulent, organ-like timbres. At first he had even thought of an orchestral version, but then changed his mind.
When Martin Stadtfeld was asked to put this version of Busoni on the program for a concert in Asia, he noticed, in spite of all admiration, “that this editing did not go with my feelings emotionally, because every transcription already contains part of the interpretation.” So Stadtfeld began to look for a way to determine his inner resistance. Busoni's version seemed too bombastic, too virtuosic, too massive. Naturally, Stadtfeld's version also emphasizes the bass foundation, whose rhythmic structure contains “something archaic” for him, especially in connection with the interval of the fifth - the interval in which a violin is tuned. What is important about his processing is Stadtfeld that he has “found different colors for the respective parts, which should differentiate themselves from each other”.
Stadtfeld does not want to exclude that there was already an earlier form of this chaconne in Bach's world of thought. Of course, like so much with Bach, this cannot be demonstrated. “But some nesting in major reminds me of his earlier organ works and the circle around the empty strings is known from the D minor toccata.” Bach had already written this during his time in Arnstadt, where he was employed from 1703. Finally, Stadtfeld recognizes in the bass dominance of the Chaconne a spiritual closeness to the C minor Passacaglia BWV 582, which should al
Description: The D-minor Chaconne is undoubtedly the most famous movement of all of Bach's 6 Sonatas and Partitas for violin solo. So it is hardly surprising that it has seen many arrangements. Johannes Brahms marvelled at how a single staff of music could offer “a whole world of the deepest thoughts and the mightiest emotions”. He promptly made his own arrangement; it is for left hand alone, in order to come close to the restrictive framework of the original. He wrote enthusiastically: “A similar degree of difficulty, the manner of technique, the arpeggios – everything comes together to make me feel like a violinist!” This Henle Urtext edition by Valerie Woodring-Goertzen is based on the text of the new Brahms Complete Edition. In her foreword she also offers fascinating details aboutthe compositional history of this unusual work.
Description: Who isn't familiar with Johann Sebastian Bach's Chaconne, the final movement in his Partita in D minor for violin solo? Time and again composers have been inspired to make this exceptional piece accessible for other instruments. Perhaps the best-known arrangement is by Ferrucio Busoni. Without distancing himself too greatly from Bach's original, he endeavours to transpose the virtuosity of the string writing onto the piano. Thus Busoni wrote for the piano in a way that congenially makes the most of the capabilities of the modern piano. Our Urtext edition not only takes into account the traditional sources but also meticulously analyses a piano roll in great depth on which Busoni himself can be heard. The fingerings were provided by none other than Marc-André Hamelin.
Description: Alongside the “Chaconne” for violin, the ten “Chorale Preludes” for organ are Busoni's best-known piano transcriptions of works by J. S. Bach. Unlike the “Chaconne,” which Busoni envisaged for concert performance, he transcribed the “Chorale Preludes” in “chamber-music style.” A great deal of this organ/piano edition can also be played by advanced amateurs. Henle is publishing Busoni's definitive version in the first modern Urtext edition with valuable fingering suggestions by Marc-André Hamelin. And what is more, in the appendix they are publishing an eleventh chorale prelude for the first time: Busoni's transcription of “Aus tiefer Not.” With regard to performing its six-part setting, the composer himself spoke of an “extreme performance limit” – but why not judge for yourself!
Description: The melodic, often linear nature of the vocal parts compliments the rhythmic animation creating a musically satisfying performance opportunity for treble choirs. With optional String and Basso Continuo. (4:00)