Franz Liszt was a 19th-century Hungarian composer,
pianist, conductor, and teacher. Liszt became renowned
throughout Europe during the nineteenth century for his
virtuosic skill as a pianist. He was said by his
contemporaries to have been the most technically
advanced pianist of his age and perhaps the greatest
pianist of all time. He was also a well-known composer,
piano teacher, and conductor who contributed
significantly to the modern development of the art. He
was a benefactor to other composers, including Richard
Wagner, Hector Berlioz, Camille Saint-Saëns, Edvard
Grieg and Alexander Borodin. As a composer, Liszt was
one of the most prominent representatives of the
"Neudeutsche Schule" ("New German School"). He left
behind an extensive and diverse body of work in which
he influenced his forward-looking contemporaries and
anticipated some 20th-century ideas and trends. Some of
his most notable contributions were the invention of
the symphonic poem, developing the concept of thematic
transformation as part of his experiments in musical
form and making radical departures in harmony.
Fantasie und Fuge über das Thema B-A-C-H (also in the
first version known as Präludium und Fuge über das
Motiv B-A-C-H, title in English: Fantasy and Fugue on
the Theme B-A-C-H) (S.260i/ii [1st/2nd version],
S.529i/ii [piano arrangement of 1st/2nd version]) is an
organ fantasy on the BACH motif composed by Franz Liszt
in 1855, later revised in 1870.
Both versions were transcribed for solo piano by the
composer. The piece was dedicated to Alexander
Winterberger (who also played it on the premiere, 13
May 1856) and published by Breitkopf & Härtel in 1856.
It is, along with the Fantasy and Fugue on the chorale
Ad nos, ad salutarem undam, one of Liszt's most famous
organ works. It was composed for the consecration of
the Ladegast organ in the Merseburg Cathedral. The
piece is a recurring piece in the organ repertory and
is frequently performed.
Although originally composed for Pipe Organ, I created
this interpretation for String Quintet (2 Violins,
Viola, Cello and Bass).