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Bach, Johann Sebastian Johann Sebastian Bach
Germany Germany
(1685 - 1750)
7019 sheet music
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Harp Sheet music Harp Johann Sebastian Bach
Bach, Johann Sebastian: Chromatic Fantasia & Fugue for Harp

Chromatic Fantasia & Fugue for Harp
BWV 903
Johann Sebastian Bach

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Composer :Johann Sebastian BachBach, Johann Sebastian (1685 - 1750)
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Publisher :
Johann Sebastian BachMagatagan, Mike (1960 - )
Key :D minor
Copyright :Public Domain
Johann Sebastian Bach was a member of a family that had for generations been occupied in music. His sons were to continue the tradition, providing the foundation of a new style of music that prevailed in the later part of the eighteenth century. Johann Sebastian Bach himself represented the end of an age, the culmination of the Baroque in a magnificent synthesis of Italian melodic invention, French rhythmic dance forms and German contrapuntal mastery.

Born in Eisenach in 1685, Bach was educated largely by his eldest brother, after the early death of his parents. At the age of eighteen he embarked on his career as a musician, serving first as a court musician at Weimar, before appointment as organist at Arnstadt. Four years later he moved to Mühlhausen as organist and the following year became organist and chamber musician to Duke Wilhelm Ernst of Weimar. Securing his release with difficulty, in 1717 he was appointed Kapellmeister to Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cöthen and remained at Cöthen until 1723, when he moved to Leipzig as Cantor at the School of St.Thomas, with responsibility for the music of the five principal city churches. Bach was to remain in Leipzig until his death in 1750.

J.S. Bach was one of the most renowned keyboardists of his day, and he left a rich legacy of music for harpsichord originally intended for instruction and ‘spiritual refreshment’. This recording of mostly lesser-known works includes several early examples which afford fascinating insights into the young composer’s experimentation with counterpoint, harmony and form. They are all compelling, emotionally powerful works in their own right, with virtuoso content and an expressive range that easily matches that of Bach’s more famous keyboard pieces.

Much of J.S. Bach's keyboard music has, over the course of the last several decades, been transplanted from its nineteenth century home in the piano repertoire back to the care of harpsichordists, its original interpreters. There are really just a few Bach keyboard works that are still widely and actively performed by the world's pianists: the Well-Tempered Clavier and the Goldberg Variations, certainly, and the English and French Suites -- and the Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue in D minor, BWV 903, a work of such color and vitality that it would be foolish to ever expect pianists to completely let it go (even if that nature of the writing, especially in the Fantasia portion, makes for a piece that works better on a plucked keyboard instrument such as the harpsichord).

The Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue survives in several slightly different versions. BWV 903a dates from some time before 1720; the version we know as BWV 903 dates from about 1720, when Bach was living and working in Cöthen; and around 1730, after having moved to Leipzig, Bach revised the piece again. The work's name is not a random one: there is indeed chromaticism in profusion throughout both the wild, flowing arpeggiations and rich recitative-like passagework of the Fantasia and the comparatively lean counterpoint of the following fugue, whose subject is built around a sequential chromatic ascent. The work is a sizable one -- 79 measures for the Fantasia, 161 for the Fugue -- and one that takes strong, dexterous fingers to articulate clearly.

Source: Allmusic ( -and-fugue-for-keyboard-in-d-minor-bwv-903-bc-l34-mc000 2356616).

Although originally written for Harpsichord. I created this Arrangement of the Chromatic Fantasia & Fugue (BWV 903) for Concert (Pedal) Harp.
Source / Web :MuseScore
Sheet central :Fantaisie chromatique et Fugue (8 sheet music)
Added by magataganm the 2017-05-15

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This sheet music is part of the collection of magataganm :
Harp Arrangements
arrangements pour harpe
Collection of Harp Arramgements
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