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J.S. Bach – A.Siloti : Prelude in Bm BWV 855a: Bergmann

J.S. Bach/A Siloti – Transcribed for guitar by Marek Wegrzyk

Bergmann Edition: 5 pages

This is one of a series of Bach transcriptions by Wegrzyk wherein he proposes a slightly unusual tuning of 3 to F# ( as per renaissance lute ) but also 4 to C#, which does take a little getting used to when trying to read the piece. However I do agree with him that it does in places create quite a surprisingly successful result.

As for the actual piece it became in its final version the 10th prelude of Book 1 of the Well – Tempered Clavier, but that is not what you get here. After that the Russian pianist and pupil of Liszt and teacher of Rachmaninoff, Siloti, transformed it, by putting the bass line in the treble, and then changing the key to Bm. It is this version that Wegrzyk has transcribed for guitar.

As it now stands here, the piece is on two staves, with a multitude of Right and Left hand fingerings provided, so that you cannot possibly get the wrong idea about what our guitarist requires. As it now stands it is a 44 bar piece of superb music with plenty of chance to show your worth as a player. There are a number of voices that are in various places on the stave, and need bringing out, above the semi – quaver pattern that is a constant factor of this little piece.

So, if you like the challenge of two staves and two retuned strings, then as with nearly all Bach, the piece is a wonderful example of his writing, and as such I can highly recommend this piece.

Chris Dumigan

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