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J.S. Bach arr. Jan Bruun Rasmussen : Fugue BWV1000:Bergmann

Updated: Jun 5, 2022

J.S. Bach: arr. Jan Bruun Rasmussen

Bergmann Edition: 10 pages

Over the years I have accumulated a number of editions of this justly famous piece each with its own slightly different responses to the original Violin solo written in the rather un - guitaristic key of Gm.

Everybody’s edition that I have seen moves it up a tone into a much more user – friendly Am, and this latest edition is no exception. Of course the odd fingerings change from edition to edition, and that is perfectly fine, as long as all the notes, or at least as many as possible are from the original source, and as few notes as possible are added extra, or taken from the original.

That said this latest edition shows a lot of thought has gone into the entire work and although it is never an easy piece to play, the arranger has made it as physically guitaristic as possible. The interesting fact about this piece is that there are more than one slightly different versions of this Fugue, as evidenced by the opening few bars , which are quite different , depending on which original you are arranging from . Hence the fact that the Fugue itself is listed as BWV1000, whilst its inclusion in the Sonata for unaccompanied violin as the 2nd movement is BWV1001, and isn’t the same .I would have liked a scholarly preface in the volume explaining its history and the thinking behind the arranger’s choices but I realize that that is not absolutely necessary.

As it stands it is, as everyone who has heard it knows ,a wonderful piece of writing that works fabulously well on the guitar and in some ways sounds better on our instrument than the original violin, as the chords are much easier to play together on the guitar. This edition is well thought out, carefully fingered and nicely presented and as such is both viable and very useful, should you not yet possess this legendary piece already.

Chris Dumigan

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