J.S. Bach : arr. Raymond Burley
Les Productions D’Oz: Score and separate parts (48, 11, 11,7,8,8 and 8 pages respectively)
This score has been arranged for two soloists and quartet, or ensemble in four parts and was arranged from the original key of C minor, to G minor. BWV1060 exists now in two editions, firstly for oboe , violin and string accompaniment, and secondly for two harpsichords and strings, but it is suggested that a lost original might have been written for two violins.
The work is in 3 movements, and begins with an Allegro, the theme for which is transformed in various ways throughout it, but only returning to its original form at the end of the movement. Of course, with Bach, all the parts are full of notes, and so every player has to be very good indeed. The fourth guitar ensemble part is tuned to a dropped D 6th throughout, and although there are a few odd moments when players have a slightly easier path, they don’t last for long and so a superb knowledge of the entire fingerboard is essential. The second movement, an Adagio has a cantabile melody which is imitated across both the solo guitars and accompanied by pizzicato notes in the ensemble. This continues for almost the entire movement with the exception of a small passage of 4 bars towards its close. Again the soloists are moving constantly in their solo. The final movement is an Allegro set in 2/4 and has an up – tempo Bourree like theme that recurs throughout in the ensemble and also (varied slightly) in the two soloist parts.
With Bach, you know exactly what you are getting, and it surely goes without saying that this music is wonderful on guitars, and should be tackled by any group up to the technical challenge, for it is quite an extended piece, and consisting of wonderfully involving music throughout.