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Johann Pachelbel : Ciacona : Bergmann

Updated: Jun 4, 2022

Johann Pachelbel: arranged for guitar by Thomas Bocklenberg

Bergmann Edition: 15 pages

The story of this Ciacona is a fascinating one as it was played by Segovia in the 30s, as witnessed on several programmes , but then the manuscript of his arrangement , supposedly sent to Schott for publication was lost, and in spite of many searches for it by the guitarist Andreas Stevens in the Schott archives it remained lost. So he consulted a friend to get him to make a guitar version of it. The result is what you have here. (Incidentally, the entire piece performed by Andreas Stevens, and the story of the search is available on an 18 minute clip on YouTube.)

So what we find here is a piece , originally in F minor, now moved to A minor (thank goodness!) , and an extended piece of writing by Pachelbel, that I personally have never heard before, and I would bet that many readers might be in the same position. It is an extended piece, as is the more famous Bach version, but let me state right from the start, that it is not as long or indeed (without being unkind) quite as majestic as the Bach, but then again, what would be ? That said, this is a wonderful piece, full of drama, and a real workout for the guitarist who sees the music. It stays throughout in the minor key, and does have a few stretches that might give the smaller hand a little bit of trouble, but is nevertheless a fine recital piece, for any player brave enough to give it a try in front of an audience, and as such I can recommend this as a real find !

Chris Dumigan

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