J.S. Bach (arranged by Ansgar Krause for 3 guitars or mandolin and 2 guitars)
Les Productions D’Oz: score and separate parts (21, 8, 8, 8, and 8 pages respectively)
Bach wrote this work originally for viola da gamba and harpsichord obbligato, and then also arranged it for two flutes and continuo. Here Krause has arranged it for 3 guitars, but also as the guitar 1 part is entirely single notes, he has suggested it could be played on a mandolin, which because it replicates the right hand of the harpsichord part is particularly effective as an alternative. Incidentally the Preface goes into details with regards to Bach’s ornaments that he utilizes, always a useful thing to have at hand.
The work is set in four movements, beginning with an Adagio, and guitar 3 with a dropped D 6th.using three instruments means that all the guitar parts are single lines, and the 3rd guitar is often playing the lowest line. The three parts are very playable and it all works really well and sounds very convincing in this version.
Then an extensive Allegro ma non Troppo full of running semi-quavers takes the difficulty factor a notch or two higher, before an Andante of modest proportions provides a considerable contrast .
The final Allegro Moderato is again a considerable movement and has a constant flow of running notes that move from one part to another, requiring a very proficient trio to play it.
With Bach, you know that you are getting wonderful music, and here with the arrangement done by Krause you now realize that this is top – class, needing really good players to do it justice but everything is well worth the effort it might require, because the end result is quite a piece!