You have already purchased this score. To download and print the PDF file of this score, click the 'Print' button below.
The purchases page in your account also shows your items available to print.
This score is available free of charge. Just click the print button below.
This popular piece by JS Bach, though made famous through its use in Hamlet cigar adverts, is originally part of the Orchestral Suite No 3 in D Major and written for Bach's employer Prince Leopold, in the little principality of Anhalt-C�then between 1717 and 1723, the 'Air on the G string' arrived in its current popular form over 100 years later, when German violinist August Wilhelmj (1845-1908) arranged the piece for violin and piano to be played on the evocative G-string of the violin.
My arrangement celebrates the confluence of those two events. Having never heard August Wilhelmj�s arrangement I�ve approached my task purely from my own study and observation, writing down �by ear� only what I can hear, extrapolated from other arrangements and working out my own from a creative standpoint.
August Wilhelm�s arrangement may well have been purely for violin and piano, but I too am intrigued by the notion of playing this air on the G string of the violin.
I have never been able to find a useful arrangement purely for a string quartet in which the violin is primarily played on the G string, probably because the piece was originally Scored for first and second violins, viola, and continuo. And now that I want some challenges for my new youthful violin I decided to create my own arrangement, again by ear and instinct, and allowing a pizzicato cello to take the continuo part. Having tried to play part of the piece on the G string of the violin, I can attest to the difficulty involved, especially when one�s hands are small, like mine and somewhat careless due to M.S.
The thing which caught my attention whilst studying Bach�s Orchestral Suite No 3 in D Major is the means, syntax, musical grammar and structure of the piece. It�s orchestration and progression are highly reminiscent of the late 19th century Romantic movement and, I believe, owes more to the reinterpretation by the German violinist August Wilhelmj who arranged it initially for violin and piano, than to Bach himself. www.harmony.org.uk/book/syntax_music.htm .
The Romantic music era was the predominant music era of the 19th century. It directly followed and grew out of the classical music era. Romantic composers expanded on the forms and structures established in the previous era, experimenting with tonality, including increased use of chromaticism and dissonance. Music became longer, resulting in new innovations in form such as cyclic form and program music
The musical language and form is so like that of Remo Giazotto who �reconstructed� Albinoni�s Adagio for organ and strings from a fragment, that it is clearly of contiguous eras.
I speak with some experience of having arranged some Bach organ pieces for strings.
A major significance for this sudden explosion of newly rediscovered Baroque and Classical music was the advent of recorded sound. Musicians wanted to utilise the new technology of first the wax cylinder, then the shellac disk. With the technology established by the middle of the 20th century, global music culture blossomed to heights never before experienced, leaving the rich legacy we have inherited.
Today, of course, music is both inspired by and driven by the technology for reproducing it, in addition to traditional methods. However, if anything, our age is more honest than that of our forbears as we strive to reveal the origin of each piece and faithfully reproduce it. Having said that, there is still room for being inspired by �the classics� and for reinterpreting them for our own purposes.
Hence, I feel justification in reinterpreting Bach�s Air from his Suite number 3 in D major. In truth, Bach never wrote a piece called �Air on the G String�, - German violinist August Wilhelmj, did. He wanted to explore the challenge of playing an air entirely of the G string. Just as Albinoni never wrote an Adagio for organ and strings, - Milanese musicologist, Remo Giazotto did in 1945, using a small fragment of a Trio Sonata which consisted of the bass line and six bars of melody, which he discovered in Dresden State Library. It is ironic that Albinoni's rediscovery by the wider public in our own times was largely based on this ever-popular piece which Albinoni would only barely recognize.
Naturally, my reinterpretation of the Air on the G String, is of my own era, and will always sound like it. But, nonetheless, I hope it is easily playable by strings enthusiasts and interesting to play.
You might find these references below useful: www.lasr.cs.ucla.edu/geoff/prognotes/bach/airGstring.html www.8notes.com/biographies/bach.asp www.gear4music.com/String_Instruments/Violins.html www.naxos.com/composerinfo/4889.htm www.britannica.com/eb/article-9076996 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_Wilhelmj www.picturehistory.com/find/p/19769/mcms.html www.artekrecordings.com/artek/CD11contents.htm
Score Exchange has two methods to display previews of music: seView which uses regular html and javascipt and the Scorch plug-in from Avid which needs to be downloaded and installed onto your computer. Both have advantages and disadvantages:
You do not need to install any additional software to use seView.
Scorch is a free plug-in from Avid for displaying and printing music. It can also play the music that you're seeing. Scorch generally works well if you're using a windows computer, but is currently not compatible with mobile devices and some web browsers on Mac computers.
If your web browser does not install Scorch automatically, you can click here to download and install scorch manually.
In order to submit this score to ScoreExchange.com Peter Dewar-Finch has declared that they own the copyright to this work in its entirety or that they have been granted permission from the copyright holder to use their work. If you believe that this score should be not available here because it infringes your or someone elses copyright, please report this score using the copyright abuse form.
The PDF of this score should start downloading automatically, or alternatively click the download button below, or use this link to download the pdf.
All content on Score Exchange is priced is US dollars. However, for your convenience we can also display prices (and you can pay) using British Pounds Sterling (GBP).
Show prices in: