Home > Quartet > Prelude and Fugue in C major

Prelude and Fugue in C major

J. S. Bach arr. Peter Foster
Year of arrangement
Difficult (Grades 7+)
7 minutes
Classical music

Clarinet players obviously do not have the opportunity of performing Bach’s music in its original form. Various arrangers have transcribed Bach’s harpsichord music for clarinet ensemble, despite the fundamental differences in articulation between wind instruments and plucked strings. However, Bach’s organ music offers a repertoire in which the attack and sustain of the original instrument much more closely matches what clarinets can achieve. I therefore offer this arrangement of Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in C, BWV 547. Bach’s use of an augmentation fugue has a clear parallel with variation 5 of his Canonic Variations on Von Himmel hoch; this has led some writers to speculate that this Prelude and Fugue was intended as a Christmas piece. Whether or not this is correct, the gigue-like dance rhythms of the prelude certainly give the piece a festive spirit.

For two Bb clarinets, alto and bass. An ossia version of the alto clarinet part is available for basset horn if required. The score of this arrangement is offered free of charge; the intention thereby is to enable quartets to print out an 'approval' copy and decide whether they like it. If you like the arrangement and wish to perform it, please could you then purchase a set of parts.

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