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Johann Sebastian Bach: Bach - 10 Fugues: Arr. (Fred Thomas): String Quartet

Score and Parts | Sheet Music and Books

COMPOSER: Johann Sebastian Bach
PUBLISHER: Spartan Press
PRODUCT FORMAT: Score and Parts
The idea for these arrangements came to me whilst listening to the Hagen Quartet's beautiful recording of the fugues that form part of Haydn's 'Sun Quartets', Op. 20. The spirit and influence of J.S. Bach, in particular his Well Tempered Clavier, Book II, courses through these three miraculous Haydn
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Specifications
Composer Johann Sebastian Bach
Arranger Fred Thomas
Publisher Spartan Press
Product Format Score and Parts
Genre Classical
Year of Publication 2018
StylePeriodView Description Baroque
Style Baroque
ISMN 9790579983767
Instrumentation String Quartet
No. SP1376
Composer Johann Sebastian Bach
Description

The idea for these arrangements came to me whilst listening to the Hagen Quartet's beautiful recording of the fugues that form part of Haydn's 'Sun Quartets', Op. 20. The spirit and influence of J.S. Bach, in particular his Well Tempered Clavier, Book II, courses through these three miraculous Haydn fugues.

Like the viol consort, the string quartet suits this kind of composition (the fugue), with all four instruments sufficiently similar in character to each other to match the extraordinary unity and economy of the counterpoint. A string quartet playing Bach fugues is a good example of a harmonious relationship between form andcontent: just as there is a unifying principle behind the construction of the four string instruments, so there is (usually) a single theme or subject that unifies the construction of a four-part fugue. Thus the form enacts the content, telling you
something about the text and message within.

Apart from Haydn's and a handful of other composers' wondrous creations, there's little fugal writing for string quartet, at least in comparison with the abundance of other forms. This was another reason to make these arrangements. The quartet offers a melodic independence impossible to achieve on a single instrument. And I believe the technical and interpretative challenges posed by this repertoire – lightness of sound and rhythmic fluidity, for example - will
be very valuable to quartets seeking the holy grail: a unified sound.

Perhaps the simplest and most compelling reason for this work is that I just love this music more than I can say. These dazzling pieces, mostly fast, bright and in major keys, show Bach at his most playful, funny and mischievous, composing for an instrument rarely associated with these qualities. And so I'm very happy to offer string quartets these little know fugues, written by my favourite composer - a violinist and violist himself, but above all a

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