Johann Sebastian Bach most likely composed the Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue during his stay in Kothen between 1717 and 1723. Originally written for the harpsichord, the work was duly recognized as a masterpiece within its own era.
Néstor Ausqui has taken extraordinary measures in creating a guitar transcription of this monumental piece. The fundamental tonality of D minor was retained to preserve the work’s sonority, and the 6th string of the guitar had to be lowered to D to expand the guitar’s range and adhere to the original key.
The articulation of the piece often requires the use of the slur technique to maintain and enhance the legato effect in the melodic line. As the guitar has a more percussive character than the harpsichord, various inconveniences occur in the management or execution of the legato, but the transcriber has done his best to preserve the character of the original piece.
Ausqui admits that the most arduous task was the fingering of the piece. He had to familiarize himself with Bach’s intentions and avoid shortcuts and aberrations which would have depleted the original harmonies and melodies. In the process, he discovered that utilization of the open strings can subtly enhance the balance of right and left-hand duties to achieve the timbre the original score mandates.
Written in standard notation only, with each line of music forming only one measure, this piece is meant for the classical guitarist willing to accept an interpretive challenge to reap enormous musical benefits.