Johann Sebastian Bach
Fantasia and Fugue in C Minor : BWV 537

Arranged by Ralph Sauer

eight trombones

Vancouver, BC, , Canada
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2015


This arrangement is splendid. Score and parts are neatly formatted, cue notes are appropriately marked, and page turns are well-planned. The seventh part requires the use of trombone with F-attachment and the eighth part requires the use of bass trombone. Range extends from BB-flat to c2. Originally composed for organ, Sauer has modified this work so that the most glorious aspects of the sound of the trombone are highlighted. The most interesting changes involve his own interpretations regarding tempo, articulations, dynamics, and phrase markings. The meter has been changed from 6/4 to 3/4, which is different than some of the closest original sources to Bach’s autograph. For example, a manuscript copied by one of Bach’s students, Johann Tobias Krebs, is in 6/4 meter. The meter could have been altered for a number of reasons, perhaps to encourage a lighter performance. In any event the 3/4 meter makes phrases clearer when performed by trombones, allowing appropriate places to breathe and avoiding interruption of musical lines. Sauer has left the contour and shape of each phrase intact except for certain necessary octave displacements. He has also left the work in its original key. Texture has been thickened with added voices to reinforce both harmonic structure and rhythm. Articulations have been added to allow for greater change of texture and color. This piece will be of interest to those programming for an intermediate to advanced trombone choir or double trombone quartet concert.

Reviewer: Thomas Macaluso
Review Published January 31, 2019