Johann Sebastian Bach
Little Fugue in G minor, BWV 578:

Arranged by Jim Tempest

Brass Ensemble: trumpet in D, 2 b-flat trumpets, flugelhorn, 2 horns in f, 2 trombones, bass trombone, tuba

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2018



The ‘Little Fugue’ is also known as ‘The Farmer’s Fugue’ as it has long been a favourite of village organists in Germany. It is one of Bach’s earliest works, thought to have been written before his appointment at Mülhausen in 1707. This arrangement is scored for trumpet in D, 2 trumpets in B-flat, flugelhorn in B-flat, 2 horns in F, 2 tenor trombones, bass trombone, euphonium and tuba, 11 parts. Available combinations are skillfully exploited to provide a range of sonorities and everyone gets an interesting and agreeably challenging part.

Trombone parts are given in bass clef; 1st and 2nd top out at g¹; bass trombone range is CC-g. Trumpet parts are a little more demanding: B-flat trumpet 1 tops out at b-flat², and the D trumpet at c³ (concert). First entry of the main subject is on B-flat trumpet 2, followed by trumpet 1, euphonium, tuba, 2nd horn, 1st horn, 3rd trombone and tuba. Only the last seven measures are tutti, with a crescendo from mezzo forte to a final fortissimo on a G major chord spread over four octaves.

Jim Tempest lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada, where he teaches and plays trombone. He is Senior Director of Music for the Canadian Army.

Reviewer: Keith Davies Jones
Review Published June 14, 2019