Johann Sebastian Bach
Three-Part Inventions (Sinfonias, BWV 787-801):

Arranged by Ralph Sauer

Trombone trio: 3 trombones: 2 tenor, 1 bass trombone

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Publisher: Cherry Classics Music
Date of Publication: 2022

Score and parts.


This set comprises 15 Sinfonias, BWV 787-801, written for keyboard at Leipzig in 1723. Eight are in major keys: C, D, E-flat, E, F, G, A and B-flat, and seven in minor: c, d, e, f, g, a and b. Meter include 4/4, 12/8, 3/4, 9/8, and 3/8. Sinfonia 5, in 3/4, stands out by virtue of its dotted rhythms.

The arrangement is for two tenor trombones and bass trombone, suitable for advanced players. Parts 1 and 2 are in tenor clef, topping out at c² and a¹ respectively; third part goes down to AA. All parts are characterised by passages of smoothly flowing 16th’s. Those neglecting scale practice will find them quite challenging!

The arranger has chosen not to include any ornaments, indicating that there were few in the earliest manuscript copies, and that they may be added ‘at the performer’s discretion.’ He also notes that only two general tempo indications are used - Lento (5) and Allegro (10), and within those guidelines, an appropriate speed may be chosen. This is both excellent study material and a worthwhile addition to the performance repertoire.


Reviewer: Keith Davies Jones
Review Published July 31, 2022