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ProduitsPartitions pour guitare4 guitaresToccata and Fugue, BWV 565

Toccata and Fugue, BWV 565

Toccata and Fugue, BWV 565

Compositeur: BACH J.S.

Arrangeur: SPARKS Jeremy

DO 766


ISBN: 978-2-89503-541-1 

4 guitares

20 p. + parties séparées
Les Éditions Doberman-Yppan

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Yes, it is that Toccata and Fugue - but not in the original key. With the bottom string of Guitar One tuned way down to A, there's going to be a floppy, quiet, but remarkably deep bass in this piece. Changing the key does at least allow the top open E to feature as a repeated high pedal note in many of the fast passages, where it adds an almost Spanish Guitar/Asturias feel which is quite refreshing. In the toccata there is also a considerable amount of campanella work and cross-string trills which make the reading harder but the playing easier.
The fugue also has many repeated notes, but there are only so many open strings we can take advantage of, and this has much more work in the left hand to support the semiquavers. But the work is shared out, and all the forces will find themselves all over the neck in this piece. In the arpeggio section, the work is shared between the four guitars and again some judicious open strings make things slightly less frantic for the left hand. However, this is a behemoth and the comparatively comfortable opening of the fugue turns into a real trial of stamina and agility. Many of the really short notes are, as the original testifies, not all that quick, but some of the arpeggios are a bit of a handful because they require repeated notes on some strings and not on others - a side effect of the way the guitar is tuned.
Four competent players are needed - this is not for a mixed ability group. Although the full range of the neck is used, there are still some rather deep and rather rapid arpeggios and these will be hard to bring off cleanly.
This cannot be expected to have the majesty of the original, but the interplay is rather lovely and it will have an appeal to the audience if only because who's playing what and when is not that obvious. The downside is that four guitarists fail to achieve what one power-assisted turbo-charged organist can - it makes the guitar look rather a feeble instrument. The upside is that it's so much more interesting to watch four players having fun than it is to stare at the back of an organist.
Derek Hasted (Classical Guitar Magazine)

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