J.S. Bach arr. David Juritz: Goldberg Variations arranged for Violin, Guitar & Cello [Printed Music]



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The dilemma facing any arranger of Bach is to stay true to the character of his music knowing, all the while, that he would have been infinitely more imaginative and far bolder than they’d dare to be. I have attempted to remain in a sound-world that Bach would have found familiar but there are some instances where I have deliberately chosen to do the wrong thing. A particularly egregious example is at the beginning of the first variation where I have divided Bach’s seven-note bass figure between guitar and cello, thereby vandalising the beautiful pattern of a 41-note right-hand figure spread over four bars of seven notes each in the bass. Using only two players at that point would have been more correct but I felt that it was important to have the complete trio involved as they embark on one of the great musical journeys. I am sure there will be other errors that I don’t even know I have made but I hope that these won’t detract from the enjoyment of performers or listeners.

Guitarists will notice that the writing frequently approaches the extreme upper end of the instrument’s register, particularly in the canons. I felt it imperative that these were realised in the original register in order to observe the different degrees of the scale. On the other hand, the sense of high or low is also relative to an instrument’s range so, if playing for enjoyment or even in concert, these could be taken down an octave for comfort.

I had two factors on my side while working on this project: Bach’s sublime and rigorous counterpoint and, in Craig Ogden, a virtuoso guitarist whose technical accomplishment is matched only by his Aussie ability to remain unruffled in the face of any challenge. David Juritz

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