Wednesday 15 June 2016

JS Bach's Chaconne for Saxophone Quartet

This piece of music originates as a movement from one of JS Bach's Partitas for solo violin - and as such is maybe the greatest single piece of music for that solo instrument. It is also well known in Busoni's transcription for piano - which is also one of my favourite pieces. Here it is done extremely well in a live performance by the Morosco Saxophone Quartet - a combination of soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxes. Listen to the whole thing - the music is quite astonishingly inventive around a very simple repeating bass/ chordal structure (which is what a 'chaconne' is) - and the arrangement by a chap called Andrew Charlton brings out the variety beautifully.


la seganzu said...

I can't say I'm a fan of this arrangement, I found some of the alterations jarring. At the beginning Bach does a 3-1 pattern of dotted quarter eight into dotted eighth sixteenth, but this right from the start is double dotted quarter sixteenth. They also take time at the end of many phrases.

One aspect of the original that I find most beautiful is that it is flowing and continuous. It has a meditative quality. This arrangement is filled with stops and starts and shortened notes.

Bruce Charlton said...

@ls - I listened to it twice in a row, and found it very satisfying. It is such a strong piece - and it is by JSB - both of which mean that it is (in principle) robust to a wide range of interpretations and arrangements - but there is, of course, the over-riding fact of individual engagement and preference.

Bruce Charlton said...

Thanks to those who pointed out that the title said 'sex' ophone, now corrected. It was partly a typo, partly late-evening haste; but partly that I have crumby eyesight (as Holden Caulfield would have spelled it) and it wasn't obvious to me. (Also Blogger's spellchecker doesn't work on titles - even on the few occasions that it does work...)