This is an arrangement for saxophones of the Fugue by J.S.Bach from the “Fantasia & Fugue in G Minor” (BWV542), and a perfect example of the genre whose definition is “music where strands of melody are woven together into a rich texture”.
It is generally agreed that Bach wrote the whole work for performance in Hamburg when he went there from Weimar in 1720, and performed for the 97-year-old Hamburg organist, Reinken. The original Fantasia was derived in style from Buxtehude, but the theme of the jolly Fugue featured here is based on one by Reinken himself – or is at least a tribute to the old man’s Dutch connections.
Whatever the history of the music, in this arrangement the players are driven at a furious pace from bar 1 to bar 229, the melody line artfully dovetailed between all the parts, making for a piece that demands playing again and again.
The Fugue in G minor is also available as a saxophone quintet, a clarinet quintet and has even been expanded by Nigel Wood for the National Saxophone Choir with instruments ranging from Soprillo to Tubax and all in between. This trio version condenses the whole piece down to three intense parts, picking the juiciest bits from the original arrangement, but still keeping the momentum and drive from the first bar to the last!
The E-Edition PDF bundle comes with the following parts:
“Fugue in G minor” is also available in hard-copy from June Emerson Wind Music.