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Toccata & Fugue in D Minor for Brass Choir by J.S. Bach. transcribed by Ralph Sauer, pub. Trigram


Item Details

Signature organ work transcribed by Ralph Sauer for 14-piece brass choir.

The Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565, is a piece of organ music written, according to its oldest extant sources, by Johann Sebastian Bach.  Its time of origin, narrowed down depending on author, lies between c.1704 and the 1750s.  The piece opens with a toccata section, followed by a fugue that ends in a coda.  To a large extent the piece complies to the characteristics deemed typical for the north German organ school of the baroque era, but divergent stylistic influences, such as south German characteristics, have been described in scholarly literature on the piece.
In the first century of its existence the entire reception history of the Toccata and Fugue in D minor consists of being saved from oblivion by maybe not more than a single manuscript copy.  Then it took about a century from its first publication as a little known organ composition by Johann Sebastian Bach to becoming one of the signature pieces of the composer. The composition's third century took it from Bach's most often recorded organ piece to a composition with an unclear origin. Despite Mendelssohn's opinion that it was "at the same time learned and something for the people", followed by a fairly successful piano transcription in the second half of the 19th century, it wasn't until the 1900s that it rose above the average notability of an organ piece by Bach.  Stokowski's orchestration, featured in a Disney film in 1940, appears to have been instrumental in assuring its status as an evergreen by the 1980s, around which time scholars started to seriously doubt its attribution to Bach.

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