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Suite for Organ on a theme from Johann Sebastian Bach

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Uploaded by: petervdzwaag (12/14/20)
Composer: Beeftink, Johan
Sample Producer: Sonus Paradisi
Sample Set: Zwolle, St. Michael
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Contemporary
In 1985 I was commisioned by “Stichting Bach 1985” to write a large work for organ. Two conditions were made: the composition would have to be connected to J.S. Bach in some way and it should be suited for performance on any of the historic organs in the north of our country.
The first condition eventually led to the choice of the sarabande from the 1st French Suite BWV 812 for harpsichord by J.S. Bach, as the point of departure for an organ suite with the following movements: Introduction, Sarabande, Air, Intermezzo and Toccata. This organ suite is not a (baroque) collection of dances in one and the same key, which is the characterization of a typical suite from Bach’s era. Nor it is a partita, in which Bach’s Sarabande is varied in a lineair fashion throughout each characteristic movement. It is in fact a series of more ore less free fantasies, in each of which different elements of the Sarabande are treated.
The required connection to Bach caused me to avoid incomprehensive experiments in structure and tone material. I rather chose to use a logical phrasing, related to Bach and (quasi) tonal harmonies. I have felt it as a challenge to “translate” Bach into a 20th century idiom, assisted by the existing compositional techniques.
The second condition, that the work should be suited for performance on our historic instruments, I have met by taking into account the nature of wind-supply on these instruments and the limited compass of their keyboards: the keyboard part does not extend the high C and the pedal part does not exceed the C sharp.
Johan Beeftink

00:00 Theme
03:03 1. Introduction
05:51 2. Sarabande
08:27 3. Air
12:02 4. Intermezzo
15:29 5. Toccata
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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