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Encyclopedia > Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565

The Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565, is a piece of organ music commonly attributed to Johann Sebastian Bach, composed sometime between 1703 and 1707. It is one of the most famous works in the organ repertoire, and has been used in a variety of popular media ranging from film, to video games, to rock music. The Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 538, is an organ piece by Johann Sebastian Bach. ... Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis (Bach Works Catalogue) is the numbering system used to identify musical works by Johann Sebastian Bach. ... The organ repertoire consists of music written for the organ. ... “Bach” redirects here. ... Events February 2 - Earthquake in Aquila, Italy February 4 - In Japan, the 47 samurai commit seppuku (ritual suicide) February 14 - Earthquake in Norcia, Italy April 21 - Company of Quenching of Fire (ie. ... Events January 1 - John V is crowned King of Portugal March 26 - The Acts of Union becomes law, making the separate Kingdoms of England and Scotland into one country, the Kingdom of Great Britain. ...

Contents

Score

Toccata

As indicated by the accepted title of the piece, the Toccata and Fugue is scored in D minor. It is not in C dorian as the key signature supposes, as it was common practice in the Baroque period to write in leading tone accidentals (B flat in the relative major) rather than in the key signature. It begins with a single-voice flourish in the upper ranges of the keyboard, doubled at the octave. It then spirals toward the bottom, where a diminished seventh chord appears, built one note at a time. This resolves into a D major chord, taken from the parallel major mode. For other uses, see Baroque (disambiguation). ... A seventh chord is a chord or triad which has a note the seventh above the tonic in it. ... Major is a military rank the use of which varies according to country. ... In music, the parallel minor of a particular major key (or the parallel major of a minor key) is the key which has the same tonic and a different key signature, as opposed to relative minor (or major, respectively). ...

The opening of J.S. Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565. Listen 

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (3108x841, 29 KB) Summary The original piece of music was written over 100 years ago; thus, it is in the public domain. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (3108x841, 29 KB) Summary The original piece of music was written over 100 years ago; thus, it is in the public domain. ... Image File history File links BWV-565-intro. ... Image File history File links Toccata_et_Fugue_BWV565. ...

Fugue

The subject of the four-voice fugue is made up entirely of sixteenth notes, with an implied pedal point set against a brief melodic subject that first falls, then rises. The second entry starts in the sub-dominant key rather than the dominant key. Although unusual for a Bach fugue, this is a tonal answer and is appropriate following a subject that progresses from V to I and then to V below I by a leap. A straightforward dominant answer would sound atonal and odd in a Baroque piece. In music, a fugue (IPA: ) is a type of contrapuntal composition or technique of composition for a fixed number of parts, normally referred to as voices, irrespective of whether the work is vocal or instrumental. ... Figure 1. ... In tonal music, a pedal point (also pedal tone, organ point, or just pedal) is a sustained tone, typically in the bass, during which at least one foreign, i. ...


Compositional process

Influence of other composers

The source of the rhapsodic treatment in Bach's earlier organ works is reminiscent of Dieterich Buxtehude, whom Bach greatly admired in his early years. In 1706 he even absented himself from his job in order to hear Buxtehude in Lübeck. The only surviving portrait of Buxtehude, from a 1674 painting by Johannes Voorhout. ... Events March 27 - Concluding that Emperor Iyasus I of Ethiopia had abdicated by retiring to a monastery, a council of high officials appoint Tekle Haymanot I Emperor of Ethiopia May 23 - Battle of Ramillies September 7 - The Battle of Turin in the War of Spanish Succession - forces of Austria and... The title of this article contains the character ü. Where it is unavailable or not desired, the name may be represented as Luebeck. ...

Title page of BWV 565 in Johannes Ringk's handwriting
Title page of BWV 565 in Johannes Ringk's handwriting
First page of BWV 565 in Ringk's handwriting

Buxtehude's organ works, like those of his contemporaries, are characterized by the presence of the stylus phantasticus, a performance style derived from improvisation. The stylus phantasticus included elements of excitement and bravura, with adventurous harmonies and sudden changes in registration. Buxtehude's free organ works made great use of these elements. These works generally began with a free section, followed by an imitative section (sometimes a full-blown fugue), then another free section, and then another imitative section (usually based on motivic material from the first imitative section), and finally another free section. BWV 565 derives several of its stylistic elements from this earlier form of organ music, in particular the stylus phantasticus. Image File history File links Rincgk_01. ... Image File history File links Rincgk_01. ... Johannes Ringk, or Ringck, (1717 - 1778) was a German composer and organist. ... Image File history File links Rincgk_02. ... Image File history File links Rincgk_02. ... Johannes Ringk, or Ringck, (1717 - 1778) was a German composer and organist. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... Improvisation is the practice of acting and reacting, of making and creating, in the moment and in response to the stimulus of ones immediate environment. ... In music, a fugue (IPA: ) is a type of contrapuntal composition or technique of composition for a fixed number of parts, normally referred to as voices, irrespective of whether the work is vocal or instrumental. ...


In the Fugue, the F major episode (an elaboration of the Fugue subject) is nearly identical to a passage in a Fantasia in D minor by Johann Pachelbel. The original passage by Pachelbel is the source for Subject of Bach's Fugue, and its use is possibly a homage to the older composer. As noted in J. S. Bach's obituary, it was common practice for Bach to use other composers' work as inspiration for his own. (The Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor BWV 582 first half of the Basso Ostinato are taken form Andre Raison's G minor Passacaglia for Organ, The F Major 2 part invention is theme is derived from a G minor Concerto theme by Vivaldi, and numerous Organ Fugues were written on a number of Italian Composers themes; the term "Bach the Borrower" was coined as a result). Johann Pachelbel (IPA: [], [] or [][2]) (baptized September 1, 1653 – March 3, 1706) was a German Baroque composer, organist and teacher who brought the south German organ tradition to its peak. ...


The exceptional number of fermatas and broken chords in the Toccata and Fugue BWV 565 has been explained by some (for example, Klaus Eidam; see references below) on the supposition that Bach composed it as a work to test an organ, which he did regularly. The first thing Bach is said to have done when testing an organ is to pull out all the stops and play in the fullest possible texture, in order to see if the organ had good bellows to provide plenty of wind to the instrument: not enough, and the pitch would be unsteady, and tone quality would be inferior. The opening of BWV 565, with its three opening flourishes and massive rolled chord, would serve as a good test for an organ's winding system. A large bellows creates a mushroom cloud at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, California. ...


Attribution

Some musicologists, including Peter Williams, cite several factors that they argue makes the attribution uncertain.[1] Williams's views have more recently been endorsed in a book-length study by the musicologist Rolf Dietrich Claus, cited below.


On the other hand, renowned Bach scholar Christoph Wolff and others argue that the work is indeed by Bach, and is probably a transcription of an organ improvisation of the sort he used when testing organs, perhaps originating very early in his career, from the 1700s.[2] Helmut Walcha, a respected 20th-century authority on Bach's organ works, also regarded the Toccata and Fugue as the original work of J.S. Bach. Even though Walcha was known to only include pieces that were undoubtedly authentic in his Bach organ recordings,[3] the Toccata and Fugue in D minor appears in both of his complete recordings of Bach's organ works. Christoph Wolff (born May 24, 1940) is a German-born musicologist, presently on the faculty of Harvard University. ... Helmut Walcha (October 27, 1907 in Leipzig, Germany – August 11, 1991 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany) was a blind German organist who specialized in the works of the Dutch and German baroque masters and is known for his recordings of the complete organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach. ...


It is very unlikely that Ringk would have had knowledge of the work by Pachelbel alluded to in the F major episode. There is no proof that J Ringk was a pupil of Bach as Peter Williams contends. Very few of Bach's organ works survive in autograph score and many were discarded after they had been stylistically or structurally superseded as Bach's composition style matured.[4] J. S. Bach did occasionally write consecutive fifths: for example, in the Fifth Brandenburg Concerto (which he later corrected to hidden octaves).[5] Bach uses imperfect consecutive (similar motion) fifths, (diminished Fifth to Perfect Fifths) in his vocal works. These imperfect similar fifths are not avoided by Bach unless they appear between the soprano and bass.[6]


The allegation that "various musical passages in the work are simply too crude musically to have been Bach's work" must be tempered by the likelihood that the piece is partly, even mostly, improvisational.[7]


Williams also argues that the Toccata and Fugue was transcribed by Bach from an earlier work for violin.


Violin transcription?

Williams has hypothesized that the Toccata was not originally written for organ, but was transcribed from an earlier work for solo violin. Williams places this original violin work a fifth higher, in the key of A minor, so that the work begins on a high E and descends almost to the lowest note on the instrument:[citation needed] For the Anne Rice novel, see Violin (novel). ...

The opening, in Peter Williams's reconstruction of a conjectured earlier violin version
A passage of the fugue, in Peter Williams's reconstruction of a conjectured earlier violin version.

Williams put his theory into practice by writing a reconstruction of the conjectured original violin work, which has been performed (by violinists Jaap Schröder and Simon Standage) and published.[8] The violinist Andrew Manze subsequently produced his own reconstruction, also in A minor, which he has performed widely and recorded. Bach, Toccata and Fugue in D minor, opening, conjectured violin version by Peter Williams Brief quotation from scholarly article by Williams in the journal Early Music (1981). ... Bach, Toccata and Fugue in D minor, opening, conjectured violin version by Peter Williams Brief quotation from scholarly article by Williams in the journal Early Music (1981). ... Download high resolution version (852x88, 8 KB)Music notation: Peter Williamss guess about how a few measures of the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor looked in its (conjectured) original violin version. ... Download high resolution version (852x88, 8 KB)Music notation: Peter Williamss guess about how a few measures of the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor looked in its (conjectured) original violin version. ... Simon Andrew Thomas Standage (born 8th November 1941 in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire) is an English violinist and conductor best known for playing and conducting music of the baroque and classical eras on original instruments. ... Andrew Manze (born 14th January 1965, Beckenham) is known as one of the foremost baroque violinists of the present generation. ...


Bach is known to have transcribed solo violin works for organ at least twice. The Prelude first movement of the Partita in E major for solo violin, BWV 1006, was converted by Bach into the solo organ part of the opening movement of the Cantata BWV 29 Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir. Bach also transcribed the Fugue movement of his Sonata in G minor for solo violin BWV 1001 as the second half of the Prelude and Fugue in D minor for organ, BWV 539.[citation needed] Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir (We thank you, God, we thank you) is a cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. ...


Transcriptions

This popular work has been transcribed many times. In music, transcription is the act of notating a piece or a sound which was previously unnotated. ...


Piano

Around the end of the 19th century a "second wave" Bach revival occurred (the first having been the one launched earlier in the 19th century by Mendelssohn among others). In the second wave, much of Bach's instrumental music was adapted to resources that were available in salon settings (for example solo piano, or chamber ensembles). The composer and pianist Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924) was a leader of this movement, and wrote many piano transcriptions of Bach compositions, which often radically alter the original. Among them was a virtuosic version of the Toccata and Fugue. An earlier virtuoso piano transcription also once much in vogue was by Carl Tausig (1841-1871); pianist Marie Novello chose it for what one source claims to be the Toccata and Fugue's first recording.[9] Among other arrangements that have appeared on record are those by Percy Grainger and Ignaz Friedman. Portrait of Mendelssohn by the English miniaturist James Warren Childe (1778-1862), 1839 Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, born and generally known as Felix Mendelssohn (February 3, 1809 – November 4, 1847) was a German composer and conductor of the early Romantic period. ... Ferruccio Busoni Ferruccio Busoni (April 1, 1866 – July 27, 1924) was an Italian composer, pianist, music teacher and conductor. ... Carl Tausig Carl Tausig or Karl Tausig (November 4, 1841 - July 17, 1871) was a Polish-born pianist and composer. ... Marie Novello, born 1898, died 1928 was an English pianist. ... Percy Aldridge Grainger (8 July 1882 – 20 February 1961) was an Australian-born pianist, composer, and champion of the saxophone and the Concert band. ... Ignaz Friedman (also spelled Ignace or Ignacy) (February 14, 1882 – January 26, 1948) was a Polish pianist and composer. ...


Orchestra

The Disney film Fantasia, released in 1940, opens with Leopold Stokowski's transcription for large orchestra of the Toccata and Fugue. In 1927, the date of this transcription, authentic performance practice was still more than half a century away. Fantasia is a 1940 motion picture, produced by Walt Disney and first released on November 13, 1940 in the United States. ... Leopold Stokowski (born Antoni Stanisław Bolesławowicz April 18, 1882 in London, England, died September 13, 1977 in Nether Wallop, England) was the conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the NBC Symphony Orchestra, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the Symphony of the Air. ... Year 1927 (MCMXXVII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The authentic performance movement is an effort on the part of musicians and scholars to perform works of classical music in ways similar to how they were performed when they were originally written. ...


Flute

In 1993 Salvatore Sciarrino made an arrangement for solo flute of BWV 565. This transcription was recorded in the early 21st century by Mario Caroli.[10][11] Year 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar). ... Salvatore Sciarrino, born April 4, 1947, in Palermo. ...


Brass

The Canadian Brass ensemble performed an arrangement of BWV 565 arranged by former member Fred Mills, which appeared on the album The Pachelbel Canon and Other Great Baroque Hits, released in 1980.[12] The Canadian Brass are a brass quintet founded by Charles Daellenbach, Stuart Laughton, and Gene Watts in 1970. ... Year 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1980 Gregorian calendar). ...


Wind Ensemble

The work has been transcribed for symphonic band (wind ensemble) several times, most notably by Erik Leidzen, Mark Hindsley, and Merlin Patterson.


Influence

The Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565 has found its way into a wide variety of mediums, influencing musicians, composers, and arrangers in various genres in a classic example of crossover.[citation needed] This article does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


Musical critics have also admired the work. For instance, it is described by Uwe Kraemer as having "ecstatic technical virtuosity and [also] mastery of form"[citation needed] and by Hans-Joachim Schulze as having "elemental and unbounded power ... that only with difficulty abates sufficiently to give place to the logic and balance of the Fugue".[citation needed]


While it is not an easy work to perform on the organ, it is one of the easier of Bach's preludes and fugues.[citation needed] For the most part, Bach's organ music became increasingly more difficult to play as his life went on,[citation needed] and the "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor" was written very early in his career.


Films

The Toccata and Fugue can be heard in a wide variety of films, including but not limited to Fantasia. Also used in variations of motion pictures based on Gaston Leroux's novel The Phantom of the Opera. Fantasia is a 1940 motion picture, produced by Walt Disney and first released on November 13, 1940 in the United States. ... This article is about the Gaston Leroux novel. ...


Popular music

Virgil Fox performed a series of concerts of Bach organ works for rock music audiences in the 1970s ("Heavy Organ"), one of which included a dramatic performance of the Toccata and Fugue, to illustrate his view that Bach's music should be interpreted using all the available modern resources, as opposed to using only the means of expression that would have been available in Bach's time.[citation needed]Sky, guitarist John Williams's instrumental group, recorded the piece in 1980, with the main instrument being the electric guitar (played by Kevin Peek, also credited with the arrangement).The single reached the heights of the singles charts in several European countries in the summer of 1980.[citation needed] This spawned many imitations over the next decade or so.[citation needed] Virgil Fox Virgil Keel Fox (May 3, 1912–October 25, 1980) was a renowned organist, known especially for his flamboyant Heavy Organ concerts of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach for audiences more familiar with rock n roll music, staged complete with light shows. ... Sky was an English based progressive rock band, formed in 1978 when classical guitarist John Williams decided to team up with Herbie Flowers, Francis Monkman, Tristan Fry and Kevin Peek. ... John Christopher Williams (born 24 April 1941) is one of the worlds best-known classical guitarists. ...


See also

There are over 1000 known compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach. ...

References

Scholarly

  • Claus, Rolf-Dietrich. Zur Echtheit von Toccata und Fuge d-moll BWV 565, Verlag Dohr, 2nd ed. Cologne, 1998. ISBN 3-925366-37-7. (German)
A comprehensive text dealing with authorship issues. See Yo Tomita's review.
  • Fox-Lefriche, Bruce. "The greatest violin sonata that J.S. Bach never wrote", Strings xix/3:122, October 2004, 43-55.
  • Williams, Peter. "BWV 565: a toccata in D minor for organ by J. S. Bach?", Early Music 9, July 1981, 330-337.
A free summary is available at BachFAQ.org.

General reading

A summary of the authorship issue for the layperson.
  • Eidam, Klaus. The True Life of J. S. Bach, New York: Basic Books, 2001, tr. Hoyt Rogers. ISBN 0-465-01861-0.
Chapter 4 focuses on this piece. The book, however, may not be factually accurate; see Yo Tomita's review.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, also known simply as the PG, is the largest daily newspaper serving metropolitan Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. // The paper began publication on July 29, 1786, with the encouragement of Hugh Henry Brackenridge as a four-page weekly, initially called The Gazette. ...

Notes

  1. ^ "BWV 565: a toccata in D minor for organ by J. S. Bach?", Early Music, vol. 9, July, 1981, pp. 330-337. The copyist who created the oldest known manuscript (Johannes Ringk, 1717-1778) was a student of Bach's, who had access to some of Bach's manuscripts, and whose reputation is dubious. He is believed to have passed off inauthentic (as well as authentic) works under the composer's name. The work abounds in fermatas and dynamic markings, not ordinarily notated in organ music of Bach's day. (But Bach even at this time was unusual in notating much ornamentation). Williams also alleges that various musical passages in the work are simply too crude musically to be by Bach.
  2. ^ Wolff alludes to factors arguing for Bach's authorship, such as stylistic points, in an interview about Bach's organ works on the DVD recording 21st century Bach by John Scott WhiteleyHe further discusses the issue with musical examples in his 2001 biography, "Johann Sebastian Bach - The Learned Musician" (ISBN 0199248842, p.72)].
  3. ^ Walcha, Helmut. "Bach: Das Orgelwerk 1957-42" liner notes.
  4. ^ See Peter Williams's book The Organ Music of J. S. Bach, ISBN 0521891159 for a detailed assessment of this matter.
  5. ^ See The Six Brandenburg Concertos, Dover reprint of the Bach Geschellschaft Edition, Preface, list of variants from the MS. for Brandenburg Concerto number 5.
  6. ^ The Contrapuntal Harmonic Technique of the 18th Century, page 38, Allen McHose, 1947, F. S . Crofts & Company, New York.
  7. ^ Wolff, Christoph. "Johann Sebastian Bach - The Learned Musician" (ISBN 0199248842, p.72)].
  8. ^ New York Times review of a Standage performance: "It sounded disconcertingly effective"
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ Zig Zag Territoires: ZZT 040802
  11. ^ A review by Peter Grahame Woolf of this interpretation can be found here: http://www.musicalpointers.co.uk/reviews/cddvd/SciarrinoBachCaroli.htm
  12. ^ http://www.canbrass.com/reviews/reviews-10.html

Johannes Ringk, or Ringck, (1717 - 1778) was a German composer and organist. ... A fermata (or hold or pause) is an element of musical notation indicating that the note should be sustained for longer than its note value would indicate. ... John Scott Whiteley is an English organist. ...

External links

Sheet music

The International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP) is a project for the creation of a virtual library of public domain music scores, based on the wiki principle. ... Dante Michaelangelo Benvenuto Ferruccio Busoni (April 1, 1866 – July 27, Italian composer, pianist, music teacher and conductor. ...

Recordings

  • Free download of BWV 565
  • Free mp3 of BWV 565

 
 

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