This piece was composed exclusively for the organ by Johann Sebastian Bach. This piece is famously minor in key, d minor to be exact. This key features only a b flat with all the rest of the notes being natural. The time is noted simply as a “C”, which means the piece is in common time. For those of you who are unaware of what this means, common time is the most used time signature in music, 4/4, which means that each measure will have 4 beats while each quarter note is one beat. This piece has only one movement.
Even though Bach passed away in 1750, this piece was published in 1833 with the help of Felix Mendelssohn, who would become a famous composer in his own right. However, the attribution of the piece to Bach has been challenged numerous times starting in 1966 with Walter Emery. Several other articles have been written on the subject noting a number of stylistic variances from Bach’s typical style. However, nothing has been definitely proven so I will still attribute the piece to Bach for the purpose of this post.
This is one piece I have yet to see live. While it has been transcribed for full orchestra, I believe that it is still best suited for the huge range that only a pipe organ could provide. This piece is massively intricate with many moving parts in directions making use of the entire organ’s range. While Bach does use the “bass” section of the organ for support via peddling lower chords, he uses the lower ranges quite well to make transitions throughout the entire piece leading up to quite a dramatic ending. Disney’s Fantasia provided my first experience with the piece and I have loved it ever since I was a toddler, foreshadowing was all around this experience. As always, thank you for reading and please share your opinions in the comments.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVJD3dL4diY -Bass Clef