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Suite: Bach E major Violin Partita, BWV 1006

In 1933, Rachmaninov arranged three pieces from the third violin partita of J. S. Bach (BWV 1006, in E major) for the solo piano – the opening Preludio, the third piece Gavotte and Rondeaux and the closing Gigue. However he didn’t just rewrite the violin score for the keyboard, but created a very original work from them. Since the original was written for a solo violin, Rachmaninov had to add something to them to make a piano version (like what Busoni did with the Chaconne from the second partita). When we see the opening Preludio, which was adapted by Bach for use in two of his cantatas (BWV 29 and 120a) and again appears in the fourth Lute Suite BWV 1006a, the result is much creative one than Busoni’s, because unlike the Chaconne, the original material was written for just one single voice, while the harmonies used by Busoni were mainly pre-determined by Bach). Rachmaninov superposed seamless contrapuntal parts on the single voice, thereby creating many new harmonies. One can enjoy this colorful creativity of Rachmaninov in the graceful Gavotte and the light and playful Gigue again, and at the same time find a rather unexpected aspect of Rachmaninov.


Complete recording by Lee, H.J.

Rachmaninov - Suite from Bach's E major Violin Partita 
Recorded june, 2010
1 Preludio 3:46
2 Gavotte 3:10
3 Gigue 1:41
Jan 8, 2016
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