Plural Sax

Sax Octets

Toccata & Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565

Johann Sebastian Bach, arr. Ben Tordoff


Most of Bach's popular organ works stem from his early career and as such show more exuberance than many later works. There is some speculation that the simplicity of this fugue casts doubt on Bach's authorship, or that it may originally have been a violin piece that was later transcribed.

The piece is characterized by the initial and final cadential sections around the central fugal theme. The start and end of the piece present a series of short melodic phrases seperated by cadenzas and wide chords with much use of low pedal notes. The central fugue, however, is as disciplined as ever.

Played on saxes this piece presents many challenges. The oft-changing introduction and ending require tight coordination, and the fast intervals of the fugue require much individual dexterity. Our original arrangement was heavily modified in 2020 to aid performance, although this is still a real challenge for both individual parts and ensemble playing.

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© 2000 & 2020 Ben Tordoff

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