Bach fugues for solo guitar?

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nmarti31
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Bach fugues for solo guitar?

Post by nmarti31 » Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:37 am

I'm really into Bach fugues right now, but I only know of a couple written for solo guitar. Anyone know of any?

Conall
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Re: Bach fugues for solo guitar?

Post by Conall » Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:38 am

nmarti31 wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:37 am
I'm really into Bach fugues right now, but I only know of a couple written for solo guitar. Anyone know of any?
Good quality fugues are very difficult to play on guitar, as I'm sure you know. Those in the lute suites are particularly tricky (for example the Prelude, Fugue & Allegro, originally in Eb, played in D on guitar and the Fugue from the Cm suite usually played in Am).

Slightly easier & playable directly from the violin score are the fugues found in the unaccompanied sonatas & partitas by Bach. A Gm fugue is another (probably more authentic) version of the Am lute fugue BWV 1000 but there's another Am fugue and one in G.

There are lute & Baroque guitar fugal pieces by Weiss and Sanz & De Visee & some others which are easier than Bach's but nowhere near as interesting or contrapuntal though pleasant & worth playing.

Contrapuntal music is my first love so I play a lot of Renaissance lute music too on my extended range guitar. Dowland fantasies & fancies are almost as fugal as Bach's fugues for example. I haven't checked out fellow member Rob Mackillop's recent lute book but I'll bet there's plenty of counterpoint there too though not fugues as such.

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: Bach fugues for solo guitar?

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:11 am

"Written for guitar" there are none; you can play the three fugues for violin either direct from the original or from transcriptions. Conall has forgotten that the last he mentions is in C.
Perhaps it would if you say which ones you know, then we can point to you others? 'Lute' suites BWV 995 and 997 have fugues as of course does the Prelude Fugue and Allegro BWV 998. All are transcriptions. Some more adventurous folks have tried to make other fugues, eg from 'The 48' work for one guitar but with limited wider impact.
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Conall
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Re: Bach fugues for solo guitar?

Post by Conall » Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:53 pm

Stephen Kenyon wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:11 am
"Written for guitar" there are none; you can play the three fugues for violin either direct from the original or from transcriptions. Conall has forgotten that the last he mentions is in C.
Perhaps it would if you say which ones you know, then we can point to you others? 'Lute' suites BWV 995 and 997 have fugues as of course does the Prelude Fugue and Allegro BWV 998. All are transcriptions. Some more adventurous folks have tried to make other fugues, eg from 'The 48' work for one guitar but with limited wider impact.
Oops, C major, aye, thanks (I was working from my dodgy memory!).

The original violin ones are likely to be slightly easier than any guitar transcriptions (depending on transcription -the exception is BWV 1000 which is a bit harder in the original Gm than the "guitar key" Am) since guitar arrangements usually add rather than subtract from the violin originals but if the OP likes his fugues fingered he'll need the guitar versions.

Arrangements of Bach's 48 & other keyboard fugues are likely to be either even harder than the lute suite fugues (leaving in too much) or inadequate (leaving out too much).

But it all depends on the OP's playing level. Having only 4 LH fingers to stop notes makes fugal playing on guitar much harder to do convincingly than with 10 fingers on keyboard.

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Re: Bach fugues for solo guitar?

Post by soltirefa » Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:34 pm

This guy wrote transcriptions for all the Preludes and Fugues of the Well Tempered Clavier. Here's him playing one Fugue.


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John Oster
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Re: Bach fugues for solo guitar?

Post by John Oster » Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:09 pm

soltirefa wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:34 pm
This guy wrote transcriptions for all the Preludes and Fugues of the Well Tempered Clavier. Here's him playing one Fugue.

Thanks for sharing that. His CD of several Preludes and Fugues is available from Amazon, and Qobuz has it for those who subscribe. Are you sure he's transcribed all of them? Many would simply not be playable by one guitarist.

EDIT: I think I ordered the last copy! :)
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soltirefa
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Re: Bach fugues for solo guitar?

Post by soltirefa » Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:25 pm

Are you sure he's transcribed all of them? Many would simply not be playable by one guitarist.
I'm not sure. I sold my book to David Norton. I see they have the book for sale at Strings by Mail.

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Re: Bach fugues for solo guitar?

Post by Lovemyguitar » Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:33 pm

John Oster wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:09 pm
[Alfredo Sanchez's] CD of several Preludes and Fugues is available from Amazon, and Qobuz has it for those who subscribe. Are you sure he's transcribed all of them? Many would simply not be playable by one guitarist...
I have this CD (it is magnificent!), and it contains 20 of the Preludes and Fugues (6 fugues, 14 preludes). Sanchez has also published a set of his transcriptions of this work -- which includes 29 of them -- with Editions Orphée.

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