This Sarabande is a slow dance movement from Bach’s first Partita for solo violin. The majority of the melodic material rests in the Tenor part while the counter lines and Bach’s austere harmonies are voiced across the range of the Cello and Double Seconds. While not terribly technically demanding of the players, the challenge in this movement lies in the unity of expression required of the players by this nature of work. The “Double”—or quicker embellished variation movement following the Sarabande—is possible to be played, in appropriate transposition, by most solo pan instruments. However, this arrangement takes the original work and extrapolates the three primary voices conceived in Bach’s counterpoint and places them in the hands of the trio. By introducing the two additional voices into the piece, implied harmonies and voice exchange figures may be more fully realized than is possible by a single player. Bach’s intricate interlocking lines in compound-triple meter demand rhythmic acuity from all three players.
Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Arranger: Adam Grisé
Solo & Chamber
Instrumentation: T, DS, C