Rediscovering Bach: The Ouvertüre nach Französischer Art (BWV 831) Originally for Keyboard Realized Through the Voice of the Classical Guitar
AuthorBarraza-Diaz, Jesus Misael
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractFor decades, classical guitarists have approached the music of Johann Sebastian Bach through transcriptions and adaptations, mostly of works for similar solo string instruments—the lute, cello, or violin. There has been an increasing realization that the music of Bach originally intended for larger instrumentation or other instruments (such as the harpsichord, clavichord, or even the organ) can be accessed through the process of transcription, even when this endeavor represents an arduous undertaking. Surely, there are many overlooked masterpieces that could have been incorporated into the classical guitar’s repertoire. Bypassing possible guitar adaptations of Bach’s music often stems from an a priori assumption that the music is either too complex or too difficult to be performed successfully on this instrument. However, in the case of the Ouvertüre nach Französischer Art (BWV 831), a sensible and creative transcription of the piece, such as the one proposed in this document, enables its realization on the classical guitar. Moreover, attributes of the guitar such as nuances of timbre, vibrato, and dynamic subtlety, allow for a fresh perspective with expressive possibilities that go beyond those of the original intended instrument. Despite the overall technical challenges, the Ouvertüre nach Französischer Art (BWV 831) represents a worthy inclusion of Bach’s largest work for keyboard into the expanding repertoire of the classical guitar.
Degree ProgramGraduate College