“Toccata in D minor ‘Dorian’” by Johann Sebastian Bach A commentary on this week’s music by Dr. James T. Gerber, Music Associate Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) is one of the great musical geniuses of all time and among most influential composers of western music history. His music represents the pinnacle of the high-baroque style. […]
Key are shown above the piano keyboard. D minor is the main key, but the music is sometimes in other, closely-related keys (F Major, Bb Major, A minor, G minor).
Non-Harmonic Tones are colored fuchsia.
The famous portrait of Bach portrays a grumpy 62-year-old man in a wig and formal coat, yet his greatest works were composed 20 years earlier in an almost unrivalled blaze of creativity.
Gardiner reveals a convivial family man at the same time a rebellious spirit struggling with the hierarchies of state and church who wrote timeless music that is today known world-wide.
(From the UK, in English and German) (Masterpiece) (Documentary)
Bach’s most famous organ piece, with a bar-graph score.
Q: Where can I get free sheet music for this piece?
A: Sheet music for this can be found here:
Q: Who wrote Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor?
Q: Isn’t that like asking who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb?
A: Heh-heh. A theory has recently (1981) been put forth that J. S. Bach did not write this piece. A brief summary of the supporting evidence for this theory can be read here:
Q: Where can I get the mp3 of this?
A: You can download it here:
Q: What does the piece look like as a whole?
A: There are versions you can print out here
The ‘scroll’ version is for cutting out and taping together to form a long strip.
Q: Where can I get the MIDI file that this was made from?
A: I’m not sure it’s exactly the same, but the closest I could find was this:
Q: How did you make this video?
A: You can read about it here:
Q: What is the BWV number for this?
A: BWV 565
Q: Where does the toccata end and the fugue begin?
A: The fugue starts at 2:51 and the toccata returns at 7:12, but between these two points, parts which are strictly fugal alternate with episodes that are more toccata-like, so it’s not 100% clear-cut (like in some other toccata/fugue pairs he wrote).
Q: What do the colors mean?
A: Each “stop” on the organ was played on a separate MIDI channel, and each MIDI channel was assigned a color.
Q: What is a fugue?
A: Here is a good introduction:
Q: Can I get a DVD with this video (or others like it)?
Q: Could you please do a video of _________?
Q: Why does this piece of music remind me of horror movies?
A: Because it was used in the 1962 version of The Phantom of the Opera. Before that, it did not have that connotation. When Walt Disney and Leopold Stokowski used it in the 1940 film Fantasia, they considered it to be a purely abstract piece — “absolute music” — which brought to mind expressionistic forms and lines.
Six-voice ricercar from J. S. Bach’s Musical Offering, BWV 1079
Q: What is a ricercar?
Q: Is this the most significant piano work of the last millennium?
A: At least one person thinks so:
Q: What instrument is that?
A: It’s two instruments, actually: a harpsichord and an organ. The harpsichord is Atema’s “Pristine Harpsichord” (with all stops on); the organ is two Ahlborn-Galanti Archiv modules, using the following stops (in order from the top voice):
Cor Anglais 8′
Flauto Mirabilis 8′
Prinzipal 8′ + Gedackt 8′
Ophicleide 16′ (up an octave so that it’s at pitch)
CAME FROM THIS PIECE BY VIVALDI
J. S. Bach’s Ascension Oratorio (Sir John Eliot Gardiner , 2013)
Sir John Eliot Gardiner conductor
Hannah Morrison soprano, Proms debut artist
Meg Bragle mezzo-soprano, Proms debut artist
Nicholas Mulroy tenor
Peter Harvey bass
English Baroque Soloists (pre-1977, Monteverdi Orchestra)
London, PROMS 2013
Royal Albert Hall …
The Ascension Oratorio features an alto aria that mirrors the curves of the Agnus Dei from Bach’s Mass in B minor.
The ensembles that took Bach’s cantatas to 14 countries in their Bach Pilgrimage of 2000 return to the Royal Albert Hall for a Late Night Prom.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner, 70 this year, directs the internationally renowned Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists.