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Great Composers pay tribute to other “Greats”

Bach Great Composers pay tribute to other "Greats" Piano Rachmaninoff Violin

Rachmaninoff does Bach!

Here’s another example of how interesting it is when a composer does ‘transcriptions’ of another’s work. (*for more, see the Post titled, “Great Composers pay tribute to other Greats”)

Here are 3 movements from Bach’s Partita #3 for solo violin in E major – transcribed by Rachmaninoff for piano.

First the original violin followed by piano.  (*after the music read a more in depth analysis of Rachmaninoff’s effort)

Nobuko Imai_08_Partita No. 3, BWV 1006 I. Preludio


Idil Biret_06_01_J. S. BACH Prelude, Gavotte and Gigue Prelude


Nobuko Imai_10_Partita No. 3, BWV 1006 III. Gavotte en Rondeau


Idil Biret_06_02_J. S. BACH Prelude, Gavotte and Gigue Gavotte


Nobuko Imai_13_Partita No. 3, BWV 1006 VI. Gigue


Idil Biret_06_03_J. S. BACH Prelude, Gavotte and Gigue Gigue


With a few exceptions, Rachmaninov was generally quite faithful to the source music of his transcriptions. In this Bach effort, however, he added contrapuntal parts and harmonies because the original was written for solo violin. Yet the music has a mostly Bachian flavor and some have surmised that Bach himself would have made very similar modifications had he fashioned a keyboard version. That said, there are more than a few snippets of Rachmaninov’s voice in this effort, especially in the opening prelude where there are echoes in the contrapuntal writing of some of the Etudes-Tableaux and the first movement of a work to come in 1940, the Symphonic Dances. The prelude is lively and light, busy with typical joyous Bachian contrapuntal activity. The ensuing Gavotte is even lighter and playful — gracefully dainty, actually — just the kind of music not expected for Rachmaninov to have a hand in. The closing Gigue is also light, but Rachmaninov gives it a little muscle in his bass harmonies. He also makes it quite a colorful affair, all of its nearly two minutes brimming with an infectious joy.

Chopin Great Composers pay tribute to other "Greats" Liszt Opera/Vocal

Great composers pay tribute to other “Greats”

UPDATE: Be sure to read the comment from Emiellucifuge  .. and my response.

It’s fascinating to compare “Transcriptions” of one great composers work, with the “original.”  Here are just two examples: Liszt on Beethoven and Chopin on Mozart. Beethovens’ 5th Symphony – first movement. Yeah .. yeah – I know. We’ve all heard it a million times! Still interesting to see what Liszt did with it. And here’s Liszt. I just can’t see the point! To “render” such a masterwork and not really do anything with it. I don’t think it’s the pianist at fault (Glenn Gould) … just wondering why Liszt bothered.

liszt transcription of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony Alegro-con-brio

And then Chopin gives his interpertation on Mozart.

First here’s Mozart’s La di darem la mano from Don Giovanni

la ci darem la mano


Then here are 4 variations Chopin composed for it. At least he did something with the theme! … played around a bit with it!

variation-iii sempre sostenuto


variation ii veloce ma accuratamente


variation i brillante


tema allegretto