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.