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J.S. Bach: Six Cello Suites for Saxophone

Transcribed and Edited by Larry Clark

By Johann Sebastian Bach

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Woodwinds Solo Saxophone
Transcribed and Edited by Larry Clark. Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). Edited by Larry Clark. SWS. Back To School. Performance score. With Standard notation. Carl Fischer Music #WF162. Published by Carl Fischer Music (CF.WF162).

Item Number: CF.WF162

ISBN 9780825896781. 9 x 12 inches. Transcribed by Larry Clark.

The Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello are some of the frequently performed and recognizable solo compositions ever written. This pieces have been meticulously transcribed for saxophone, keeping the integrity of the original Bach compositions while making them more idiomatic. These pieces hold up in any setting and are now available to a whole new group of instrumentalist to enjoy with this wonderfully edited collection. A must have for any serious teacher or student this edition is compatible with all saxophones.
The six suites for unaccompanied cello by Johann Sebastian Bach have become some of the most popular and most frequently performed pieces for any instrument. Because of the quality of these works, they have been transcribed for numerous instruments, including this new edition specifically for the saxophone. Much about the origins of the suites is unknown, as an original manuscript in Bachs own hand does not exist. The first record of the suites is from a manuscript in the hand of Bachs second wife Anna Magdalena. There are two other manuscripts of the suites that have survived from Bachs time, one by J.P. Kellner, and J.J.H. Westphal, both of whom were music collectors at the time. The difficulty with coming up with any kind of definitive collection of these pieces is that all three of the manuscripts seem to contain errors making it difficult to know exactly what were Bachs intentions. The suites are enormously popular today, were not all that popular in Bachs time. It really wasnt until the famous cellist Pablo Casals discovered these pieces as a child and then later in 1936 recorded the suites did their popularity soar. There has always been controversy regarding the performance interpretation of these works, since much of Casals interpretation is with a more romanticized flare. For every cellist that has played the suites, there are differing ways to perform these beloved works. To date there are over 80 editions of the suites just for the cello. As a trombonist in college the suites were brought to my attention by my teacher. I studied these pieces out of an existing edition for cello. In this new edition specifically for the saxophone, I have worked to keep the integrity of the original suites intact as much as possible, but to also add phrase markings, articulations and change some keys to help make the pieces more idiomatic for the instrument. To begin, I went back to the original Anna Magdalena manuscript as the foundation. From there I added or changed phrase markings that would help a saxophone player to play these suites more like how they would sound on the cello. Anytime you decide to take on a project like this, your own opinion and performance sensibilites come in to play. I suggest that when you work on these wonderful pieces that you alter the markings to fit your sensibilities, just how Casals did or any other person that has ever played these works. I have left off any dynamic choices as those are up for debate as well and each person that studies these works should make their own musical decisions based on their own discovery, research and musical sensibilities. As part of the editing of the suites I had to alter the octave of some notes to fit the range of the instrument. In most cases I tried to do this in as musical a way as possible. Also, note that I left a lot of the double or triple stops from the original cello suites intact, as they help the performer to better understand the implied harmonies of the pieces, and I think that many of them can be performed in an arppeggiated fashion on the saxophone to bring about a more complete performance. If the lowest of the double or triple stops was out of the range of the saxophone, I placed it an octave higher with parentheses around it. This will help you to know where I made these adjustments so that during analysis of the suites you can determine the inversions of certain harmonies. If the double stops were merely octaves, I simply eliminated the lowest octave that was out of the instrument range. When considering range, I was senstive to the upper range of the saxophone. Although many saxophones have a high F? key, I decided to consider high F as the top note. If notes occur above the high F, I either altered the octave of the phrase or I put in logical and hopefully musical cue-size notes to indicate places to take the notes down out of the altissimo range. It is sincerely my hope that this new edition will help to bring these incredibly rich pieces to many more instrumentalist whom otherwise would not get the chance to play them without this book. I hope you enjoy Bachs works as much as I have enjoyed preparing this edition.

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