Chaconne in D minor, J.S. Bach

July 18, 2014

The Chaconne, as a through-composed work of art, is simply perfect. It contains nothing extraneous; there is no trial and error. Every note is purposeful, creating the right momentary effect and contributing concisely to the development of large-scale drama.

Busoni’s arrangement draws upon the power, resonance, and polyphonic capabilities of the piano to elucidate ideas which Bach outlined on the violin. Bach’s violin piece is the book; Busoni’s transcription is the movie. The compositional integrity of the original is strong enough that it transcends musical style, working just as well as Busoni’s extroverted, demonstrative Romantic work .

The variations of the Chaconne explore the inner workings of an eight-bar harmonic progression. This manner of musical development is exactly what improvising jazz musicians do. I suspect that the Chaconne had its origins in Bach’s own improvisation, as he likely improvised on this chord progression many times.

Recording Date:  February 2, 2006
Recording Location:  Cedarville University
Ensemble Type:  Solo Piano
Duration: 0:14:41
Performers: John Mortensen, piano

About the Music

Composer: J.S. Bach (arr. Ferruccio Busoni)
Instrumentation: Piano
Place of Composition: Germany
Date Composed: 1723
Score: Available Here
Music Styles: Romantic

Chaconne in D minor

8203 Last modified on September 27, 2018