This piece was originally written for an orchestra including trumpets and kettledrums, but we have managed to capture its essential, seductive repetition. We offer eight versions of Bach’s Air on the G string for saxophone quartet: AAAB, AAAT, AATB, AATT, SAAB, SAAT, SATB and SATT. All can be performed by intermediate players for instance as part of a wedding ceremony. It is hard to imagine a piece of music that is more serene than Bach’s Air on the G string. There is so much to tell about this wonderful piece of music, that it is hard to decide where to start.
We could tell you that Air on the G string is the popular title of the second movement of Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major. We could add that Bach composed it between 1718 and 1723, for his patron, the German Prince Leopold of Anhalt. Perhaps you would also like to know that its popular title Air on G the string refers to an adaptation for violin and piano, made by the once famous German violin player August Wilhelmj (and this is no typing error), in the late nineteenth century. But then we would have totally missed the point.
Because then we would not have told you that is hard to imagine a piece of music that is more serene than Bach’s Air on the G string. Listening to it, you get carried away from your daily business and worries to another place. Positive, even poetic thoughts and images enter your mind, evoked by the sublime music and arrangements. Some even might describe it as religious, others as festive. Be that as it may, we know, once you have heard Air on the G string, you want to enjoy it again.
product details for Bach: Air on the G string for Saxophone Quartet
- level: intermediate
- price: € 5.57 (full score at concert pitch + all parts)
- go to our shop to buy the quartet AAAB
- go to our shop to buy the quartet AAAT
- go to our shop to buy the quartet AATB
- go to our shop to buy the quartet AATT
- go to our shop to buy the quartet SAAB
- go to our shop to buy the quartet SAAT
- go to our shop to buy the quartet SATB
- go to our shop to buy the quartet SATT
sample pages (transposed) click to enlarge
American writer Paul Elie has written a book about the way modern musicians have used modern technology to reinvent Bach’s music. Read the review/essay Bach’s Music, Back Then and Right Now by Jeremy Denk