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Bach Chaconne Arranged for Cello Quartet

Arranged by Stephen Watkins

Chaconne from Partita No. 2 in D minor (for Cello Quartet)
Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Edited By: Stephen Watkins
Instrumentation: Violoncello Ensemble
Pages: 15 for the score and 6 for each violoncello part

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This arrangement, of what is to me an object lesson in how to make the very most both emotionally and technically of one instrument, starts from the premise that surely what one violin can do four cellos should also be capable of. Actually, although it is playable by four very good cellists there may be a case made for doubling parts so that the double stopping necessary in places becomes more ‘natural' in the flow of the music. 

The arrangement style actually owes a lot to the textures that I used in an arrangement for cello ensemble of the C minor Passacaglia for organ. In making the statement that this is not just an arrangement of the piece there are passages where material from the cello suites is woven into the texture in an attempt to make a natural marriage between the cellos of the arrangement and the violin of the original. In paying homage to Bach, it seemed fitting to me to combine references to these two styles of writing at which, among others, he still for me and many many others remains simply what we aspire to. 

-Stephen Watkins

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Violoncello I
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