July 13, 2020

Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV composer. Johann Sebastian Bach ( ). circa /9; Schübler Chorale No 1; arrangement of Cantata Check out Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV (Arr. By Ferruccio Busoni) by Peter Rösel on Amazon Music. Stream ad-free or purchase CD’s and MP3s. Bach-Busoni: Chorale Prelude Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV , transcribed for piano [] Bach-Busoni: Chorale Prelude Wachet auf.

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List of adaptations by Ferruccio Busoni

Thanks for your help! It’s the second one in the collection on this link. Busoni, Myra Hess, and Wilhelm Kempff. They are all good but I may be more partial to Hess’s transcription. Originally Posted by BruceD. Originally Posted by Vid.

Those are great suggestions. The Kempff and Busoni versions are both included “Bach: Collected Transcriptions,” published by Schirmer. I happen to have all four of those books, along with my Kawai ES-7 keyboard, in my hotel room where I am currently staying on a four week work trip, and have played through all 4 versions of Wachtet Auf several times over the last week.

The Hess verizon is a straight-forward, very satisfying arrangement of the Bach three-part organ version.

Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645 (Bach, Johann Sebastian)

It is the one I find easiest to play. Unlike Hess’s “Jesu, Joy,” which has been recorded by many pianists, her Wachtet Auf is not available on any recordings that I am aware of. Hess and Kempff both repeat the first section of the piece, making them a little longer in duration. I prefer to play the Hess version from the “Bach Transcriptions” book, rather than from the individual sheet music, which I also own, because the sheet music requires you to turn a page back for the repeat.

Kempff’s version is the most difficult for me to play. He adds many harmonies and bits of counter-melody that are not in Bach’s version, right from the start of the piece. The difficult part for me is the last page, where he turns the volume up to 11, with octaves chords for all three parts, through which he continues to weave his little countermelody, ending with a ferocious double-handed octave trill into the final chord.


This is very different from the other three versions, which all end on a quiet, gentle note. If busohi want a version that ends with a Big Bang, this is it. Alessio Bax has recorded this wacget, as of course did Wilhelm Kempff, and I think it is also the version Angela Hewitt plays on her album of Bach trascriptions.

The Busoni version also introduces some harmonies not in the Bach organ version, but waits wacet half-way through the piece to do so. There is a spot were the left hand has to cross over the right to pick up a few notes of upper melody, which i find tricky to play smoothly. Murray Perahia plays this version beautifully on his “Songs Withought Words” album.

The Bantock is the most unique of these four versions. He does not use octaves for the bass line, so his version has much less bass depth than the others. However, it has rich added harmonization right from the start, and there are a few spots where he actually changes Bach’s harmonies, in a way I find very interesting.

Thanks so much, Corvus. As I mentioned to you earlier, I printed out the Busoni version because it was free before ordering any books. I really like it except for the what looks like impossible stretches here and there. For example, in measure 13 there is a low C octave chord, with Eb an octave above it, and also an Ab above that.

How do you play that? There are more examples of this in the next line too. I apologize for my ignorance but I have been teaching myself for some years so get a bit stumped by things like this. Do you hold down the sostenuto pedal after the first chord? Is this the LH cross-over point? In that stretch in measure 13, I am lucky to have fairly big hands, and I can actually play the melody A flat with the 5th finger of my right hand, and that e flat with my right thumb, leaving my left hand to play the low c octave.


By putting the lowest note in smaller print size, I think Busoni is suggesting that you can leave that note out if it doesn’t work.

That leaves the other C to E flat, a minor tenth. If that is still too much of a stretch, you can roll it, hitting the C with your little buoni and then the E flat with your thumb, using the sustain pedal to hold the chord until just before the next base note.

Or, you could quickly hit the low C octave and then jump up to hit the E flat with your thumb, again using the sustain pedal. This is what the Myra Hess version calls for, showing that low c octave as grace notes just barely ahead wschet the beat. Those other upper notes in the left hand that you mentioned in the next line, with the stems of the noes going up, are intended to be played by the right hand mostly with the thumb.

The hand-crossing bit I mentioned that I find tricky is measure is about measurewhere the lower staff clef sign changes to treble clef for aut two notes. There are plenty of great pianists who have have hands that can’t span a full 10th, and it is perfectly acceptable, when faced with a chord you can’t play all at once, to roll or arpegiate it.

Corvus, thank you very much for that clear and detailed explanation. It really does help! MP11SE Modifications by dmd. Most Online 15, Mar 21st, Please Support Our Advertisers. Busoni Regards, BruceD – – – – – Estonia Vid Post Club Member. New Topics – Multiple Forums.

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