Pavlo Beznosiuk is renowned for his virtuosity and versatility and has been one of Europe's most respected Baroque violinists for the last 25 years, in addition to being the acclaimed leader of the New London Consort and The Avison Ensemble. His seemingly effortless performance and insightful interpretations can be attributed to how attuned Beznosiuk is with Bach, a connection that becomes even more evident in this exclusive track.
Toccata and Fugue in A minor, after Bach BWV. 565
J.S. Bach, arr. Pavlo Beznosiuk
The choice of instrument and even the authorship of BWV. 565 has been discussed and disputed among musicologists for many years. The arguments and doubts centre around certain harmonic eccentricities, the glove-like fit of many passages for a violin and the general harmonic sparseness which seems uncharacteristic of Bach's organ music. Not being a musicologist, I have nothing to add to this discussion. However, I have long wanted to find a way of transcribing the piece which included more of the often vestigial harmony which is missing from previous arrangements. If BWV. 565 is an organ version of a pre-existing violin piece does the skeletal structure suggest a more literal transcription than previously thought? Is it not so much an enlargement as a translation into a keyboard piece? The limitations of a violin have required a number of octave transpositions and I have diverged from the received text in a few places - bars 2, 16-20, 22-25 and 47. Other alterations like the arpeggiation of the chords in bars 87-88 and 93-94 or the re-voicing of the final 3 bars are an attempt to make these passages more idiomatic to the violin. I make no claims for this arrangement as an authentic piece of 18th century violin music; I merely wanted to have fun re-working this iconic composition. It will work well and be considerably easier to play on a 5-string violin tuned G-d-a-e1-a2 or, in the original (?) key of D minor it could also be played on a five-string 'cello or viola tuned C-G-D-a-d. I am looking into publishing these versions soon.
© Pavlo Beznosiuk, 2011
N.B. Please note this track is not available on disc and is only available as a digital download on linnrecords.com.