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(Score - European A4, Parts - European A4)
In search of... TRANQUILITY - Kit Turnbull
Bach’s Inventions and Sinfonias were written as a collection of 30 keyboard pieces for his eldest son, and later rewritten as musical exercises for his students. The Inventions are all two-part, while the Sinfonias are three -part contrapuntal pieces.
Despite the relatively straighforward opening section of this work, I have always felt that it has a certain ‘restless’ quality. The elongation of passages through chromatic movement, coupled with Bach’s eliding of phrases (at moments of musical resolution the next phrase immediately moves on), gives the piece a sense of momentum that is never fully resolved until the final chord, hence the title - In search of tranquility.
The only changes to the structure are the addition of an opening bar, and two written pauses at rehearsal letters B and J which serve as musical punctuation.
In March 2020 as the UK went in to lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it quickly became apparent that the musical world was changed for the foreseeable future, if not forever. Large-scale events were rapidly cancelled along with virtually all musical activities and so, as a freelance composer/arranger I found myself with a lot of spare time on my hands. I have long had the idea of scoring some of Bach’s keyboard works for winds, and this seemed like a perfect opportunity to begin.
The idea of re-titling the works in this series is simply a way of highlighting my thoughts / emotional response to the actual music. It also allowed me to really think about which of Bach’s works to include, and how to approach the task of arranging them.
I had originally planned to score these pieces for the same ensemble as Mozart’s Serenade No. 10 in B flat major, KV361 ‘Gran Partita’, but eventually decided on replacing the F Horns and Basset Horns, adding 2 flutes and a Saxophone quartet in their place. As with Mozart’s ‘Gran Partita’ the Double Bass could be replaced by a ContraBassoon if available.
While keeping to Bach’s original musical lines, the use of a larger ensemble allows for some expanded part writing, thereby making fuller use of the available forces, without resorting to simply doubling-up parts.
B flat Clarinet 1
B flat Clarinet 2
B flat Soprano Saxophone
E flat Alto Saxophone
B flat Tenor Saxophone
E flat Baritone Saxophone
B flat Bass Clarinet
C. 3.30 minutes