Saxophone Quartet (SATB) or Saxophone Ensemble (SATBBs.)
According to a report by Friedrich Konrad Griepenkerl, the manuscript of the Fantasia and Fugue in c-minor would have almost been used as wrapping paper at a grocer’s. The only existing source is a copy written by Johann Tobias Krebs and his son Johann Ludwig, one of Bach’s favorite students, in early 1751. Unlike most of Bach’s other organ works, the date of its composition is controversial.
The Fantasia opens with a long pedal point over which the upper parts unfold a solemn, declamatory theme. The second theme employs expressive sighing gestures. The fact that there are virtually no passages or even cadences in major certainly contributes to its noble, elegiac character (Spitta). The half cadence at the end is unique in Bach’s organ works and combines the two movements to a larger entity.
The energetic first theme of the Fugue develops an incomparable drive, especially in combination with its diverse, imaginative countersubject in eighth notes. A second theme (ascending chromatic line) appears in the middle section. It is accompanied by a sequence of eighth notes developed from bars 24 – 27 and 50/51. The two themes are not combined in the last section.
Olaf Mühlenhardt, June 2009