Bach: Partitas – Arr. for Saxophone (Download)


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Also available on Hybrid SACD.

Johann Sebastian Bach – Partitas: Arr. for Saxophone

Raaf Hekkema

Challenge Classics

Quality 352.8 kHz / 24 bit 192 kHz / 24 bit 96 kHz / 24 bit 44.1 kHz / 24 bit DSD256 DSD128 DSD64
Channels Combi 5.1 Surround Stereo
Clear selection


About the Album

In 2012 I recorded, purely for personal use, all the Bach solo arrangements I had made up until then, including the first four movements of the second partita. After listening to them I realized that my self-imposed decree to keep my hands off the chaconne from that partita, suddenly no longer seemed etched in stone.So I took a stab at producing a convincing version of it.

Following my Paganini formula, I first made an ‘analytical’ version: one that would do justice to the construction of the music, disregarding all thoughts of what might be fun to play. An important step, because otherwise you end up taking the instrumental route too soon. Bach’s music is implicitly polyphonic: a melody usually contains more than one voice, played in turn and together forming the melodic curve as a whole. The register and relationship between the voices largely determine the buildup of tension in the music.

This applies to nearly all of Bach’s music, but in the violin works he often uses multiple strings simultaneously to explicitly underscore the polyphony. So first I had to find a credible solution for the issue of polyphony. After that the other me would get his chance: the saxophone player who had free rein to determine what sounded good and, perhaps more importantly, where the advantages of the saxophone over the violin (arpeggios, for instance, are easier to play on the saxophone) could be put to good use. In this inner collaboration, the analyst constantly had the upper hand, for we were talking about a meticulously constructed work by the greatest musical architect ever.

The resulting version satisfied both my identities: the analyst and the instrumentalist. With a sense of liberation I set to work on the remaining movements of the partitas, which went with hardly a hitch.


  1. Partita II, BWV 1004: I. Allemanda Johann Sebastian Bach 0:30
  2. Partita II, BWV 1004: II. Corrente Johann Sebastian Bach 0:30
  3. Partita II, BWV 1004: III. Sarabanda Johann Sebastian Bach 0:30
  4. Partita II, BWV 1004: IV. Giga Johann Sebastian Bach 0:30
  5. Partita II, BWV 1004: V. Ciaccona Johann Sebastian Bach 0:30
  6. Partita III, BWV 1006: I. Preludio Johann Sebastian Bach 0:30
  7. Partita III, BWV 1006: II. Loure Johann Sebastian Bach 0:30
  8. Partita III, BWV 1006: III. Gavotte en Rondeau Johann Sebastian Bach 0:30
  9. Partita III, BWV 1006: IV. Menuet I - Menuet II Johann Sebastian Bach 0:30
  10. Partita III, BWV 1006: V. Bourrée Johann Sebastian Bach 0:30
  11. Partita III, BWV 1006: VI. Gigue Johann Sebastian Bach 0:30
  12. Partita I, BWV 1002: I. Allemanda Johann Sebastian Bach 0:30
  13. Partita I, BWV 1002: II. Double Johann Sebastian Bach 0:30
  14. Partita I, BWV 1002: III. Corrente Johann Sebastian Bach 0:30
  15. Partita I, BWV 1002: IV. Double-Presto Johann Sebastian Bach 0:30



Additional information


Bach, Johann Sebastian, Hekkema, Raaf


Hekkema, Raaf


Baroque (1600 – 1750 A.D.)


Challenge Classics, Turtle Records


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