Chaconne for Marimba
SMC SU826/ HL 319707
This Chaconne is the final movement from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Partita No. 2 in D minor for solo violin, BWV 1004. It was composed in between 1717-1720. Some have suggested that the Chaconne, a theme and variations that lasts as long as the first four movements combined, was a tombeau written in memory of Bach’s first wife, Maria Barbara, who died in 1720. There is no doubt, however, that the work stands as a towering achievement, a masterpiece among masterpieces. Johannes Brahms, in a letter to Clara Schumann in June 1877, said about the Chaconne, “On one stave, for a small instrument, the man writes a whole world of the deepest thoughts and most powerful feelings. If I imagined that I could have created, even conceived the piece, I am quite certain that the excess of excitement and earth-shattering experience would have driven me out of my mind.”
Violinist Joshua Bell has said the Chaconne is "not just one of the greatest pieces of music ever written, but one of the greatest achievements of any man in history. It's a spiritually powerful piece, emotionally powerful, structurally perfect." While numerous transcriptions have been made for keyboard, strings, chamber ensembles and even full orchestra (Leopold Stokowski), this transcription by world-renowned marimba artist, Mika Stoltzman, is the first-ever version written for solo marimba. A video of Stoltzman performing her stunning arrangement at the Purchase Performing Center in New York is available through the publisher’s website: keisersouthernmusic.com.