Bach Double -- playing as a quartet

September 8, 2017, 2:52 PM · Has anyone trying playing the Bach Double as a quartet, using the solo parts as V1 and V2 and then the viola and cello parts from the tutti? I'm just wondering if this would work, specifically for the second movement.

Replies (13)

September 8, 2017, 3:11 PM · We have a quartet arrangement of the 2nd movement - it is different than the standard VLA and CELLO parts in the original, so that the missing violin parts are filled in. It works well, although it is different than what you are asking about.
September 8, 2017, 3:37 PM · Laurie I think it's a great idea.
September 8, 2017, 3:53 PM · Karl, who did the arrangement and is it something I could get my mitts on before Sunday? :)
September 8, 2017, 4:23 PM · It's not ideal, but having violist and cellist read off the piano accompaniment will catch most of the orchestral accompaniment - even easier if the violist plays it on a violin - but the treble piano clef is above the A string octave harmonic only once (base on my quick scan). Quite close to the orchestral parts for the two instruments.
September 8, 2017, 5:23 PM · My teacher likes to have students play their winter recital pieces in small ensembles until they start working on major concertos and sonatas, so she has a lot of quartet arrangements of easy-intermediate concertos lying around. She definitely has the 1st movement of the Bach double, but I'm not sure if she has the 2nd or 3rd. If she does, I'll ask her to scan them and I'll post the PDFs here.
September 8, 2017, 5:52 PM · Does anyone have experience with the Latham arrangement? (
September 8, 2017, 8:05 PM · Latham edition - you can compare the first page in the ad with the piano part. Can your violist read treble clef easily?
September 11, 2017, 10:47 AM · I've seen it done with just cello and harpsichord "accompaniment".
Indeed, for a minimalist rendering, the viola part can be ignored, even though many interactions will be lost.
There is a problem in the last movement, when the repeated double-stops from the soloists actually accompany a lively exchange in the ripieno. The viola in a quartet version will have to share this exchange with the 'cello, adapting the ripieno violin parts.
Edited: September 11, 2017, 1:22 PM · Laurie, I've done this many times for gigs, specifically for funerals. 1st and 2nd solo violin parts, viola and cello tutti parts from Yes there are a few missing lines but nobody notices. The 2nd movement works beautifully. I haven't tried it for 1st and 3rd movements.
September 11, 2017, 3:01 PM · Laurie, sorry I missed your question before now... I guess I only check this during the week. And I don't know who arranged our version because all we have in our quartet book is the 2nd movement, and there's no name on it!
September 12, 2017, 2:51 PM · So did you try this, Laurie, over the weekend, and if so, how did it go?
September 13, 2017, 3:56 PM · We use the Zinn arrangement at the White House.
September 14, 2017, 6:14 PM · Ah, I did not know there was a Zinn for the Bach! I used the Latham for the Bach Double, then they actually wanted some Joplin rags at the reception, for which I used Zinn!

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