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Echo  (1731)

An arrangement by Mark Starr for Baroque orchestra of the final movement of the Partita in B minor in the French Style, BWV 831]

Johann Sebastian Bach

link to biography of Johann Sebastian Bach

A demo recording of this arrangement -- realized with digital musical sounds -- will begin to play automatically upon opening this page.  The audio may take from a few seconds up to a minute to load -- depending on the speed of your internet connection.  If you do not wish hear it, please click on the STOP button (or PAUSE button) on the media player, below.  Also, you may wish to adjust your volume control to a more comfortable level.

If you would like to download a copy of this audio demo in wma format (playable with Windows Media Player and other media players,) please right-click on this link: here; and then select "Save Target As..." Copies of this wma file may be freely distributed not-for-profit and unaltered.


The full score of this arrangement for Baroque orchestra is available for perusal, audition, purchase, downloading and printing on the website www.sibeliusmusiccom.  To jump to an online display of the sheet music, please click on the following link:

link to sheet music online of Mark Starr's orchestral arrangement of Bach's Echo.

To display the score on a computer screen -- while listening to a synchronized MIDI performance of the music -- one must first download Sibelius' web music viewer, called Scorch.  Scorch is available free-of-charge on the sibeliusmusic.com website. (Just click on the green button marked Get Scorch)

To rent the instrumental parts for a public performance and/or commercial recording, please click on the link Contact Noteworthy in the left-hand column.

Here is one of the most delightful movements Bach ever composed -- arranged for Baroque orchestra. The Echo is the final movement of Bach's Partita in B minor, BWV 831, for 2-manual harpsichord. The development of two manuals permitted the keyboard player to play both soft and loud -- thus enabling Bach to suggest distances with the harpsichord.  That dynamic contrast is exactly what Bach exploited in this catchy finale to his monumental partita in the French style.

In this orchestral arrangement, the piece may sound to some strikingly similar in tone to the famous Badinerie for flute and strings at the end of the Orchestral Suite No. 2 (also in B minor) -- although in this transcription it is the oboe who the the principal soloist.


Instrumental Group 1:
oboe d'amore
English horn
2 bassoons
harpsichord continuo

Instrumental Group 2
harpsichord continuo

Ideally, the two groups of instruments are spatially separated.