Chaconne in d (BWV1004) by Johann Sebastian Bach
Transcribed for Solo Flute by Florence Bellon
Originally for solo violin.
Performing Bach’s Chaconne for violin on the flute is a real technical challenge. Dense polyphonic writing, long phrases and frequent changes of tessitura all concur to make extraordinary demands on the flute-player; in particular as regards breathing-places. Yet this transcription aims at being as faithful as possible to the original. In passages that need to be played an octave above or below the original, we often chose to transpose a whole sequence rather than a short fragment in order to keep the melody line flowing. 3- and 4-part chords are usually arpeggiated on the violin. In our version, they are written in “small notes”. These should start on the beat, spread out and sound as intense as the other notes. Breathing marks have been added to ease performance while respecting musical phrasing. As there often were several options to choose from, the performer is at liberty to add or change breathing marks. —Florence Bellon