J.S. Bach – Toccata and Fugue in D Minor BWV 565, Amy Turk, Harp

Amy Turk
Published on Feb 21, 2015
My own transcription of one of J.S. Bach’s most infamous and popular works. I first had the idea of playing this piece in 2013 after hearing an old Russian transcription performed by the incredible Vavara Ivanova, but couldn’t get hold of that version due to it being out of print. I loved the power this piece brings to the harp and was determined to try it for myself as I’m a huge fan of anything where I get to play LOUD! The process of adapting the piece for the harp and preparing for this performance took 18 months and many, many practice hours! Its first public performance was as the opening piece of my Masters final recital at the Royal Academy of Music, London in July 2014. Yes I know, how crazy was I to open my recital with this…I then had to play for a further 35 minutes!

All notes in this transcription are Bach’s – there are a few moments where certain notes have been omitted where it was impossible to play, but nothing has been added or embellished in terms of pitches or rhythms. My aim in transcribing this was to be as accurate and respectful to the original as I possibly could, whilst also exploring the greater dynamic possibilities with regards to quiets, crescendos and diminuendos that are possible on the harp. I absolutely loved recreating the sound of different manuals/stops in certain repeated passages of the fugue – this is achieved by playing lower in the strings before returning back to the middle where I’d normally play.

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