Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Beginning of BWV 565 in Johannes Ringk's manuscript, which is, as far as known, the only extant 18th-century copy of the work

The Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565, is a composition for organ by, according to the oldest sources, German composer Johann Sebastian Bach and is one of the most widely recognisable works in the organ repertoire.[1] Although the date of its origin is unknown, scholars have suggested between 1704 and the 1750s. The piece opens with a toccata section followed by a fugue that ends in a coda, and is largely typical of the north German organ school of the Baroque era.

Little was known about its early existence until the piece was discovered in an undated manuscript produced by Johannes Ringk. It was first published in 1833 during the early Bach Revival period through the efforts of composer Felix Mendelssohn, who also performed the piece in 1840. It was not until the 20th century that its popularity rose above that of other organ compositions by Bach, as exemplified by its inclusion in Walt Disney's 1940 animated film Fantasia that featured Leopold Stokowski's orchestral transcription from 1927.

The piece has been subject to a wide, and often conflicting, variety of analyses. It is often described as a type of program music depicting a storm, while in the context of Fantasia, is promoted as non-representational or absolute music. Scholars such as Peter Williams and Rolf Dietrich Claus argued against its authenticity, while Christoph Wolff defended the attribution to Bach. Other commentators ignored the doubts over its authenticity, or considered the attribution issue undecided.


The only extant near-contemporary source for BWV 565 is an undated copy by Johannes Ringk.[2][3] According to the description provided by the Berlin State Library, where the manuscript is kept, and similar bibliographic descriptions, e.g. in the RISM catalogue, Ringk created his copy between 1740 and 1760.[4][5] As far as is known, Ringk produced his first copy of a Bach score in 1730 when he was 12.[2][6] According to Dietrich Kilian, who edited BWV 565 for the New Bach Edition, Ringk made his copy of the Toccata and Fugue between 1730 and 1740.[6] In his critical commentary for Breitkopf & Härtel's 21st-century revised edition of the score, Jean-Claude Zehnder narrows the time of origin of the manuscript down to around the middle of the first half of the 1730s, based on an analysis of the evolution of Ringk's handwriting.[2] At the time Ringk was a student of Bach's former student[7] Johann Peter Kellner at Gräfenroda, and probably faithfully copied what his teacher put before him.[2] There are some errors in the score such as note values not adding up to fill a measure correctly. Such defects show a carelessness deemed typical of Kellner, who left over 60 copies of works by Bach.[2][8]

The title page of Ringk's manuscript writes the title of the work in Italian as Toccata con Fuga, names Johann Sebastian Bach as the composer of the piece, and indicates its tonality as "ex. d. #.", which is usually seen as the key signature being D minor. However, in Ringk's manuscript the staves have no symbol at the key (which would be the usual way to write down a piece in D minor). In this sense, in Ringk's manuscript, the piece is written down in D Dorian mode. Another piece listed as Bach's was also known as Toccata and Fugue in D minor, and was equally entitled to the "Dorian" qualification. It was that piece, BWV 538, that received the "Dorian" nickname, that qualifier being effectively used to distinguish it from BWV 565. Most score editions of BWV 565 use the D minor key signature, unlike Ringk's manuscript.[4][9]

Ringk's manuscript does not use a separate staff for the pedal part, which was common in the 18th century (notes to be played on the pedal were indicated by "p." being written at the start of the sequence). Printed editions of the BWV 565 organ score invariably write the pedal line on a separate staff. In Ringk's manuscript the upper staff is written down using the soprano clef (as was common in the time when the manuscript originated), where printed editions use the treble clef.[4][9]

Beginning, Ringk's "Dorian" notation – layout like Ringk's manuscript apart from position of fermatas and the clef for the upper staff
"D Dorian" mode notation used by Ringk for BWV 565

All other extant manuscript copies of the score date from at least several decades later: some of these, written in the 19th century, are related with each other in that they have similar solutions to the defects in the Ringk manuscript. Whether these derive from an earlier manuscript independent from Ringk's (possibly in the C. P. E. Bach/Johann Friedrich Agricola/Johann Kirnberger circle) is debated by scholars. These near-identical 19th-century copies, the version Felix Mendelssohn knew, use the treble clef and a separate staff for the pedal. In general, the later copies show a less excessive use of fermatas in the opening measures and are more correct in making the note values fit the measures, but that may as well be from polishing a defective source as from deriving from a cleaner earlier source. In the later copies the work is named for instance "Adagio" and "Fuga" (for the respective parts of the work), or "Toccata" for the work as a whole.[2][10]

Beginning, D minor notation, with the pedal part on a separate staff (also, arpeggio in second half of second measure converted to modern notation)
D minor: usual notation with a at the key

The name "Toccata" is most probably a later addition, similar to the title of Toccata, Adagio and Fugue, BWV 564, because in the Baroque era such organ pieces would most commonly be called simply Prelude (Praeludium, etc.) or Prelude and Fugue.[11] Ringk's copy abounds in Italian tempo markings, fermatas (a characteristic feature of Ringk's copies) and staccato dots, all very unusual features for pre-1740 German music.[10]

German organ schools are distinguished into north German (e.g. Dieterich Buxtehude) and south German (e.g. Johann Pachelbel). The composition has stylistic characteristics from both schools: the stylus phantasticus,[12] and other north German characteristics are most apparent.[13][14] However, the numerous recitative stretches are rarely found in the works of northern composers and may have been inspired by Johann Heinrich Buttstett,[10] a pupil of Pachelbel, whose few surviving free works, particularly his Prelude and Capriccio in D minor, exhibit similar features. A passage in the fugue of BWV 565 is an exact copy of a phrase in one of Johann Pachelbel's D minor fantasias, and the first half of the subject is based on this Pachelbel passage as well. At the time it was however common practice to create fugues on other composers' themes.[15]


BWV 565 exhibits a typical simplified north German structure with a free opening (toccata), a fugal section (fugue), and a short free closing section.[10]


The Toccata begins with a single-voice flourish in the upper ranges of the keyboard, doubled at the octave and ornamented with a lower mordent. It then spirals toward the bottom, where a diminished seventh chord appears (which actually implies a dominant chord with a minor 9th against a tonic pedal), built one note at a time. This resolves into a D major chord:[10]

\new Score <<
  \new PianoStaff <<
    \new Staff \with { \magnifyStaff #3/4 } <<
      \new Voice \relative c''' {
        \set PianoStaff.connectArpeggios = ##t
        \override Score.NonMusicalPaperColumn #'line-break-permission = ##f
        \tempo Adagio
        a8 \fermata \mordent b,32 \rest g'64 f e d cis32 d16 b \rest b8 \rest \fermata
        a \fermata \mordent b32 \rest e, f cis d16 b' \rest b8 \rest \fermata |
        s2. \oneVoice <bes, cis e>4 ~ \arpeggio
        <bes cis e>4 d
      \new Voice \relative c'' {
        a8 \fermata \mordent s32 g64 f e d cis32 d16 s8. s2 |
        s4 a
    \new Staff \with { \magnifyStaff #3/4 } <<
      \new Voice \relative c' {
        \clef "bass"
        s2 a8 \fermata \mordent d,32 \rest e f cis d16 d \rest d8 \rest \fermata |
        a'8 \fermata \mordent d,32 \rest g64 f e d cis32 d16 d16 \rest d8 \rest \fermata d4 \rest <cis e g>4 ~ \arpeggio |
        <cis e g> ~ g'16 e fis8
      \new Voice \relative c {
        a8 \fermata \mordent s32 g64 f e d cis32 d16 s8. s2 |
        s4 d'4
  \new Staff \with { \magnifyStaff #3/4 } \relative c, {
    \clef "bass"
    R1 |
    r2  d ~ |

Three short passages follow, each reiterating a short motif and doubled at the octave. The section ends with a diminished seventh chord which resolved into the tonic, D minor, through a flourish. The second section of the Toccata is a number of loosely connected figurations and flourishes; the pedal switches to the dominant key, A minor. This section segues into the third and final section of the Toccata, which consists almost entirely of a passage doubled at the sixth and comprising reiterations of the same three-note figure, similar to doubled passages in the first section. After a brief pedal flourish, the piece ends with a D minor chord.[10]


The subject of the four-voice fugue is made up entirely of sixteenth notes, with an implied pedal point set against a brief melodic subject that first falls, then rises. Such violinistic figures are frequently encountered in Baroque music and that of Bach, both as fugue subjects and as material in non-imitative pieces. Unusually, the answer is in the subdominant key, rather than the traditional dominant. Although technically a four-part fugue, most of the time there are only three voices, and some of the interludes are in two, or even one voice (notated as two). Although only simple triadic harmony is employed throughout the fugue, there is an unexpected C minor subject entry, and furthermore, a solo pedal statement of the subject—a unique feature for a Baroque fugue.[16] Immediately after the final subject entry, the fugue resolves to a sustained B major chord.[10][15]


A multi-sectional coda follows, marked Recitativo. Although only 17 bars long, it progresses through five tempo changes. The last bars are played Molto adagio, and the piece ends with a minor plagal cadence.[10]


The performance time of the piece is usually around nine minutes, but shorter performance times (e.g. 8:15)[17] and execution times of over 10:30[18] exist. The first section of the piece, the Toccata, takes somewhat less than a third of the total performance time.[19][20]

As was common practice for German music of the 17th century, the intended registration is not specified, and performers' choices vary from simple solutions such as organo pleno to exceedingly complex ones, like those described by Harvey Grace.[21]


In the first century of its existence the entire reception history of the Toccata and Fugue in D minor consists of being saved from oblivion by maybe not more than a single manuscript copy.[22] Then it took about a century from its first publication as a little-known organ composition by Johann Sebastian Bach to becoming one of the signature pieces of the composer. The composition's third century took it from Bach's most often recorded organ piece to a composition with an unclear origin. Despite Mendelssohn's opinion that it was "at the same time learned and something for the people",[23] followed by a fairly successful piano transcription in the second half of the 19th century,[24] it was not until the 20th century that it rose above the average notability of an organ piece by Bach.[22][25] The work's appearance (in an orchestral transcription by Leopold Stokowski) in the 1940 Walt Disney film Fantasia contributed to its popularity,[26] around which time scholars started to seriously doubt its attribution to Bach.[27]

The composition has been deemed both "particularly suited to the organ"[14] and "strikingly unorganistic".[28] It has been seen as united by a single ground-thought,[29] but also as containing "passages which have no connection whatever with the chief idea".[14] It has been called "entirely a thing of virtuosity"[30] yet also described as being "not so difficult as it sounds".[21] It has been described as some sort of program music depicting a storm,[30] but also as abstract music, quite the opposite of program music depicting a storm.[31] It has been presented as an emanation of the galant style, yet too dramatic to be anything near that style.[22] Its period of origin has been assumed to have been as early as around 1704,[32] and as late as the 1750s.[10] Its defining characteristics have been associated with extant compositions by Bach (BWV 531, 549a, 578, 911, 914, 922 and several of the solo violin sonatas and partitas),[10][14][33][34][35] and by others (including Nicolaus Bruhns and Johann Heinrich Buttstett),[10] as well as with untraceable earlier versions for other instruments and/or by other composers.[10] It has been deemed too simplistic for it to have been written down by Bach,[10] and too much a stroke of genius to have been composed by anyone else but Bach.[36]

What remains is "the most famous organ work in existence",[37] that in its rise to fame was helped by various arrangements, including bombastic piano settings,[38] versions for full symphonic orchestra,[39] and alternative settings for more modest solo instruments.[10]

Score editions[edit]

In 1833, BWV 565 was published for the first time, in the third of three bundles of "little-known" organ compositions by Bach.[40] The edition was conceived and partly prepared by Felix Mendelssohn, who already had BWV 565 in his repertoire by 1830.[41] In 1846, C. F. Peters published the Toccata con Fuga as No. 4 in their fourth volume of organ compositions by Bach.[42] In 1867, the Bach Gesellschaft included it in Band 15 of its complete edition of Bach's works.[43] Novello published the work in 1886 as No. 1 in their sixth volume of Bach's organ works.[44]

In the early 1910s, Albert Schweitzer collaborated with Charles-Marie Widor to compile a complete edition of Bach's organ compositions, published by Schirmer.[45] In 1912, BWV 565 was published in the second volume, containing works of Bach's "first master period".[46] Around the start of the First World War, Augener republished William Thomas Best's late 19th-century edition of the work in volume 2 of their complete edition of Bach's organ works.[47]

After 1950, when the Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis was published, it was no longer needed to indicate the Toccata and Fugue in D minor as "Peters Vol. IV, No. 4", as "BGA Volume XV p. 267", as "Novello VI, 1", or without "Dorian", to distinguish it from the Toccata and Fugue with the same key signature. From then on the work has been simply BWV 565, and the other, the so-called "Dorian", has been BWV 538. In 1964, the New Bach Edition included BWV 565 in Series IV, Volume 6,[48] with its critical commentary published in Volume 5 in 1979.[49] Dietrich Kilian, the editor of these volumes, explains in the introduction to Vol. 6 that the New Bach Edition prefers to stay close to authoritative early sources for their score presentations. For BWV 565 that means staying close to the Ringk manuscript. Consequently, the name of the piece was again given in Italian as Toccata con Fuga, and the piece was again written down in D Dorian (i.e. without at the key). However, more modern conventions were maintained with regard to using the treble clef in the upper staff and using a separate staff for the pedal.[4][9]

A facsimile of Ringk's manuscript was published in 2000.[3] In the 21st century, the facsimile became available online,[4] as well as various downloadable files of previously printed editions.[50] In 2010, Breitkopf & Härtel initiated a new edition of Bach's organ works, with BWV 565 appearing in its fourth volume.[22]

Performances and recordings[edit]

Program of Mendelssohn's 1840 organ concert: BWV 565 is listed as last piece by Bach, before the "Freie Phantasie" which was an improvisation by Mendelssohn.

The first major public performance was by Mendelssohn, on 6 August 1840, in Leipzig. The concert was very well received by the critics, among them Robert Schumann, who admired the work's famous opening as an example of Bach's sense of humor.[51] Franz Liszt adopted the piece into his organ repertoire. He used the glockenspiel stop for the Prestissimo triplets in the opening section, and the quintadena stop for the repeated notes in bars 12–15.[52]

The work was first recorded (in abridged form as "Toccata and Finale") by John J. McClellan on the Salt Lake Tabernacle organ in Salt Lake City in late August or early September 1910 by the Columbia Graphophone Company, who released it in the US in 1911 on Columbia 10-inch disc A945 and in the UK on Columbia-Rena disc 1704,[53] which is one of the first commercial pipe organ recordings. In 1926, the organ version of BWV 565 was recorded on 78 rpm discs.[54] In a 1928 concert program, Schweitzer indicated BWV 565 as one of Bach's "best-known" compositions, considering it to be a youth work.[55] Schweitzer's first recording of the piece was issued in 1935.[56] In 1951, he recorded the work again.[18]

In the 1950s, a recording of Helmut Walcha playing BWV 565 on organ was released.[57] In that, and subsequent releases of Walcha's recordings of BWV 565 on Deutsche Grammophon (DG), there is an obvious evolution of the work from "one among many" organ compositions by Bach to a definite signature piece by the composer. In early Archiv Produktion releases, the list on the sleeve contained the organ compositions in the order they appeared on the recording without distinction;[57] in the 1960s, BWV 565 began to be listed first;[58] by the 1980s, the font size for BWV 565 was larger than that of the other compositions;[59] and in the 1990s, Walcha's 1963 recording of the piece became the only piece by Bach included in DG's Classic Mania CD set with popular tunes by various classical composers.[20] Similarly, the album sleeves of Marie-Claire Alain's recordings of BWV 565 in the 1960s listed the piece in the same font as the other recorded works, but by the 1980s it was in a larger font.[60] US record companies seemed faster in putting BWV 565 forward as Bach's best-known organ piece. In 1955, E. Power Biggs recorded the Toccata 14 times, played on different European organs, and Columbia issued those recordings on a single album.[61]

Hans-Joachim Schulze describes the force of the piece on a record sleeve:[62]

Here is elemental and unbounded power, in impatiently ascending and descending runs and rolling masses of chords, that only with difficulty abates sufficiently to give place to the logic and balance of the fugue. With the reprise of the initial Toccata, the dramatic idea reaches its culmination amidst flying scales and with an ending of great sonority.

Organists recording BWV 565 more than once include Jean Guillou,[63] Lionel Rogg[64] and Wolfgang Rübsam.[65] Some musicians, such as Karl Richter, who did not record organ performances very often, included BWV 565 in their anthologies.[66] By the end of the century, hundreds of organists had recorded BWV 565.[67] In the 21st century, several recordings of BWV 565 became available online, such as a recording included in James Kibbie's Bach Organ Works project and John Scott Whiteley's broadcast for BBC TV[68] made in 2001.[69]

Piano arrangements[edit]

Edison Bell Velvet Face (VF) recording No. 676 (part 1): Marie Novello's performance of Tausig's arrangement of BWV 565. The VF series with a bright green label ran from 1925 to 1927.[70]

Bach's Toccata and Fugue was not performed on the organ exclusively. The title page of the first publication of the piece already indicated that performance on the piano by one or two players was possible.[40] From 1868 to 1881, Karl Tausig's piano transcription of the Toccata and Fugue in D minor was performed four times in the Gewandhaus in Leipzig.[71][72] Many more piano transcriptions of BWV 565 were published, for instance by Louis Brassin,[73][74] Ferruccio Busoni,[75] Alfred Cortot, and by Max Reger in transcriptions for both piano two hands and four hands.[76]

Tausig's version of the work was recorded on piano rolls several times in the first decades of the 20th century.[77][78] In the mid-1920s, Marie Novello recorded the Tausig piano version of BWV 565 on 78 rpm discs.[79] Percy Grainger's 1931 recording on the piano, based on the Tausig and Busoni transcriptions, was written out as a score by Leslie Howard, and then recorded by other artists.[80][81] Ignaz Friedman recorded the piano version he had published in 1944.[82][83] From the 1950s to the first decades of the 21st century, there were half a dozen recordings of Tausig's piano version,[84] and several dozen of Busoni's.[85]

In Bach's biographies[edit]

In Johann Nikolaus Forkel's early 19th-century biography of Bach, the work is left unmentioned. Forkel probably did not even know of the composition.[86] In C. L. Hilgenfeldt's biography it is merely listed among the published works. Hilgenfeldt considers the Toccata and Fugue in F major the most accomplished of Bach's toccatas for organ.[87] In Karl Hermann Bitter's 1865 Bach biography, BWV 565 is only listed in an appendix.[88]

In 1873, Philipp Spitta devoted somewhat less than a page to the work in the first volume of his Bach biography. He assumed the work was written in the first year of Bach's second Weimar period (1708–1717). He saw more north German characteristics (Buxtehude's restless style) in the form of the Toccata, rather than south German (Pachelbel's simple and quiet approach). Spitta considered the fugue "particularly suited to the organ, and more especially effective in the pedal part." His description of the piece refers to long sections that are surfeit: "rocking passages which have no connection whatever with the chief idea" and organ recitatives alternating with "ponderous, roaring masses of chords". Spitta likened some phrases of the Toccata and Fugue to another early work, the Fugue in G minor, BWV 578.[13][14]

Spitta also detects a rhythmic figure that appears briefly in the concluding part of the work (bar 137) which, extensively elaborated, reappears in the keyboard Prelude in A minor, BWV 922, a work he supposes to have been composed around 1710.[34][89] In Reginald Lane Poole's 1882 biography, the work is again merely listed.[90] In the 1905 first version of his Bach biography, Albert Schweitzer leaves BWV 565 unmentioned in the chapter on the organ works.[91] In André Pirro's 1906 biography, Bach's organ toccatas are only mentioned as a group. He considers none of them written before Bach's later Weimar years (so closer to 1717 than to 1708).[92]

Up to this point, none of the biographers seem to have given any special attention to BWV 565. If mentioned, it is listed or described along with other organ compositions, but is far from being considered the best or the most famous of Bach's organ compositions, or even of his toccatas. However, that was about to change. In 1908, Schweitzer reworked his biography for its first German edition. In that edition he indicates the work as "well known".[93] After listing several organ works in which Bach showed himself a pupil of Buxtehude, Frescobaldi, and various contemporary Italian composers, Schweitzer describes the Toccata and Fugue in D minor as a work in which the composer rises to independent mastery:

In the D minor toccata and fugue, the strong and ardent spirit has finally realised the laws of form. A single dramatic ground-thought unites the daring passage work of the toccata, that seems to pile up like wave on wave; and in the fugue the intercalated passages in broken chords only serve to make the climax all the more powerful.[29]

In Hubert Parry's 1909 Bach biography, the work is qualified as "well known" and "one of the most effective of [Bach's] works in every way". He calls the Toccata "brilliantly rhapsodical", more or less follows Spitta in the description of the fugue, and is most impressed by the coda: "It would be hard to find a concluding passage more imposing or more absolutely adapted to the requirements of the instrument than this coda." Apart from seeing Buxtehude's influence, he likens the theme of the fugue to the theme of the fugue of Prelude and Fugue in B minor, BWV 544, which he considers a late work.[94]

In the 1979 first volume of his Bach biography, Alberto Basso calls BWV 565 "famosissimo" (most famous) and "celebratissima" (most celebrated), maintaining that the popularity of these works hinges entirely on this composition. He sees it as a youth work, composed before 1708, that with its underdeveloped fugue is stylistically eclectic but unified without breaking continuity. He links it to the northern school, and mentions Tausig, Busoni and Stokowki as influencing its trajectory. Basso warns against seeing too much in the composition. He feels it may be within reach of everyone but is neither an incantation, nor ridden with symbolism and even less a sum of whatever.[95]

In his 1999 Bach biography, Klaus Eidam [de] devotes a few pages to the Toccata and Fugue. He considers it an early work, probably composed for testing the technical qualities of a new organ. He feels that the crescendo that develops through arpeggios, gradually building up to the use of hundreds of pipes at the same time, can show exactly at what point the wind system of the organ might become inadequate. In his view, some of the more unusual characteristics of the piece can be explained as resulting from Bach's capacity as an organ tester.[96]

Christoph Wolff, in his 2000 Bach biography, sees BWV 565 as an early work.[97] In his view, it is "as refreshingly imaginative, varied, and ebullient as it is structurally undisciplined and unmastered".[98]

In books on Bach's organ works[edit]

Before his 1906 Bach biography, André Pirro had already written a book on Bach's organ works. In that book he devoted less than a page to BWV 565, and considers it some kind of program music depicting a tempest, including flashes of lightning and rumbling thunder. Pirro supposes Bach had success with this music in the smaller German courts he visited. All in all, he judges the music as superficial, not more than a stepping stone in Bach's development.[30][99]

In the early 1920s, Harvey Grace published a series of articles on Bach's organ works. He considers that the notes of the piece are not too difficult to play, but that an organist performing the work is primarily challenged by interpretation. He gives tips on how to perform the work so that it does not sound like a "meaningless scramble". He describes the fugue as slender and simple, but only a "very sketchy example of the form". In his description of the piece, Grace refers to Pirro, elaborating Pirro's "storm" analogy, and like Pirro, he seems convinced Bach went touring with the piece. His suggestions for the organ registration make comparisons with how the piece would be played by an orchestra.[21]

In 1948, Hermann Keller wrote that the Toccata and Fugue was uncharacteristic for Bach, but nonetheless bore some of his distinguishing marks.[100] His description of the piece echoes earlier storm analogies. Keller sees the opening bars' unison passages as "descending like a lightning flash, the long roll of thunder of the broken chords of the full organ, and the stormy undulation of the triplets".[36]

In 1980, Peter Williams wrote about BWV 565 in the first volume of his The Organ Music of J.S.Bach. The author warns against numerological over-interpretation like that of Volker Gwinner. Many parts of the composition are described as typical of Bach. Williams sees stylistic matches with Pachelbel, with the north German organ school, and with the Italian violin school, but sees various unusual features of the composition as well. Williams questions the authenticity of the piece, based on its various unusual features, and elaborates the idea that the piece may have a violin version ancestor.[101] The reworked edition of this book, in one volume, appeared in 2003, and devotes more pages to discussing the authenticity and possible prior versions of BWV 565. In the meantime, Williams had written a 1981 article on the authenticity of BWV 565; this was followed by numerous publications by other scholars on the same topic.[10][102]

J. S. Bach as Organist, a 1986 collection of essays edited by George Stauffer and Ernest May, discussed the registration Bach would have used for BWV 565.[103]

Arrangements for symphony orchestra[edit]

Around the same time as Grace made comparisons with an orchestral version in his performance suggestions, Edward Elgar was producing orchestrations of two organ pieces by Bach, which did not include BWV 565. Elgar did not particularly like the work, nor Schweitzer's glowing comments about it.[104]

In 1927, Leopold Stokowski recorded his orchestration of BWV 565 with the Philadelphia Orchestra.[39] Soon the idea was emulated by other musicians. An orchestration was performed in Carnegie Hall in 1928, Henry Wood (pseudonymously, as "Paul Klenovsky") arranged his orchestration before the end of the decade. By the mid-1930s, Leonidas Leonardi had published his orchestration, and Alois Melichar's orchestration was recorded in 1939.[105][106][25][107]

In 1947, Eugene Ormandy recorded his orchestration of the piece with the Philadelphia Orchestra.[108] The score of Stokowski's arrangement was published in 1952.[109][25] Other orchestrations of the piece were provided by Fabien Sevitzky,[110] René Leibowitz (1958),[111] Lucien Cailliet (1967)[112] and Stanisław Skrowaczewski (1968).[113]

In film[edit]

BWV 565 was used as film music well before the sound film era, becoming a cliché to illustrate horror and villainy. Its first uses in sound film included the 1931 film Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the 1934 film The Black Cat.[114][115][116][117]

Trailer for Fantasia
External audio
audio icon Bach's Tocccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565, as arranged and performed by Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra for the soundtrack of Fantasia, as released in 1950, at Internet Archive

After 1936, another approach to using BWV 565 in film was under consideration. Oskar Fischinger had previously used Bach's Third Brandenburg Concerto to accompany abstract animations and suggested to Stokowski that his orchestral version of BWV 565 could be used in the same way. Later in 1937, while in California, Stokowski and Disney discussed the idea of making a short animated film of The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Dukas for Disney Studios, the intention being to introduce classical music to a younger and broader audience. Similar in spirit to the popular series of Silly Symphonies, the short film proved costly to produce. However, starting with the Toccata and Fugue and the Sorcerer's Apprentice, Stokowski, Disney and the music critic Deems Taylor chose other compositions to incorporate into their film project, known as "The Concert Piece." By the time Disney's Fantasia was released in 1940, the animations accompanying BWV 565 had been made semi-abstract, although Fischinger's original idea that the performance of the music start with showing Stokowski directing his orchestra was preserved. Taylor begins his narrative with, "What you’re going to see is the designs and pictures and stories of what music inspired in the minds and imaginations of a group of artists." The opening number, the "Toccata and Fugue," will be absolute music—music that exists for its own sake—and will try to depict what might go on in the mind of the person listening to it. "At first you are more or less conscious of the orchestra," Taylor explains, "so our picture opens with a series of impressions of the conductor and the players. Then the music begins to suggest other things to your imagination—oh, just masses of color, or cloud forms, or vague shadows, or geometrical objects floating in space." In the 1942 cinema release of the film by RKO, the Toccata and Fugue was cut entirely, only to return in a 1946 re-release. Fantasia contributed significantly to the popularity of the Toccata and Fugue.[118][119][120][121][122]

The 1950 film Sunset Boulevard used BWV 565 as a joking reference to the horror genre.[114] The piece has appeared in many other films, including 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), in which it is played by Captain Nemo on the organ of the Nautilus, before the submarine's pitiless and apparently unmotivated attack on a ship.[117] BWV 565 also appeared in Fellini's 1960 La Dolce Vita.[123] The 1962 film adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera used BWV 565 in the suspense and horror sense.[116] It is used "without irony and in an apocalyptic spirit updated from its earlier Gothic implications" at the beginning and end of the 1975 dystopian science fiction film Rollerball.[124] Shortened to two minutes in length, BWV 565 was used as the introductory theme for the French animation Once Upon a Time... Man, in 26 episodes between 1978 and 1981.[125]

Ennio Morricone took inspiration from the score BWV 565/1 for the 1965 film For a Few Dollars More of Sergio Leone. Morricone used the trumpet musical theme "La resa dei conti" ("Sixty Seconds to What?") for the opening baroque mordent of J. S. Bach's Toccata. The cowboy shootout with Gian Maria Volonté takes place in a deconsecrated church, turned into a pigsty, where the theme is heard on the organ at full blast. According to Miceli (2016), "It is [...] hard to establish what led the composer to quote Bach—perhaps the shared key of D minor led to the idea of the organ, whereas the small church might have at most accommodated nothing more than a run-down harmonium. In any case, for a classically trained musician such a glaring reference to one of the most hackneyed commonplaces of Western art music—certainly the most hackneyed within Bach's output (although its authorship has long been disputed)—clashes with the alleged intention of paying homage to the Eisenach maestro." In his autobiographical book written with De Rosa (2019), Morricone wrote that, "The death ritual carried out in a church convinced me to use the Bach quotation and the organ. Volonté's gestures in that sequence reminded me of some paintings of Rembrandt and Vermeer that Leone was fond of. Those artists lived in an epoch close to Bach, and with my music I decided to look at that kind of past."[126][127][128][129]

Authenticity research and reconstructions[edit]

A certain uneasiness regarding the authorship of BWV 565 had been around long before the 1980s. From Hilgenfeldt in 1850, to Elgar in the 1920s, to Basso in the late 1970s, the extraordinary popularity of the piece seems to have taken scholars and musicians by surprise. Of Mendelssohn's prophecy that it was something for both the erudite and the masses, only the latter part had been fulfilled. Some scholars who analysed the composition's counterpoint felt it was substandard.[21][101][130][131] They said it was stylistically too close to the galant style of the later 18th century to be an early 18th-century composition.[22] Its presumed time of composition shifted around. Some felt the composition was too modern to have been composed by a young Bach,[92][101] or too simplistic to have been composed by a middle-aged Bach.[95][131] Although many commentators have invoked Bach's genius to explain the dislocated modernity in an immature composition,[28][36][96] an increasing number of scholars felt unsatisfied with such an intangible explanation.[27]

In a 1981 article, Peter Williams reiterated the speculations, from which he saw a way out of the conundrum, already featured in his 1980 book on Bach's organ compositions:[27]

  • The piece was originally composed for violin, not necessarily by Bach (that would explain its "simplicity");
  • It was later transcribed for the organ, not necessarily by Bach (that would explain its "modernity").

The analysis of the material sources for the piece, its oldest surviving manuscripts, although insufficiently pursued according to some scholars,[132] was seen as too limited to give a conclusive answer to these questions. What was available from that branch of the research could be explained in opposite ways.[133] Likewise, whether the more elaborate stylistic evidence was considered conclusive or merely circumstantial, depended on who was trying to prove what.[22]

In 1982, David Humphreys suggested that BWV 565 may have been composed and/or arranged by Kellner, or by someone from the circle around Kellner.[27][134] Despite many stylistic similarities,[135] however, Kellner was ruled out a quarter of a century later: "in comparison with the style of Kellner, BWV 565 more resembles the style of J. S. Bach";[136] "many of Kellner's keyboard pieces revealed that his style boasts pronounced galant elements ... this clearly stands in strong contrast to the dramatic style of the Toccata BWV 565".[22]

A violin composition by Bach's eldest son Wilhelm Friedemann, transcribed for the organ by Ringk, was named as another possible source.[28] However, according to 21st-century statistical analysis, Wilhelm Friedemann was even less likely to have been the composer of the Fugue than Kellner.[136] The same research indicated that large portions of the Fugue were consistent with the style of Johann Ludwig Krebs, but with more than half of the Fugue more likely composed by J. S. Bach.[136] After initially confirming Williams's doubts about the authorship of BWV 565,[137] by the second decade of the 21st century, statistical analysis left the attribution issue undecided. No-one had found a composer more compatible with the style of its fugue than Bach himself.[37] In the words of Jean-Claude Zehnder, who was sympathetic towards the violin version reconstruction: "The matter still remains open, despite the scholarly discourse that began in 1981. Until proof of the contrary, BWV 565 should be considered as a work by Johann Sebastian Bach."[22] No edition of the Bach Werke Verzeichnis has listed BWV 565 among the works seen as spurious or doubtful,[138] nor does the work's entry on the website of the Bach Archiv Leipzig mention any doubts.[139]

Attribution question[edit]

In 1961, Antony Davies remarked that the Toccata was void of counterpoint.[130] Half a decade later, BWV 565 was further questioned. Walter Emery advocated that scepticism was a necessary condition to approaching the history of Bach's organ compositions,[140] and Friedrich Blume saw problems with the traditional historiography of Bach's youth.[141] Roger Bullivant thought the fugue too simple for Bach and saw characteristics that were incompatible with his style:[131]

  • Conclusion of the piece on a minor plagal cadence
  • A pedal statement of the subject, unaccompanied by other voices
  • Trill in bars 86 to 90

These doubts about the authorship of BWV 565 were elaborated by Peter Williams in a 1981 article. Hypotheses proposed by Williams in that article included that BWV 565 may have been composed after 1750 and may have been based on an earlier composition for another instrument, supposedly violin. Williams added more stylistic problems to the ones already mentioned by Bullivant, among others the parallel octaves throughout the opening of the toccata, the true subdominant answers in the fugue, and the primitive harmonies throughout the piece, with countersubjects in the fugue frequently moving through thirds and sixths only. All of these characteristics are either unique or extremely rare in organ music of the first half of the 18th century.[27]

In 1995, Rolf Dietrich Claus decided against the authenticity of BWV 565, mainly based on the stylistic characteristics of the piece.[132] He named another problem—in its first measure the composition contains a C, a note organs in Bach's time rarely had, and which Bach almost never used in his organ compositions.[7] In his book on BWV 565, which he expanded in 1998 to counter some of the criticisms it received, Claus also dismisses the prior-version options suggested by Williams, noting that the toccata was an unknown genre for violin solo compositions of the time.[142][143] Several essays in John Butt's Cambridge Companion on Bach discuss the attribution problems of BWV 565.[144] Other biographers and scholars have left these attribution and prior-version theories unmentioned,[96] or explained the atypical characteristics of the composition by indicating it was a very early composition by Bach, probably written during his stay in Arnstadt (1703–1706).[97]

At the end of the 20th century, Hans Fagius wrote:

... the fact remains that the Toccata is strikingly unorganistic and modern to have been written by Bach around 1705, even if the form is that of North German toccata. There are, however, few organ pieces with so much spirit and drive, and why should not a genius like Bach, in youthful high spirits, have produced this unique work, which is in some respects half a century before its time and which could achieve a place as one of the most beloved compositions in all of music history?[28]

The authorship debate has continued in the 21st century. Wolff calls it a pseudo-problem.[145] Williams suggested that the piece may have been created by another composer who must have been born in the beginning of the 18th century, since details of style (such as triadic harmony, spread chords, and the use of solo pedal) may indicate post-1730, or even post-1750 idioms.[10] Statistical analysis conducted by Peter van Kranenburg in 2006 confirmed the fugue was atypical for Bach,[137] but failed to find a composer more likely to have composed it than Bach.[37] David Schulenberg feels that the attribution of BWV 565 to Bach is doubtful.[146] Richard Douglas Jones takes no position with regard to the composition's authenticity.[147] In 2009, Reinmar Emans wrote that Claus and Wolff had diametrically opposed views on the reliability of Ringk as a copyist, inspired by their respective positions in the authenticity debate, and thinks that sort of speculation unhelpful.[133]

Anterior version hypothesis and reconstructions[edit]

Transposed to A minor and adapted for the violin, the opening offers an opportunity to drop down through all four strings of the instrument.[148]
Quadruple stops, not uncommon for 18th-century solo violin music, could have been used in passages such as this, taken from the ending.

The other hypothesis elaborated by Williams is that BWV 565 may have been a transcription of a lost solo violin piece. Parallel octaves and the preponderance of thirds and sixths may be explained by a transcriber's attempt to fill in harmony which, if preserved as is, would be inadequately thin on a pipe organ. This is corroborated by the fact that the subject of the fugue, and certain passages (such as bars 12–15), are evidently inspired by string music. Bach is known to have transcribed solo violin works for organ at least twice: the first movement of the Partita in E major for solo violin, BWV 1006, was converted by Bach into the solo organ part of the opening movement of the cantata Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir, BWV 29. Bach also transcribed the Fugue movement of Sonata in G minor for solo violin, BWV 1001, as the second half of Prelude and Fugue in D minor for organ, BWV 539.

This notion inspired a new theory of adaptation: the reconstruction. Reconstructions have been applied to several other works by Bach, with variable success.[149] A reconstruction for violin has been played by Jaap Schröder[150] and Simon Standage.[151] The violinist Andrew Manze produced his own reconstruction, also in A minor, which he has performed and recorded.[152] In 2000, Mark Argent proposed a scordatura five-stringed cello instead.[35] Williams proposed a violoncello piccolo or a five-stringed cello as alternative possibilities in 2003.[10] A new violin version was created by scholar Bruce Fox-Lefriche in 2004.[153] In 2005, Eric Lewin Altschuler wrote that if the first version of BWV 565 was written for a stringed instrument the most likely candidate would have been a lute.[154] Yet another violin version was created by Chad Kelly and performed by Rachel Podger on her 2022 album Tutta Sola.[155]

In 1997, Bernhard Billeter proposed a harpsichord toccata original,[7] which was deemed unlikely by Williams.[10] However, Billeter's argument makes authorship by Bach more likely: Bach's harpsichord toccatas (most of them early works) have simplistic elements and quirks similar to BWV 565.[7] Bach's early keyboard works, especially the free ones like Preludes and Toccatas, cannot always be clearly separated into organ pieces and harpsichord pieces. Spitta had already remarked on the similarity between a passage in BWV 565 and one in the harpsichord Prelude BWV 921; Robert Marshall compares the continuation patterns and sequences of the harpsichord Toccata BWV 911, and the Fugue theme of the harpsichord Toccata BWV 914, with the same of BWV 565.[33][34]

Other media[edit]

In 1935, Hermann Hesse wrote a poem about the piece, Zu einer Toccata von Bach ("On a toccata by Bach"), which contributed to its fame.[22][156]

Recordings of BWV 565 that have appeared on popular music charts include Sky's 1980 rock-inspired recording (#83 on Billboard Hot 100, #5 on UK Singles Chart)[157] and Vanessa-Mae's 1996 violin recording (#24 on the Billboard charts).[158] In 1993, Salvatore Sciarrino made an arrangement for solo flute,[159] recorded by Mario Caroli.[160] A version for solo horn was arranged by Zsolt Nagy[161] and has been performed by Frank Lloyd. In the mid-1990s, Fred Mills, then trumpet player for Canadian Brass, created an adaptation for brass quintet that became a worldwide standard for brass ensembles.[162][163] 2 Unlimited's 1994 hit "The Real Thing" uses BWV 565 and, in a list published by Classic FM and PRS for Music, was revealed to be among the best-selling pop singles to incorporate classical music.[164]


References consisting of a last name and date refer to an entry in the Sources section below:

  • when followed by "(score)" → see Score subsection
  • when followed by "(recording)" → see Recordings subsection
  • all others, unless the full citation is given in the reference, see Writings subsection
  1. ^ Billeter 2004, p. 159.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Zehnder 2011 (score), "Commentary" Archived 2021-05-03 at the Wayback Machine pp. 4–5
  3. ^ a b Claus 2000.
  4. ^ a b c d e Ringk (score)
  5. ^ RISM 467300997. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
  6. ^ a b Billeter 2004, p. 160.
  7. ^ a b c d Billeter 2004.
  8. ^ "Kellner, Johann Peter". Bach Digital. Leipzig: Bach Archive; et al. 2020-06-19. Archived from the original on 2021-09-28. Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  9. ^ a b c Kilian 1964 (score), p. vi
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Williams 2003.
  11. ^ Williams 1981, p. 331
  12. ^ Krummacher, Friedhelm. "Bach's Free Organ Works and the 'stylus Phantasticus' ", pp. 157–171, in Stauffer & May 1986
  13. ^ a b Spitta 1873, Vol. I pp. 402–403
  14. ^ a b c d e Spitta 1899, Vol. I pp. 403–404
  15. ^ a b Newman 1995, 181.
  16. ^ Yearsley 2012, p. 93
  17. ^ Alain 1982 (recording)
  18. ^ a b Schweitzer 1951 (recording)
  19. ^ Biggs 1960 (recording)
  20. ^ a b Walcha 1963 (recording)
  21. ^ a b c d Grace 1922, pp. 60–65
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i Zehnder 2011 (score), Introduction, p. 20
  23. ^ Stinson 2006, pp. 18–19
  24. ^ Joseph Moog – Scarlatti Illuminated Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine at
  25. ^ a b c Rollin Smith. Stokowski and the Organ. Pendragon Press, 2004 ISBN 978-1576471036 pp. 161 ff.
  26. ^ Crist, Stephen A. (1997). "The early works and the heritage of the seventeenth century". In Butt, John (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to Bach. Cambridge University Press. p. 75. doi:10.1017/CCOL9780521587808.008. ISBN 978-0521587808. Archived from the original on 2021-09-28. Retrieved 2021-09-25.
  27. ^ a b c d e Williams 1981
  28. ^ a b c d Liner notes of Fagius 1988 (recording)
  29. ^ a b Schweitzer 1935, Vol. I p. 269.
  30. ^ a b c Pirro 1902, p. 35
  31. ^ Theodore Gracyk (2013). On Music, pp. 39–40. Routledge. ISBN 978-1136506567
  32. ^ Stauffer 1978.
  33. ^ a b Marshall, Robert Lewis (2003). "Johann Sebastian Bach" pp. 61 ff. in Eighteenth-Century Keyboard Music, edited by Robert Lewis Marshall. Psychology Press. ISBN 978-0415966429
  34. ^ a b c Spitta 1899, Vol. I pp. 434–435
  35. ^ a b Argent 2000
  36. ^ a b c Keller 1948, pp. 64 ff.
  37. ^ a b c Kranenburg 2010, p. 88
  38. ^ Stinson 2006, p. 120
  39. ^ a b Stokowski 1927 (recording)
  40. ^ a b Marx, Adolf Bernhard (1795–1866), 1833 (score) (can't find this print source on OPAC-RISM catalog)
  41. ^ Stinson 2006, pp. 31–32
  42. ^ Griepenkerl and Roitzsch 1846 (score)
  43. ^ Rust 1867 (score)
  44. ^ Bridge 1886 (score)
  45. ^ Schweitzer 1995
  46. ^ Widor and Schweitzer 1912 (score)
  47. ^ Best 1914 (score)
  48. ^ Kilian 1964 (scores)
  49. ^ Kilian 1979
  50. ^ Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565: Scores at the International Music Score Library Project
  51. ^ Stinson 2006, pp. 55–60
  52. ^ Stinson 2006, p. 118
  53. ^ "Columbia matrix 4892. Toccata / J. J. McClellan – Discography of American Historical Recordings". Archived from the original on 2017-10-13. Retrieved 2020-01-07.
  54. ^ Cunningham 1926 (recording)
  55. ^ Quoted in Glaus 2013, pp. 297–298
  56. ^ Schweitzer 1935 (recording)
  57. ^ a b Walcha 1947 (recording)
  58. ^ Walcha 1964 at the Internet Archive website
  59. ^ Walcha 1987 at the Internet Archive website
  60. ^ Alain (recordings)
  61. ^ Biggs 1955 (recording)
  62. ^ Biggs 1960 (recording), liner notes
  63. ^ Jean Guillou – Recordings Archived 2015-09-05 at the Wayback Machine at
  64. ^ Lionel Rogg – Recordings Archived 2015-09-05 at the Wayback Machine at
  65. ^ Wolfgang Rübsam – Recordings Archived 2015-09-27 at the Wayback Machine at
  66. ^ Richter 1964
  67. ^ Organ Works BWV 525–771: Recorded Sets of Bach's Complete (or near complete) Organ Works Archived 2015-08-22 at the Wayback Machine at
  68. ^ Whiteley2001
  69. ^ Kibbie (recording)
  70. ^ Rust, Brian A. (1984). The American Record Label Book. New York: Da Capo Press. p. 110. ISBN 0306762110.
  71. ^ "Statistik der Concerte im Saale des Gewandhauses zu Leipzig", p. 3 (in Dörffel 1884)
  72. ^ Tausig (score)
  73. ^ Bach-Brassin: Piano Transcriptions of Bach's Works by Louis Brassin Archived 2015-09-05 at the Wayback Machine at
  74. ^ Louis Brassin. Toccata (D moll) für Orgel von Joh. Seb. Bach: Für Pianoforte zum Concertvortrag bearbeitet. Hamburg: D. Rahter
  75. ^ Busoni 1899 (score)
  76. ^ Reger (score)
  77. ^ The Aeolian Company (recording)
  78. ^ Bloomfield Zeisler 1912 (recording)
  79. ^ Novello 1926 (recording)
  80. ^ Piers Lane, Liner notes Archived 2021-09-28 at the Wayback Machine to Bach Piano Transcriptions – 3: Ignaz Friedman / Percy Grainger / William Mudoch. Hyperion, 2003, p. 5.
  81. ^ Bach-Grainger: Piano Transcriptions of Bach's Works by Percy Grainger Discography Archived 2015-09-05 at the Wayback Machine at
  82. ^ Bach-Friedman: Piano Transcriptions of Bach's Works by Ignaz Friedman Discography Archived 2015-09-05 at the Wayback Machine at
  83. ^ Friedman 1944 (score)
  84. ^ Bach-Tausig: Piano Transcriptions of Bach's Works by Carl Tausig – Discography Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine at
  85. ^ Bach-Busoni: Piano Transcriptions of Bach's Works & Works inspired by Bach, by Ferruccio Busoni – Recordings, Part 2 Archived 2015-09-05 at the Wayback Machine ff. at
  86. ^ Johann Nikolaus Forkel (1802), translated by Charles Sanford Terry (1920). Johann Sebastian Bach: His Life, Art, and Work New York: Harcourt, Brace and Howe; London: Constable. p. 134
  87. ^ C. L. Hilgenfeldt (1850). Johann Sebastian Bach's Leben, Wirken und Werke: ein Beitrag zur Kunstgeschichte des achtzehnten Jahrhunderts. Archived 2017-12-22 at the Wayback Machine Leipzig: Friedrich Hofmeister. pp. 130–131 Archived 2016-03-05 at the Wayback Machine
  88. ^ Karl Hermann Bitter (1865). Johann Sebastian Bach. Berlin: Schneider. Vol. 2, Anh. II, p. cxii Archived 2016-08-09 at the Wayback Machine
  89. ^ Spitta 1873, Vol. I pp. 429–31
  90. ^ Reginald Lane Poole (1882). Sebastian Bach. London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington. p. 40
  91. ^ Schweitzer 1905, pp. 174–83
  92. ^ a b André Pirro (1906). J.-S. Bach. Paris: Félix Alcan. (in third edition:) p. 216; pp. 219–220
  93. ^ Schweitzer 1908, p. 248
  94. ^ Parry 1909, pp. 64–65 and p. 512
  95. ^ a b Alberto Basso (1979). Frau Musika: La vita e le opere di J. S. Bach, Volume 1 (of 2): Le origini familiari, l'ambiente luterano, gli anni giovanili, Weimar e Köthen (1685–1723). Archived 2020-08-03 at the Wayback Machine Turin, EDT. ISBN 8870630110 p. 491 and pp. 493 ff. Archived 2020-08-03 at the Wayback Machine
  96. ^ a b c Eidam 2001, ch. IV
  97. ^ a b Wolff 2000, p. 72
  98. ^ Wolff 2000 p. 169
  99. ^ Pirro 1895, p. 66
  100. ^ Emans 2004, p. 26
  101. ^ a b c Williams 1980, pp. 214–221
  102. ^ Gwinner 1968
  103. ^ Stauffer, George B. "Bach's Organ Registration Reconsidered", pp. 193–211, in Stauffer & May 1986
  104. ^ Stinson 2012, pp. 99 ff.
  105. ^ Carnegie Hall: concert program for 15 December 1928 Archived 24 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine at
  106. ^ Bach-Leonardi: Orchestral Arrangements/Transcriptions of Bach's Works by Leonidas Leonardi Archived 2015-06-02 at the Wayback Machine at
  107. ^ Bach, J. S. (arr. Melichar) Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine at
  108. ^ Ormandy Conducts Bach Orchestral Transcriptions – PASC211 Archived 2016-03-02 at the Wayback Machine at
  109. ^ Stokowski 1952 (score)
  110. ^ Bach-Sevitzky: Arrangements/Transcriptions of Bach's Works by Fabien Sevitzky Archived 2015-09-06 at the Wayback Machine at
  111. ^ J. S. Bach: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor orchestrated by René Leibowitz Archived 2016-01-31 at the Wayback Machine at
  112. ^ Bach-Cailliet: Arrangements/Transcriptions of Bach's Works by Lucien Cailliet Archived 2015-09-05 at the Wayback Machine at
  113. ^ New York Philharmonic: concert program for 5, 6 and 9 December 1968 Archived 24 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine at
  114. ^ a b David P. Neumeyer (2015). Meaning and Interpretation of Music in Cinema, p. 186. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0253016515
  115. ^ Lerner, Neil (2010). Music in the Horror Film: Listening to Fear.
  116. ^ a b Huckvale, David (2010). Touchstones of Gothic Horror: A Film Genealogy of Eleven Motifs and Images.
  117. ^ a b Brown, Julie (2009). "Carnival of Souls and the Organs of Horror", pp. 1–20 Archived 2017-10-26 at the Wayback Machine in Music in the Horror Film: Listening to Fear edited by Neil Lerner. Routledge. ISBN 1135280444
  118. ^ Zehnder, Jean-Claude (2012). "Introduction". Bach's Complete Organ Works, Volume 4 (PDF). Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel. pp. 16–24. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2015-09-10. Retrieved 2020-11-05.
  119. ^ Farmer, Clark (2008). ""Every Beautiful Sound Also Creates an Equally Beautiful Picture": Color Music and Walt Disney's Fantasia". In Jay Beck; Tony Grajeda (eds.). Lowering the Boom: Critical Studies in Film Sound. University of Illinois Press. pp. 183–97. ISBN 978-0252075322. See pp. 192–97
  120. ^ Barrier, Michael (2007). The Animated Man: A Life of Walt Disney. Simpson Book in the Humanities. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0520941663.
  121. ^ Elie, Paul (2013). Reinventing Bach. Aurum Press. ISBN 978-1908526410.
  122. ^ Eagan, Daniel (2010). America's Film Legacy: The Authoritative Guide to the Landmark Movies in the National Film Registry. A&C Black. pp. 323–24. ISBN 978-0826429773.
  123. ^ Suzanne van Kempen (2009). Bach – musikpädagogisch betrachtet, p. 335. Peter Lang. ISBN 978-3631593257
  124. ^ Jeremy Barham (Fall-Winter 2008). "Scoring Incredible Futures: Science-Fiction Screen Music, and "Postmodernism" as Romantic Epiphany". The Musical Quarterly 91:3/4 pp. 240–274, JSTOR 20534533.
  125. ^ Legrand, Michel (2013). "Il était une fois...l'Homme". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2 November 2020. Retrieved 5 November 2020. generic episode
  126. ^ Sciannameo, Franco (2020). Reflections on the Music of Ennio Morricone: Fame and Legacy. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 51–53.
  127. ^ Miceli, Sergio (2016). "Leone, Morricone and the Italian Way to Revisionist Westerns". In Mervyn Cooke; Fiona Ford (eds.). The Cambridge Companian to Film Music. Cambridge University Press. pp. 76–280. doi:10.1017/9781316146781.018. ISBN 978-1316146781. Archived from the original on 2018-06-16. Retrieved 2020-11-04.
  128. ^ Tornatore, Giuseppe (2018). Ennio – Un maestro (in Italian). Harper Collins Italia. pp. 134–135. ISBN 978-8869053917. Archived from the original on 2021-09-28. Retrieved 2020-11-07.
  129. ^ De Rosa, Alessandro (2019). Ennio Morricone: In His Own Words. Translated by Maurizio Corbella. Oxford University Press. pp. 27–30. ISBN 978-0190681036. "Quel rituale di morte compiuto in una chiesa mi convinse a impiegare la citazione bachiana e l’organo. Le posture assunte da Volonté in quella sequenza mi rimandarono ad alcune pitture di Rembrandt e Vermeer, pittori che in effetti piacevano molto a Leone e per di più vissero in un’epoca prossima a quella di Bach. Volsi lo sguardo musicale indietro, a quel passato."
  130. ^ a b Davies, Antony (1961). "New light on Bach" in Musical Opinion Vol. 84, pp. 755–759
  131. ^ a b c Bullivant 1971, p. 14 and elsewhere
  132. ^ a b Emans 2009, pp. 103 ff.
  133. ^ a b Emans 2009, p. 109
  134. ^ Humphreys 1982, pp. 216–217
  135. ^ Stephan Emele (2000). 4.6 "BWV 565 – ein Werk von Kellner?" Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine in Ein Beispiel der mitteldeutschen Orgelkunst des 18. Jahrhunderts: Johann Peter Kellner (thesis). Jena. OCLC 553465573
  136. ^ a b c Kranenburg 2007/2008
  137. ^ a b Kranenburg 2006
  138. ^ Dürr, Alfred; Kobayashi, Yoshitake; Beißwenger, Kirsten (1998). Bach Werke Verzeichnis (version 2a). Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel. ISBN 3765102490 p. 324 Archived 2016-01-23 at the Wayback Machine
  139. ^ Toccata in d BWV 565 Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine at
  140. ^ Emery 1966
  141. ^ Blume 1968.
  142. ^ Claus 1998
  143. ^ Claus 2018
  144. ^ Butt 1997, p. 76 and elsewhere.
  145. ^ Wolf 2002
  146. ^ Schulenberg 2006, p. 434, p. 458 and p. 516
  147. ^ Jones 2007 p. 160
  148. ^ Williams 1981, p. 336
  149. ^ Peter Wollny, "Harpsichord Concertos" pp. 6–7 Archived 2015-09-22 at the Wayback Machine in booklet notes for Andreas Staier's 2015 recording of the concertos, Harmonia mundi HMC 902181.82
  150. ^ Williams 1981, p. 337
  151. ^ Rockwell, John (September 13, 1984). "Concert: Academy of Ancient Music". New York Times. Archived from the original on 2009-02-20. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
  152. ^ Johann Sebastian Bach / Andrew Manze, Richard Egarr, Jaap ter Linden – Four Violin Sonatas; Toccata and Fugue, BWV 565. BBC MM89, 1999.
  153. ^ Fox-Lefriche 2004
  154. ^ Altschuler 2005.
  155. ^ "Rachel Podger on Tutta Sola". Presto Music. 22 November 2022. Retrieved 11 February 2024.
  156. ^ "Zu einer Toccata von Bach" Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine at
  157. ^ "Sky | Awards". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 18 October 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  158. ^ "Allmusic – Vanessa-Mae: Charts & Awards – Billboard Singles".
  159. ^ Johann Sebastian Bach. Toccata e fuga in re minore BWV 565: elaborazione per flauto solo Archived 2016-04-22 at the Wayback Machine at
  160. ^ Sciarrino: Toccata and Fugue by J S Bach arranged for solo flute Archived 2016-04-22 at the Wayback Machine at
  161. ^ "RM Williams Publishing – Bach/Nagy: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (in F Minor) for solo horn". Archived from the original on 2013-06-18. Retrieved 2012-01-11.
  162. ^ Shearer, Daniel (December 1999). "Reviews: Where No Brass Has Gone Before". Canadian Brass. Archived from the original on 16 February 2005. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  163. ^ Mills, (score).
  164. ^ Doyle, Lucy (12 March 2017). "Best-selling pop songs to sample classical music revealed". PRS for Music. Retrieved 6 March 2023.



Background color: green: online version of score available; red: introduction and/or commentary available
Version provided by Date Place Publisher Series Volume BWV 565
Ringk, Johannes c. 1740–1760 Germany Berlin State Library (facsimile) RISM 467300997 D-B Mus. ms. Bach p. 595][a] Fascicle 8 (pp. 57–64)[a] Toccata Con Fuga pedaliter ex d # di J. S. Bach[b]
Marx, Adolph Bernhard 1833 Leipzig Breitkopf & Härtel Johann Sebastian Bach's noch wenig bekannte Orgelcompositionen: auch am Pianoforte von einem oder zwei Spielern ausführbar Vol. 3 (of 3) No. 9 Toccata (pp. 12–19)[b]
Griepenkerl, Friedrich Konrad
Roitzsch, Ferdinand
1846 Leipzig C. F. Peters Johann Sebastian Bach's Compositionen für die Orgel Vol. IV (plate 243) No. 4 (pp. 24 ff.)
Tausig, Karl c. 1860s Berlin Schlesinger Toccata und Fuge (D moll) für die Orgel (Pedal und Manual) von Johann Sebastian Bach für das Clavier zum Conzertvortrag frei bearbeitet Toccata (pp. 2–6) – Fuge (pp. 7–15)[b]
Rust, Wilhelm 1867 Leipzig Breitkopf & Härtel Bach-Gesellschaft-Ausgabe Band XV: Orgelwerke, Band 1 ("Vorwort")[a] Toccata II (pp. 267–75)[b]
Bridge, John Frederick
Higgs, James
1886 London Novello & Co The Organ Works of John Sebastian Bach Book VI: Toccata, Preludes, and Fugues No. 1 (pp. 2–9)
Reger, Max 1896 London Augener Selection of Joh. Seb. Bach's Organ Works transcribed for Pianoforte Duet No. 2: Toccata & Fugue in D minor Toccata und Fuge (pp. 2–21)[b]
Busoni, Ferruccio 1899 Leipzig Breitkopf & Härtel Zwei Orgeltoccaten = Two organ toccatas = Deux toccates d'orgue von Joh. Sebastian Bach auf das Pianoforte übertragen (BV B 29) No. 2: Toccata in D moll = D minor = ré mineur (Toccata e fuga) Toccata in D moll (pp. 2–17)[b]
Widor, Charles-Marie
Schweitzer, Albert
1912 New York G. Schirmer Johann Sebastian Bach. Complete Organ Works: a critico-practical edition in eight volumes provided with a preface containing general observations on the manner of performing the preludes and fugues and suggestions for the interpretation of the compositions contained in each volume Volume II: Preludes and fugues of the first master period No. 15
Best, William Thomas
Hull, Arthur Eaglefield
1914 London Augener Johann Sebastian Bach's Organ Works Volume II: Preludes, Fugues, Fantasia and Toccatas pp. 271 ff.
Friedman, Ignaz 1944 Melbourne Allans Publishing Toccata and Fugue (D minor)[b]
Stokowski, Leopold 1952 New York Broude Brothers Symphonic transcription published from the library of Leopold Stokowski. Toccata and Fugue in D Minor Archived 2008-04-06 at the Wayback Machine (Duration: 9 minutes)
Kilian, Dietrich 1964 Kassel Bärenreiter New Bach Edition, Series IV: Organ Works Organ Works 6: Preludes, Toccatas, Fantasias and Fugues II – Early Versions and Variants of I and II[a] Toccata con Fuga in d BWV 565
Mills, Fred
Canadian Brass
1990s US Hal Leonard Brass Ensemble Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
Zehnder, Jean-Claude 2011 Leipzig Breitkopf & Härtel Complete Organ Works – Breitkopf Urtext Vol. 4: Toccatas and Fugues / Individual Works – with CD-ROM[a] No. 3 Toccata et Fuga in d BWV 565 (pp. 56–65)
  1. ^ a b c d e introduction and/or commentary available
  2. ^ a b c d e f g online version of score available


Last column sortable by performance time; Background-color: green: audio file available
Performed by Date Place Issued by Series Volume BWV 565
between 1902 and 1915 New York The Aeolian Company Piano roll Toccata and fugue in D minor arranged for pianoforte solo by C. Tausig tempo 70; 28,5 cm
Bloomfield Zeisler, Fannie 1912 Welte-Mignon Piano roll Toccata & Fugue in D minor (Tausig transcription) (9:19)
Novello, Marie mid-
London Edison Bell Velvet Face No. 676: Organ Toccata & Fugue: Pianoforte Solo (Bach, Tausig) Two 78 rpm disc sides: Pt. 1, Pt. 2
Cunningham, G. D. 1926 Kingsway Hall, London His Master's Voice No. C 1291: Toccata and fugue in D minor 78 rpm disc
Stokowski, Leopold
Philadelphia Orchestra
April 1927 Academy of Music, Philadelphia Victor Red Seal "Electric" recording Toccata and Fugue in D minor (Stokowski transcription) Two 78 rpm disc sides (8:53)
Schweitzer, Albert 1935 All Hallows-by-the-Tower, London Columbia Albert Schweitzer plays Bach[a] No. 6 (9:04)
Stokowski, Leopold
Philadelphia Orchestra
1940 Academy of Music, Philadelphia Disney Walt Disney's Fantasia – Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra: Remastered Original Soundtrack Edition (1990) CD 1 (of 2) Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565 (9:22)
Walcha, Helmut August 1947 Church of St. Jacob [de], Lübeck Deutsche Grammophon Archiv Produktion; Research period IX: Works by Johann Sebastian Bach; Series F: Organ works Prelude and fugue, E minor, BWV 548; Prelude and fugue, A minor, BWV 551; Prelude and fugue, C major, BWV 547; Toccata and fugue, D minor, BWV 565 No. 4 (9:15)
Schweitzer, Albert 1951 Gunsbach, Alsace Columbia J. S. Bach: Organ Music Vol. IV[a] No. 3 (10:31)
Biggs, E. Power 1955 Europe (14 different organs) Columbia Bach: Toccata in D minor (A Hi-Fi Adventure) e.g. London, Royal Festival Hall Side 2 No. 6
Biggs, E. Power 1960 Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard Columbia Bach: Organ Favorites Bach: Great Organ Favorites (Columbia 42644, re-issued as CD by CBS in 2011, with liner notes by Hans-Joachim Schulze) Toccata (2:28), Fugue (5:54)
Walcha, Helmut 1963 Grote Sint Laurenskerk, Alkmaar Deutsche Grammophon Classic Mania (issued 1991) CD 2, No. 4 (2:37, Toccata only – Fugue of that 1963 recording had been 6:52)
Alain, Marie-Claire 1959–1968 Sankta Maria kyrka [sv], Helsingborg Erato J. S. Bach – L'Œuvre Pour Orgue – Intégrale en 24 disques Vol. 3: Toccatas & Fugues en ré mineur bwv 565 – en fa majeur bwv 540 / Préludes & Fugues en do majeur bwv 545 – en mi majeur bwv 533 – Fugue en sol mineur bwv 578 Toccata & Fugue en ré mineur bwv 565 (8:42)
Richter, Karl 1964 Jaegersborg Church [da], Copenhagen Deutsche Grammophon Johann Sebastian Bach: Toccata & Fuge / Famous Organ Works Toccata & Fugue in D minor, BWV 565 (8:56)
Whiteley, John Scott 2001 Bath Abbey, Bath BBC TV 21st-Century Bach Bach, The Complete Organ Works, Vols 1 and 2 Toccata and fugue in D Minor, BWV 565 (8:41)
Alain, Marie-Claire 1982 Collégiale de Saint-Donat [fr], Drôme Erato Toccata & Fugue / Passacaglia / Fugue / Concerto / Fantaisie & Fugue Toccata & Fugue en ré mineur D minor/D Moll BWV 565 (8:15)
Preston, Simon 1988 Kreuzbergkirche [de], Bonn Deutsche Grammophon Toccata & Fugue BVW 565 – Preludes & Fugues BVW 532 & 552 – Fantasia BWV 572 – Pastorale BVW 590 Toccata: Adagio (2:31)
Fugue (5:54)
Fagius, Hans 1988 Fredrik Church, Karlskrona Brilliant Classics Bach Edition CD 151 – Organ Works: Toccata & Fuga BWV 565/Concerto BWV 594/Praeludium & Fuga BWV 548/"Allein Gott in der Höh' sei Ehr" BWV 711–715/717 (issued c. 2000) Nos. 1–2 (8:54)
Carlos, Wendy 1992 Telarc Switched-On Bach 2000 (25th anniversary sequel to Switched-On Bach, 1968) Toccata & Fugue In D Minor
Kibbie, James 2007–2009 Stadtkirche [de], Waltershausen Block M Records (University of Michigan) Bach Organ Works BWV 565: Toccata con Fuga in d / Toccata and Fugue in D Minor AACMP3[a] (9:16)
  1. ^ a b c audio file available


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Sheet music

  • Free sheet music of original and Busoni piano arrangement from – Accessed: 08:14, 3 April 2016 (UTC)

Audio recordings

Video recordings

Mixed media (sheet music and recordings)