Wednesday Music: Bach’s Air On The G String

I don’t know if I’ve ever featured any of Bach’s pieces for Wednesday Music. I don’t think I have. That’s about to change, because today’s piece is Johan Sebastian Bach’s Air on the G String, BWV 1068. Here’s a bit about the piece.

  • Bach wrote Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major, possibly between 1717 and 1723 (though some scholars thing it was written later). In the nineteenth century, violinist August Wilhelmj arranged the second movement of this piece so that he could play it on one string of his violin: the G string (this is the lowest string). So even though this piece is famous, Bach didn’t really intend for it to be played this way.
  • To be precise, Wilhelmj transposed the melody from D major to C major, then moved it down one octave. The music nerd in me couldn’t resist putting that fact in here!
  • This piece was one of the first of Bach’s to be recorded. A Russian cellist and unknown pianist recorded it together in 1902.


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2 thoughts on “Wednesday Music: Bach’s Air On The G String

  1. That used to be the intro song for a popular science TV show in Italy, before the public television started launching idiotic short series and even more idiotic games… I remember bobbing along this music waiting for the show to start, hoping that there’d be dinosaurs!


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