Soli Deo Gloria

Andrew Balio’s Transcriptions of J.S. Bach for Trumpet and Organ in Concerts Worldwide

“The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.” J.S. Bach

Since my student days playing for Lutheran churches in Wisconsin, I have been performing my own transcriptions of Bach’s music. Early on, I noted that the response surpassed that of any other music, as if it were a transcendent experience for listeners. On one occasion, I used some of my Bach arrangements for the Catholic Requiem Mass for a beloved uncle over the gentle objections of an understandably doctrinal priest.  Throughout my career, I have played trumpet and organ recitals in the great churches around the world, and I frequently hear from listeners the same visceral reaction, that these two instruments together form a perfect marriage of resounding timbres.  The many florid parts Bach originally wrote for trumpet in his compositions are, after centuries, still among the most resplendent of the entire classical music repertoire, and I have  sought to multiply the harvest through transcription. To my thinking, trumpet can amplify, illuminate, and add brilliant colors to works he originally set as solos for organ, flute, or violin. Churches and concert halls, which can be likened to cathedrals for music, are ideal spaces for beholding this master’s meditations on God.

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J.S. Bach – Das Alte Jahr vergangen ist
(The Old Year Has Passed) BWV 614
J.S. Bach – Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend’
(Lord Jesus Christ, Be Present Now!) BWV 655
J.S. Bach – Ich ruf zu dir
(I Call to You) BWV 639
J.S. Bach – Allegro
from Sonata in B minor BWV 1014