Iain Farrington

Pianist, organist, composer, arranger

Johann Sebastian Bach: Ricercar a 6 (The Musical Offering)

for Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Piano


Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) composed The Musical Offering in 1747, after a meeting with King Frederick of Prussia. Bach was given an extended theme by the King and asked to improvise on it. On his return to Leipzig, Bach composed a series of pieces based on the theme, including canons, ricercars and a trio sonata. Although written as a keyboard score, the pieces have been frequently arranged for other instruments, notably the Ricercar a 6. This fugue in six voices is one of Bach's most advanced pieces, rich and chromatic, with ingenious counterpoint. The arrangement for four instruments is simple and unadorned, without added dynamics or articulation, so players can interpret the music freely.


Duration: c.6 minutes


Listen to a performance of the arrangement here


Available to purchase from Aria Editions here