Bach – Air on the G String – Classical Guitar

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It’s April 6th 2015 and it’s a beautiful day here. This classical guitar arrangement of Bach’s “Air on the G String” that I am playing here is based off of the most excellent performance of Rick Graham on youtube.

Air on the G String is August Wilhelmj’s arrangement of the second movement in Johann Sebastian Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068.

The original orchestral suite was generally believed to have been written by Bach for his patron Prince Leopold of Anhalt some time between the years 1717 and 1723. However, the oldest surviving score is later, dating from Bach’s time in Leipzig. Current thinking is that the suite may well have been written in that city for performance by the collegium musicum.

The title comes from violinist August Wilhelmj’s late 19th century arrangement of the piece for violin and piano. By transposing the key of the piece from its original D major to C major and transposing the melody down an octave, Wilhelmj was able to play the piece on only one string of his violin, the G string.

Later, a spurious story was put about that the melody was always intended to be played on the G string alone.