Bach and Handel Arrangements and Completions

Completions of Fragmentary Works of J. S. Bach and Handel
by David Schulenberg

In the course of researching and performing the music of J. S. Bach and Handel, I have had occasion to make various arrangements and to complete a number of instrumental works that survive only in fragments. Among the arrangements are my transcriptions of Bach’s works for unaccompanied string and wind instruments, found elsewhere on this website. The fragments are works that Bach and Handel probably completed but which do not survive in their intended form, presumably because the composer never completed a fair copy of his working draft, or because pages from his fair copy manuscript have been lost. In some cases the composer may have intentionally discarded portions of a work that he intended to revise and replace, but only the portion left intact remains.


Bach, songs, arias, and chorales from the second Little Keyboard Book for Anna Magdalena Bach (1725), arranged for keyboard performance with full harmony: BWV 82 (two movements) 452, and 508–518

Bach, Fourteen canons on the first eight notes of the “Goldberg Variations” bass line, BWV 1087, arranged for two-manual harpsichord
score    midi    recording (live performance)

Handel, Concerto in F for harpsichord or organ, HWV 292 (op. 4, no. 4), arrangement of the solo part with embellishments and cadenzas (capricci).
score    midi


I call these completions rather than reconstructions because, even where we have evidence as to how much of a work is missing or how a fragment might have continued, we cannot be sure that Bach did not intend to alter his original plan as documented by the extant fragment, or to replace a missing portion of a work by a longer or shorter one.

My book The Keyboard Music of J. S. Bach contains completions of the following works for solo keyboard instrument. Since publication I have revised the first item listed (revised score here).

Fugue in C Minor BWV 906/2     recording (live performance)
Chorale prelude Jesu, meine Freude BWV 753     recording (live performance)
Prelude in E Minor BWV 932     recording (live performance)
Fuga a 3 soggetti (the fragmentary quadruple contrapunctus from the Art of Fugue) BWV 1080/19 recording (live performance)     talk

The links below will take you to scores and midi (synthesized audio) files for the following works (by Bach unless otherwise noted):

Fugue in C minor (pedaliter, in five parts) BWV 562/2
score  midi    recording (live performance of an older version)

Fantasia pro organo in C, BWV 573
score  midi

Chorale prelude Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern (manualiter, in four parts), BWV 764
score  midi    recording (live performance)

Aria with Variations BWV 991
score  midi

Sonata in A for flute and keyboard, BWV 1032, first movement
score  flute part    midi   recording (live performance)

Handel, Suite in C minor for two keyboard instruments, HWV 446
Only the first of the two keyboard parts survives (see the note in the score for further details). The recording is from a performance with harpsichordist Zvi Meniker at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in 1994. Today I would play all four movements slower to one degree or another!
score    midi    recording:

File updated 7/19/21