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B minor


S_L
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I have been having a discussion with a friend over what he plans to play over Easter. He said that he would rather like to play the Bach B minor Prelude and Fugue because of the associations of the key of B minor with Palm Sunday. I have never heard of this!

Irrespective of our different traditions and whether our tradition has it that the organ is used or is not used on Palm Sunday I wonder if any other forumites have heard of the association of the key of B minor with Palm Sunday - and where the association/tradition/custom comes from.

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As an aside, B minor is an interesting key. Not that many standard repertoire works have been written in that key. Apart from the obvious Bach/Shostakovitch/Chopin Preludes (and Fugues!) I wonder how many works forumites can name in B minor. I'll start off with:

Dvorak - 'cello Concerto

Elgar - Violin Concerto

Borodin - Symphony 2 (a most tedious work in my opinion!!)

Schubert - Unfinished

Fingals Cave

Blair/Noble Canticles in B minor

I could go on - but I'll give others a chance first!!! 

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You didn't mention the most obvious one of the lot, SL: that mass by JSB.

Others that come to mind:
Bach: 2 x P&Fs from the 48 🙂
Franck: Choral no.2
Franck: Prélude, Fugue & Variation
Gigout: Toccata

One of Bach's French Suites in in B minor, but I can't remember which one.
 

 

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I'm not aware of a link between Palm Sunday and B minor but I know a man who might!

Is the Bach 'Corelli B minor fugue' one of the obvious ones? 

I played the bassoon in Borodin 2 at school - sorry you're not keen, S_L... and for A-level I studied the Liszt Piano Sonata in B minor.  I haven't time to check now but what key was the Ride of the Valkyries in? I have an organ transcription somewhere and I'm pretty sure it's in B minor but that doesn't mean that the original is/ Oh, and I hve a transcription of the Bach Badinerie which is in A minor, but the original is definitely in B minor. 

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1 hour ago, Martin Cooke said:

I haven't time to check now but what key was the Ride of the Valkyries in? I have an organ transcription somewhere and I'm pretty sure it's in B minor but that doesn't mean that the original is/ Oh, and I hve a transcription of the Bach Badinerie which is in A minor, but the original is definitely in B minor. 

Correct on both counts Martin!

................. but that connection between B min. and Palm Sunday anyone? 

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2 hours ago, S_L said:

... but that connection between B min. and Palm Sunday anyone? 

I've checked with the chap I thought might know - (he's very into the mathematical aspects of Bach, for example) - and he knows nothing either.

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The Duruflé Toccata is in B minor and works well on Easter Day.

I have never heard of a connection between the Bm P&F and Palm Sunday. The Toccatas/Fantasias and Fugues seem to me to have no religious significance.

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I find the JSB B minor quite ominous, maybe even menacing.  That might translate into the progression from the triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to the distressing aspects of denial, betrayal and death manifesting themselves later that week. 

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23 hours ago, innate said:

I have never heard of a connection between the Bm P&F and Palm Sunday.

Me neither! - ............ but I've emailed my friend and asked him to tell me the connection!

Meanwhile another five more works in B minor - there isn't much more!

Tchaikovsky - Symphony 6

Berg - Piano Sonata Op. 1 (a single movement nominally in B min. - although Berg uses extensive chromaticism, whole tone scales etc.)

Paganini - La Campanella

Brahms - Clarinet Quintet

Sibelius - Tapiola 

Beethoven called an idea of his in one of his sketch-books-  'a black key'!

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