What I love most about this piece, other than its obvious dainty charms, is the cross-century dialogue.
Without being too pretentious, I think it’s amazing how Bach can create this music in the 18th century, and John Williams can pick it up and reinterpret for a modern instrument and a modern audience.
The piece was originally composed for a kind of harpsichord. By arranging the music so adeptly for guitar, Williams highlights Bach’s timeless genius through the lens of his own.
Classical music buffs will be familiar with all the pieces in the movement – but a wider audience will have heard the 5th part – the Bouree!
Williams’ interpretation was released on John Williams Plays Bach – The Complete Lute Music On Guitar, in 1975, about 250 years after J.S. Bach penned the original.