Bach & Beyond was written as a jazzy, slightly tongue-in cheek tribute for the 250th anniversary of Bach's death (spot the quotes from seven of Bach's most celebrated works).
Also available as a quartet, as recorded by the by the Paragon Saxophone Quartet in 2003 as the title track on the 'Bach & Beyond' CD of works for saxophone quartets published by Saxtet Publications. The original version was for piano.
This is a very technically demanding work. It really needs a very tight music college ensemble or a professional one to do it justice. Bach and Beyond is witty, virtuosic and very cleverly written. Nigel Wood has managed to combine themes from many of Bach’s major works without letting it fall into complete comedy in the way that Lone Ar-ranger does. It seems to me to be a natural progression for Bach, such was his love of contrapuntal forms. It begins with a very powerful theme which leads on to the tricky bit. Sheep May Safely Graze, the Double Concerto in D minor and the Toccata & Fugue in D minor all compete for dominance in a cascade of semi-quavers which are split throughout the ensemble. This memorable short work requires a balanced ensemble of able saxophonists. It also demonstrates Nigel Wood’s superb grasp of compositional techniques.
Gerard McChrystal – Clarinet & Saxophone Magazine, Summer 2006