Ground Bass
Close relatives: Chaconne and Passacaglia

Cooke’s Tour 13: Ground Bass
Richard Cooke’s introduction coming soon.

“…a musical device which of itself is not that interesting, but how some great composers utilise it has, on occasions been impressive and inspiring…”
Richard Cooke


Ground Bass (basso ostinato)

Brahms Symphony No.4 Op.98 last movement
Barenboim with Chicago starting (30’27”)
Bernstein with Vienna – more fury and explanation from LB at the beginning of the clip (45’20”)
Carlos Kleiber with Vienna

Purcell Dido’s lament from the opera ‘Dido and Aeneas’
Anna Dennis
Les Arts Florissants

JS Bach Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BVW 582
Andreaskirche Hildesheim, Andrea Marcon
JS Bach Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor for Organ, BWV 582

JS Bach Chaconne from Partita No. 2 in D minor for solo violin, BWV 1004
Biber Passacaglia in G Minor ‘Guardian Angel’: Gabrielle Wunsch, baroque violin
Greg Ewer plays Bach Gigue and Chaconne – Baroque Violin
Busoni piano transcription (but listen to the violin original first)
Hear it played on a lute


Canterbury Choral Society Missa Solemnis concerts:
20 June 2020
Cancelled due to Covid-19.
Click here if you have purchased tickets for this concert.
We hope to perform it in June 2021.
Join our mailing list for further information on future concerts when they resume.
21 June 2014
Canterbury Festival 2006
16 March 2002
Canterbury Festival 1996


Canterbury Choral Society Music Director, Richard Cooke, is sharing his favourite works to give some musical nourishment in these difficult, isolated times. ‘Cooke’s Tour’ is a weekly musical voyage (not necessarily choral music) that music lovers can enjoy without leaving home. You can see his introductory video on Royal Choral Society YouTube channel.

Join Richard Cooke’s music tour at or follow on Canterbury Choral Society Twitter or #CookesTour.

As well as Canterbury Choral Society, Richard Cooke is Music Director of Royal Choral Society and University of Essex Choir.