Friday, April 22, 2005

Bach, Cello Suite in G

I'm not an expert on the cello or its literature, however, I do know that pretty much every cellist has played J.S. Bach's 6 suites for cello. The funny thing is that these pieces remained pretty much undiscovered until the beginning of the twentieth century. It wasn't until the 1930's that Bach's suites became essential performance material.
A close examination of this song gives the impression that Bach's cello suite in G major was possibly composed as a technical excercise. Much of the passages are indicative of an etude. A pedal G, while Bach arpeggiates and has scalar runs. It reminds me of flute etudes. However, it is so much more than that. A suite, it is full of dance movements. Menuet, sarabande, gigue...It does have a slight dance feel to it.
Hearing Yo-Yo Ma play Prelude is a religious experience. Words really don't describe the beauty of this suite. The timbre and richness of the cello is quite amazing. I'm not going to talk too much more about this, words do not do justice for this piece. I find it incredible how a simple melody, paired with simple harmonies can be so gorgeous. Makes me want to learn to play the cello.

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