Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach (b. 1685 - d. 1750)
Performance date: 03/07/2019
Venue: St. Brendan’s Church
Composition Year: ca. 1720
Recording Engineer: Gar Duffy, RTÉ
Emmanuelle Bertrand -
Cello Suite No.1 in G major BWV 1007 [circa 1720]
The opening Prélude of the first Suite is reminiscent of the first pages of the Well-Tempered Clavier, and takes the listener on a masterful journey of chordal progressions, modulating around the key of G major before finally granting a sense of resolution in the final bar. The Allemande is flowing in tempo embracing the traits of peace and order that were so typical of this dance style. It is followed by an energetic Courante in the Italian style, a characteristically lively dance with running passages in triple time. The Sarabande is believed to have been a seductive and lively dance in its day. By the time Bach was composing Sarabandes, the original lascivious form had been deemed unfit for polite society and it had grown into the stately expressive tune we now associate with this solemn dance. The penultimate dances are two delicate Menuets with the second one in the parallel key of G minor making it the only movement in a different key to the tonic. The Suite concludes with a lively Gigue – the etymology of which is probably the most complicated of all the dances, claimants including the French giguer, Italian giga, German Geige and English jig with the debate going back to the sixteenth century and beyond, where we will leave it. Bach’s Gigue concludes this Suite in an atmosphere of optimism and cheerfulness.
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