Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach (b. 1685 - d. 1750)
Performance date: 28/06/2015
Venue: St. Brendan’s Church
Composition Year: 1720
Recording Engineer: Richard McCullough, RTÉ lyric fm
David Cohen -
is the first of the two in minor keys, both being flanked in Bach’s typically
schematic fashion by major keys. The opening of the Prélude is hesitant and constrained when compared to the freedom of
the first Suite signalling its introspective mood. It does nonetheless rise up
to a moment of hard won passion before sinking back to the doubts of the
beginning. The Allemande continues in
the same mood of inner turbulence so it is a relief when the Courante takes off at a tremendous pace. But it is all nervous energy
and there is no respite from the intense questioning of the first movements.
rigorous formality of the Sarabande
shows another way of containing this self questioning through concentrating on
the ritual steps of this stately dance. But the edginess remains with the minor
key and the decorations still have unanswered questions in them. The first Menuet is much more down to earth but
only in the second Menuet is the
atmosphere lightened by the major key. The Gigue is clearly aiming to resolve
all these problems in the fire of the dance, but the final affirmation is kept
for the next suite.
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