Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach (b. 1685 - d. 1750)
Performance date: 04/07/2017
Venue: St. Brendan’s Church
Composition Year: 1720
Recording Engineer: Richard McCullough, RTÉ lyric fm
Pieter Wiespelwey -
The Third Suite Prelude opens with one of the most effective and well-known gestures in the history of musical literature. A triumphant scale spanning a full two octave C major scale, the key most often associated with purity of soul. In the Baroque era this festive and open key was often based on the timbre of the trumpet or horn; on the cello the richness is provided by the use of all four open strings, allowing the resonance of the instrument to reach its full potential. It is followed by a gallant Allemande filled with varying rhythmic patterns that lend an air of grace and delicacy to the movement. The Courante, like the suite’s prelude, has a wide range and its running semiquavers point firmly in the direction of the Italian style of writing. The most frequently performed movement of the Cello Suites follows in the form of the Sarabande. This Sarabande is highly regarded by performers, audiences and indeed scholars alike, with its tantalising formal character full of grave beauty and harmonic intricacy. The Bourées offer some light relief and grant contentment and ease after the preceding serious demeanour. The first of the two is probably more well known and humorous character, the second is slightly more melancholic and paired together they bring to mind a comical mime duo.The Gigue is a celebration of the dance, where the dance floor can scarcely contain the overflowing spirits.
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