Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach (b. 1685 - d. 1750)
Performance date: 04/07/2019
Venue: St. Brendan’s Church
Composition Year: c.1720
Recording Engineer: Gar Duffy, RTÉ
Emmanuelle Bertrand -
As I pursued my study of the
Suites, an unknown world of grandeur and beauty opened up before my eyes. The
emotions I felt in the course of this long process are among the purest and
most intense of my artistic life. Pablo Casals
Third Suite Prélude 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. 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.
This Suite positively rejoices in the extrovert and confident key of C major.
Openness, riches, magnanimity are on offer here, presented in a generous and
open-hearted embrace. It is followed by a gallant Allemande filled with varying rhythmic patterns that lend an air
of grace and elegance to the movement. The Courante,
like the Suite’s Prélude, has a wide
range and its running semiquavers are so full of energy that they scarcely draw
breath. The Sarabande takes on a
formal, almost ritual character full of grave beauty and harmonic intricacy,
this is perhaps the best-loved movement in all the Suites. The Bourées offer some light relief and
grant contentment and ease after the serious demeanour of the Sarabande. The Gigue is a celebration of the dance, where the dance floor can
scarcely contain the overflowing spirits.
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