Suite No 4 in E flat, BWV 1010

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach (b. 1685 - d. 1750)
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Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach (b. 1685 - d. 1750)

Performance date: 03/07/2019

Venue: St. Brendan’s Church

Composition Year: ca. 1720

Duration: 00:20:12

Recording Engineer: Gar Duffy, RTÉ

Instrumentation: vc

Instrumentation Category:Solo

Artists: Emmanuelle Bertrand - [cello]

The Fourth Suite is in the key of E flat, a key
associated with power and strength in the Baroque and Classical periods. The
bold gestures of the Prélude conform
to this idea but present special challenges for the performer, as the key of E
flat lies awkwardly on the instrument. The Prélude
sounds like an easy-flowing eight-note fantasy but is tricky to enunciate
smoothly. It includes a cadenza before returning to the opening motif, with
further variants right up to the conclusion.  The Allemande flows smoothly in a serene
manner from its confident opening to the closing cadence. The cheerful Italian
style Courante is a running and
jumping dance reflected here in the staccato phrases. The Sarabande, a thoughtful, calm creation, is reminiscent of the opening
progression of the Prélude and its
melodic material unfolds not from new gestures, but from ones we have already
heard before. The Bourées offer some
light hearted contrast, originally a French peasant dance but adopted by the
French Court, it is in double time with a dactylic rhythm. The first of the two
Bourées is the longest of all the
Cello Suites optional dance movements and has a lively, virtuosic character. In
contrast, its partner, the second Bourée
is conveniently one of the shortest movements in all Baroque instrumental
literature. It is unusual in that it has fidelity to the tonic key, not one
accidental or hint at chromatic movement wavers outside the key of E flat
major. The concluding Gigue of the Suite
is the most true to form Italian Gigue of the six suites, a rumbustious dance
that would stir even the most arthritic of toes.