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Cello Suite No.2 in D minor BWV 1008

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

David Cohen (photo credit: Daniel Herendi)

David Cohen (photo credit: Daniel Herendi)

Composer
Johann Sebastian Bach (b. 1685 - d. 1750)
Composition Year
1720
Work Movements
1. Prelude
2. Allemande
3. Courante
4. Sarabande
5. Menuet I & II
6. Gigue
Artists
David Cohen [cello]

Programme Note Writer:
© Francis Humphrys

This Suite 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.

The 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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Cello Suite No.2 in D minor BWV 1008

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach (b. 1685 - d. 1750)
Performance date: Sunday 28th June 2015
Venue: St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland

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Composer Johann Sebastian Bach (b. 1685 - d. 1750)
Work Title Cello Suite No.2 in D minor BWV 1008
Composition Year 1720
Work Movements 1. Prelude
2. Allemande
3. Courante
4. Sarabande
5. Menuet I & II
6. Gigue
Artist(s) David Cohen [cello]
Performance Date Sunday 28th June 2015
Performance Venue St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland
Event Coffee Concert
Duration 00:16:16
Recording Engineer Richard McCullough, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation Category Solo
Instrumentation vc
Programme Note Writer © Francis Humphrys

This Suite 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.

The 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.