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Suite No. 4 in  E flat BWV 1010

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

Composer
Johann Sebastian Bach (b. 1685 - d. 1750)
Composition Year
1720
Work Movements
Prelude
Allemande
Courante
Sarabande
Bourees Iⅈ
Gigue
Artists
N/A

Programme Note Writer:
© Norah O' Leary

The Fourth Suite is in the key of E flat, a key associated with power and strength in the Baroque and Classical periods. It is the key of three out of four of Mozart's horn concerti, Bach's Cantata No. 140 and Beethoven's Eroica Symphony. The bold gestures of the prelude conform to this description, although converse with most cellists and they will not delay in telling you of the challenge the key presents for the performer. The key lies awkwardly on the instrument and it is tricky to enunciate the opening fantasy. The Fourth Suite allemande flows smoothly in a serene manner from its confident opening to the closing cadence. It is followed by a bouncy courante, which like in the First Suite is in an Italian Style. The courante is often considered a dance of courtship and it is easy to imagine a pair of young lovers frolicking along to the melodic phrases of this movement. The sarabande; a thoughtful, calm creation, is reminiscent of the opening progression of the prelude and its melodic material unfolds not from new gestures, but from ones we have already heard before. The bourées offer some light hearted contrast - the Bourée we know today is quite refined despite deriving from a French peasant dance in which the men moved their arms in a flapping gesture. The first of Fourth Suite 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 the shortest optional movement and also 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.


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Suite No. 4 in  E flat BWV 1010

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach (b. 1685 - d. 1750)
Performance date: Sunday 2nd July 2017
Venue: St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland

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Composer Johann Sebastian Bach (b. 1685 - d. 1750)
Work Title Suite No. 4 in  E flat BWV 1010
Composition Year 1720
Work Movements Prelude
Allemande
Courante
Sarabande
Bourees Iⅈ
Gigue
Language English
Artist(s) N/A
Performance Date Sunday 2nd July 2017
Performance Venue St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland
Event Coffee Concert
Duration 00:22:43
Recording Engineer Richard McCullough, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation Category Solo
Instrumentation vc
Programme Note Writer © Norah O' Leary

The Fourth Suite is in the key of E flat, a key associated with power and strength in the Baroque and Classical periods. It is the key of three out of four of Mozart's horn concerti, Bach's Cantata No. 140 and Beethoven's Eroica Symphony. The bold gestures of the prelude conform to this description, although converse with most cellists and they will not delay in telling you of the challenge the key presents for the performer. The key lies awkwardly on the instrument and it is tricky to enunciate the opening fantasy. The Fourth Suite allemande flows smoothly in a serene manner from its confident opening to the closing cadence. It is followed by a bouncy courante, which like in the First Suite is in an Italian Style. The courante is often considered a dance of courtship and it is easy to imagine a pair of young lovers frolicking along to the melodic phrases of this movement. The sarabande; a thoughtful, calm creation, is reminiscent of the opening progression of the prelude and its melodic material unfolds not from new gestures, but from ones we have already heard before. The bourées offer some light hearted contrast - the Bourée we know today is quite refined despite deriving from a French peasant dance in which the men moved their arms in a flapping gesture. The first of Fourth Suite 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 the shortest optional movement and also 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.