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Cello Suite No 2 in D minor BWV 1008

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

Composer
Johann Sebastian Bach (b. 1685 - d. 1750)
Composition Year
1720
Work Movements
Prélude
2. Allemande
3. Courante
4. Sarabande
5. Menuet I & II
6. Gigue
Artists
N/A

Programme Note Writer:
© Norah O' Leary

The mood of this prelude due to the suite's minor key may be described despairing, and melancholy. There are several glimpses of light in the dark tones but these however do not last long. The key, D minor, is one long associated with works of a somber nature such as the emotional chaconne from Bach's Second Violin Partita, or Mozart's String Quartet K. 42. The melodic material of the opening Prélude is melodic and memorable, setting the scene for the rest of the Suite. The Second Suite Allemande is a movement of great deliberation and intensity. Forkel wrote that Bach's melodies were often uncommon, strange, and entirely new, hitherto unheard-of turns, and the Second Suite Allemande could well be considered an example of this melodic strangeness in Bach's writing. The 'running' nature of the Italian style Courante is most obvious in Second Suite because it consists almost entirely of sixteenth notes which give the movement a perpetual sense of forward motion. The Sarabande of the Second Suite is possibly the most expressive and well-known Sarabande from the Cello Suites. It has been used as the musical backdrop for numerous films, usually depicting the most tragic of situations. The music moves in a predominantly stepwise fashion within a small range allowing the performer to explore the meaning and emotion of the music. The first menuet of the Second Suite brings to mind Menuet II of the First Suite. It is in a minor key and based on a chaconne bass but unlike the First Suite, makes great use of double and triple stops. Its partnering dance is a simple delightful piece, proving that music does not have to be complex in order to be effective. The Gigue is in a typical Bach French/Italian hybrid style and almost bipolar in emotion. The first characteristic we meet is of a chipper and gay disposition which starkly contrasts with the persistent anguished emotion of the latter half of the piece.

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Cello Suite No 2 in D minor BWV 1008

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach (b. 1685 - d. 1750)
Performance date: Tuesday 4th 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 Cello Suite No 2 in D minor BWV 1008
Composition Year 1720
Work Movements Prélude
2. Allemande
3. Courante
4. Sarabande
5. Menuet I & II
6. Gigue
Artist(s) N/A
Performance Date Tuesday 4th July 2017
Performance Venue St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland
Event Coffee Concert
Duration 00:20:29
Recording Engineer Richard McCullough, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation Category Solo
Programme Note Writer © Norah O' Leary

The mood of this prelude due to the suite's minor key may be described despairing, and melancholy. There are several glimpses of light in the dark tones but these however do not last long. The key, D minor, is one long associated with works of a somber nature such as the emotional chaconne from Bach's Second Violin Partita, or Mozart's String Quartet K. 42. The melodic material of the opening Prélude is melodic and memorable, setting the scene for the rest of the Suite. The Second Suite Allemande is a movement of great deliberation and intensity. Forkel wrote that Bach's melodies were often uncommon, strange, and entirely new, hitherto unheard-of turns, and the Second Suite Allemande could well be considered an example of this melodic strangeness in Bach's writing. The 'running' nature of the Italian style Courante is most obvious in Second Suite because it consists almost entirely of sixteenth notes which give the movement a perpetual sense of forward motion. The Sarabande of the Second Suite is possibly the most expressive and well-known Sarabande from the Cello Suites. It has been used as the musical backdrop for numerous films, usually depicting the most tragic of situations. The music moves in a predominantly stepwise fashion within a small range allowing the performer to explore the meaning and emotion of the music. The first menuet of the Second Suite brings to mind Menuet II of the First Suite. It is in a minor key and based on a chaconne bass but unlike the First Suite, makes great use of double and triple stops. Its partnering dance is a simple delightful piece, proving that music does not have to be complex in order to be effective. The Gigue is in a typical Bach French/Italian hybrid style and almost bipolar in emotion. The first characteristic we meet is of a chipper and gay disposition which starkly contrasts with the persistent anguished emotion of the latter half of the piece.