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Suite No 6 in D major, BWV 1012

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

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

Programme Note Writer:
© Norah O' Leary

The opening of the Sixth Suite is like a blaze of light, gloria in excelsis Deo sung with all five voices in sublime celebration. The suite was originally written for the Viola Pomposa, a five-string instrument with an added E string above the top A string of the four-string cello. In modern times, it is most commonly heard on four-string cello given the ease of projection in higher registers on steel strings, however if one is lucky, one may enjoy the rare privilege of a performance given on either a five-string or piccolo cello. The melodic material is aurally fascinating - this is no romantic beacon in the nightand the single instrument somehow sounds like an entire orchestra exploding with acclamation.The Sixth Suite Allemande is completely unlike the other five, played molto adagio and its character could be compared to that of the allemande of Bach’s Violin Partita in B Minor in its prayer like contemplation of impossible beauty. The Italian style Courante is virtuosic and recalls the spectacular nature of the courante from the First Suite. The sixth Sarabande is most loyal to the characteristics of the sarabande - a work with no other emotion to express other than grandeur and awesome beauty; a brief taste, in what we arrogantly call real time, of the infinite. The ensuing Gavottes almost take the listener by surprise as they are transported away from a brief glimpse of another universe by the first gavotte - a dance of forceful buoyancy followed by a wonderfully rustic second gavotte challenging its performer but bringing the listener the utmost of delight. Finally we have reached the last movement of the last suite. The final Gigue is the longest of gigues and one of the longer movements of the Cello Suites, almost as though the composer could not bear to drag himself away from the creation of this masterpiece. It is a final release of all tension, rustic in character yet virtuosic in its use of double-stops, an extend range and challenging melodic patterns. The frenzy of the dance culminates in a burst of repeated sixteenth note pairs in a wild farewell to the glorious domain of the Cello Suite.

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Suite No 6 in D major, BWV 1012

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 Suite No 6 in D major, BWV 1012
Composition Year 1720
Work Movements 1.Prélude
2. Allemande
3. Courante
4. Sarabande
5. Gavotte 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 00:32:36
Recording Engineer Richard McCullough, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation Category Solo
Programme Note Writer © Norah O' Leary

The opening of the Sixth Suite is like a blaze of light, gloria in excelsis Deo sung with all five voices in sublime celebration. The suite was originally written for the Viola Pomposa, a five-string instrument with an added E string above the top A string of the four-string cello. In modern times, it is most commonly heard on four-string cello given the ease of projection in higher registers on steel strings, however if one is lucky, one may enjoy the rare privilege of a performance given on either a five-string or piccolo cello. The melodic material is aurally fascinating - this is no romantic beacon in the nightand the single instrument somehow sounds like an entire orchestra exploding with acclamation.The Sixth Suite Allemande is completely unlike the other five, played molto adagio and its character could be compared to that of the allemande of Bach’s Violin Partita in B Minor in its prayer like contemplation of impossible beauty. The Italian style Courante is virtuosic and recalls the spectacular nature of the courante from the First Suite. The sixth Sarabande is most loyal to the characteristics of the sarabande - a work with no other emotion to express other than grandeur and awesome beauty; a brief taste, in what we arrogantly call real time, of the infinite. The ensuing Gavottes almost take the listener by surprise as they are transported away from a brief glimpse of another universe by the first gavotte - a dance of forceful buoyancy followed by a wonderfully rustic second gavotte challenging its performer but bringing the listener the utmost of delight. Finally we have reached the last movement of the last suite. The final Gigue is the longest of gigues and one of the longer movements of the Cello Suites, almost as though the composer could not bear to drag himself away from the creation of this masterpiece. It is a final release of all tension, rustic in character yet virtuosic in its use of double-stops, an extend range and challenging melodic patterns. The frenzy of the dance culminates in a burst of repeated sixteenth note pairs in a wild farewell to the glorious domain of the Cello Suite.