Music for the Community

 
Welcome to our Music for the Community page! Since we can't take our music out to local nursing homes and libraries at the moment, we're inviting you in to enjoy it here instead. Each day you'll find a new student performance on this page, along with some info about the composer or instrument - and sometimes words too so you can sing along. 

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Thursday, June 11 2020 00:00

Day 49 - Bach Prelude from Suite in G

Violist age 14 and Cellist age 16 play Bach Prelude in G major

Today, an opportunity to make a direct comparison between the sound of viola and cello playing the same piece. The two instruments have the same string set-up but the cello is an octave lower, meaning the strings (which are much longer) vibrate exactly twice as slowly. The bigger air cavity inside also deepens the sound.
 
Bach’s beautiful suites for solo cello were probably written between 1717 and 1723. They all have six movements, starting with a prelude and followed by Baroque dance movements such as here and here. This Prelude is the first movement of the first suite.

Because of their musical and technical difficulty, the Suites were not much performed until the great 20th century cellist Pablo Casals took them up, after discovering them in a thrift shop in Barcelona, Spain at the age of 13. His famous recordings of them were selected in 2019 for preservation in the Library of Congress. 

They have been adapted for many instruments, including viola – and in fact it’s been recently suggested that they were not necessarily written for the familiar cello balanced between the knees (da gamba), but possibly for a cello-like instrument played rather like a large violin, on the shoulder (da spalla)! 
 
Read 188 times Last modified on Sunday, June 07 2020 22:16