zupfgeiger wrote:Thanks for the instructive lecture. Nonetheless I stick to this less thoughtful D version, because it has those nice boomy basses and gives a beautiful cello feeling.
Lol. I do appreciate the low D versions too Zupfgeiger and apologies - though I was being deliberately provocative in describing the low D effect on Bach's work I didn't mean to be rude about your personal preference.
In fact the first version that I learned was Bream's. Having previously played 'cello I was captivated by the open, ringing texture that the guitar brought to the piece. However, there are some distinctly odd elements in that arrangement (not least the opening basses) so I discarded it for Duarte's first version which I thought handled the music with a slightly gentler touch.
The argument behind such editions went along the lines of (as I recall), "What would Johnnie Bach have done if he was writing for the guitar?" I bought it back then. Though I now choose to play the suite quite differently I still enjoy performances in that guitaristic style - they certainly shine another light on things.
Mr Kite wrote:You're right - they're quarter notes and descend to the A, but since it is in C he didn't have much choice (or maybe that's part of the reason he thought C was better).
I assume that you mean Yates' basses here? I don't own his version.
Mr Kite wrote:I am not clear whether you are saying in the earlier part of your post that the things you mention are important in creating the cello feeling,
Yes. The "cello feeling" is a composite perception, derived from range and timbre certainly, but also the shaping of phrase due to the idiosyncrasies of technique and tuning which obviously affect such factors as articulation and duration.
Mr Kite wrote:or in playing these suites,
Not my intention but yes that too.
Mr Kite wrote:or just in playing generally.
Well at least in baroque works.
Mr Kite wrote:Could you expand on that? At the risk of boring you ... I realise I don't quite have closure.
Not boring - but time consuming to give a full and proper answer. I recognise all of your "chapters" and especially the problem of integrating the expression of "small phrase" rhetoric within longer units.
An obvious example beginning at measure 1:
The initial triadic arpeggio is a principal cell, featured throughout the entire suite. There is obvious value in exploring how we express this simple three-note figure - rising, open textured, culminating on the mediant: e.g. should any notes be stressed? How long should the tonic ring under the other two? Opinions may vary.
The second important figure (three note motif marked by bracket in the image) overlaps the first i.e. mediant, super-tonic, mediant. Again this figure features throughout the seven movements - how far do we go in delineating its shape, especially when it may share notes with or appear within other, longer phrases? e.g. should the first two notes always be slurred?
This expository idea plays out over the first four measures - simultaneously we have increasing harmonic tension to take account of and
a rising secondary voice - dominant to tonic. No wonder that, when first exploring these gestures, one can become so focused on the minutiae that continuity is forsaken along the way. We don't live in a musical world where this kind of rhetorical manipulation is commonplace - it's difficult for us ... at first.
You probably nailed it with 3) and 4); if you really want to get to grips with Bach then understanding small phrase groupings is essential - however ... it's like speaking. The individual words, their weight, tenor and enunciation must be clear but they need to be part of a sentence, itself within the context of a paragraph or even larger structure to deliver their meaning.
Hope that helps a bit.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.