Allemande in the Suite No. 1 for cello represents the affection of “good order” and “satisfied spirit” (Cyr 42). It is a bit faster that the Prelude but it copes with its mission to make people feel calm successfully.Courante is a dance of Italian origin written in triple meter. Originally, it had a rapid tempo; however, it transformed in the court music tradition in France and became a slow dance which expressed “great nobility” (Newman 140). According to Cyr, Bach’s fast and lively movement corresponds to the definition of “corrente”, the Italian version of the dance (43). It is often described as “hopeful” (Cyr 43). Bach’s Courante is harmonic and rhythmic, which makes it easy to imagine festive court dancing hall full of people in beautiful attires.Sarabande can be defined as “nothing but menuet whose movement is grave, slow and serious” (Newman 141). It is a strongly rhythmic dance, but it was out of fashion. In 18th century it was excluded from the court music. Cyr states that sarabande as a dance expresses “gravity and ambition” (44). Bach’s Sarabande is rather sad compared to other movement. It has many dramatic variations in pitch, but the tempo remains stable. It creates a certain contrast to lively courante increasing the engaging character of music and its affection.Unlike sarabande, menuet was the “most favored dance” during the Baroque era (Newman 142). It was composed it triple meter and had a moderate tempo. This dance originated in France and was performed by couples of dancers. Menuet follows the same principle of the play of contrasts. It is faster and lighter than Sarabande.Gigue, the last part of the Baroque suite, is a very lively dance of English origin. It is relatively fast; it is “performed uninterrupted” (Cyr 44). According to Cyr, it is very rich in ornamentation (44). The author lists several types of gigue which represented a great number of affections from fear to arrogance. Bach’s Gigue from the Suite No. 1 is perceived light and playful music. It creates a good final point for this journey in Baroque dance and music culture.In summary, the complexity of Baroque suite as a form of music reveals cultural and fashion trends in music of this epoch. The variety of dances which are supposed to express certain moods and feelings is able to meet different tastes of listeners. From peaceful Allemande till brisk Gigue, Suite No. 1
“Mischa Maisky plays Bach Cello Suite No.1 in G (full)”. Youtube. Youtube LLC. October 15, 2011. Web. June 12, 2014. < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGQLXRTl3Z0>
Bartel, Dietrich. Musica Poetica: Musical-Rhetorical Figures in German Baroque Music. University of Nebraska Press, 1997.
Cyr, Mary. Performing Baroque music. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 1992.
Newman, Anthony. Bach and the Baroque: European Source Materials from the Baroque and early Classical Periods with Special Emphasis on the Music of JS Bach. Pendragon Press, 1995.
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