2016 May 22: Trinity Sunday

May 22, 2016 10:30

Prelude in Eb ("St. Anne") J.S.Bach (1685-1750)

"O God, Our Help in Ages Past"

Fugue in Eb ("St. Anne") J.S.Bach (1685-1750)

The world-famous cellist Pablo Casals tells the story:

One day I told my father I needed to find some new solo music for the Café Pajarera. Together we set off on the search. For two reasons I shall never forget that afternoon. First, my father bought me my first full-sized cello.... Then we stopped at an old music shop near the harbor. I began browsing through a bundle of musical scores. Suddenly I came upon a sheaf of pages, crumbled and discolored with age. They were unaccompanied suites by Johann Sebastian Bach – for the cello only. I looked at them with wonder: Six Suites for Violoncello Solo. What magic and mystery, I thought, were hidden in those words. I had never heard of the existence of the suites; nobody – not even my teachers – had ever mentioned them to me.... I hurried home, clutching the suites as if they were the crown jewels, and once in my room I pored over them. I read and reread them. I was thirteen at the time, but for the following eighty years the wonder of my discovery has continued to grow on me. Those suites opened up a whole new world.... I studied and worked at them every day for the next twelve years. Yes, twelve years would elapse and I would be twenty-five before I had the courage to play one of the suites in public at a concert. Up until then, no violinist or cellist had ever played one of the Bach suites in its entirety.... They had been considered academic works, mechanical, without warmth. Imagine that!

My PowerPoint slides for my presentation about the numerical structure of the `St.Anne' Prelude and Fugue can be found here.


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