Johann Sebastian Bach‏ – the Cello Suites

by richibi

if the Well-Tempered Clavier is the alphabet of
even today our music, the six Cello Suites of Bach
are its apotheosis
 
again, suites are a series of dance forms, menuets,
sarabandes“, entirely stylized at this point in
history, nobody danced to them, they were enjoyed
intellectually as idealized memories of earlier, more
spontaneous, comparatively less fully civilized, times,
it would’ve been thought, a conceit of every epoch 
 
what is mighty to my mind is that this sublime
musical mission was devoted to the cello, even then
a secondary instrument, a mere accompaniment,
which grounded however with its stolid, even
lumbering, authority, like an overlooked patriarch
among the more effervescently expressive brood of
forthright and more limber maybe upstarts, who 
clamored for position like youngsters defining
their pretensions, not least of which the recently
incarnated harpsichord, or clavier, that
multifaceted, and iconic, wonder 
 
 
the cello can play one note only at a time,
something the harpsichord was now overcoming,
singly, because no other instrument could then,
nor still cannot, accomplish
 
which will explain the primacy historically of the
piano, which of course can play up to ten notes
at a time, theoretically, if you don’t take into
account large thumbs, fingers, their spans,
which could extend that number to x potentially
 
 
a cello must accompany itself, or rely on the
inspiration of its own simple, necessarily
unsupported, melody 
 
the Cello Suites of Bach have performed this
feat unimpeachably, even miraculously, for the
past nearly three hundred years, one note at a
time, describing intimately and profoundly a
certain unvarnished representation of the 
awesome structure of the very universe   
 
wow, man, extraordinary 
  
 
Richard
 
 
 
 
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