Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ah, Bach...

While my initial mission on this blog was to record the Telemann Fantasias on my euph, I think it's time I finally confess where my true loyalties lie. The truth is that if I were stranded on a tropical island with a functioning CD player*, an electrical outlet, and one CD (an admittedly unlikely scenario), I'd have little conflict over which composer to bring along. The tough decision would be whether to bring a recording of the cello suites, the Goldberg Variations, the violin partitas and sonatas, or the two- and three-part inventions. If none of those were available at the tropical CD library, only then would I have a tough decision--late Beethoven quartets, a Mahler or Shostakovich symphony, Kind of Blue, A Love Supreme, et al.

I'm banking on that scenario not arising, so I won't dwell. The point is that I was excited to record the second Cello Suite (see the immediately preceding 6 posts). I actually recorded this suite once before--maybe a decade or so ago. The second suite is particularly alluring for low brass players: the range, the key signature, and the phrasing are more friendly than other suites. The very familiar prelude to the first suite, for example, is (essentially) two pages of non-stop eighth notes. The prelude to the third contains a long passage of broad arpeggios--a flick of the wrist for an accomplished cellist, but an acrobatic feat on a low brass instrument. The prelude to number five contains an implied fugue--quite magnificent, but not particularly kind to those who appreciate the occasional intake of oxygen. Number two, held up next to many of the others, is downright reasonable.

While I'm of course going to keep plugging away on the Telemann and Rochut/Bordogni recordings, you can expect to see more Bach posted here, as well as some other perhaps less conventional offerings.

*I realize that, to many, the concept of a CD player is now a somewhat arcane notion; however, I haven't really embraced the whole i-pod thing yet. I barely even use a cell phone, except for work. Admittedly, if stranded on a tropical isle, the i-pod would be infinitely more convenient.

No comments:

Post a Comment