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ProduitsPartitions pour guitareGuitare seuleCello Suite no. 1

Cello Suite no. 1

Cello Suite no. 1

Compositeur: BACH J.S.

Arrangeur: KOONCE Frank

DZ 1360


ISBN: 978-2-89655-259-7

Guitare seule

24 p.


Bach's cello music is written in a style of notation known as compound melodic, in which multi-voice textures may be derived from what appears on paper to be a single voice. It is like musical shorthand that greatly reduces the clutter (especially when on a single staff) of rests, ties, and separate stems and beams that would be required if written in polyphonic notation. In compound-melodic notation, larger intervals within what otherwise is a stepwise line may suggest the presence of a second melody, or of rudimentary structures for harmonic and bass support. When Bach made his own arrangements for lute from the fifth cello suite and from the third violin partita, he developed the bass structures into a fully independent voice with added notes and rests. The upper voices, however, remained notated as compound melody for the most part, with some added chords and contrapuntal tones, and with occasional divisions into two or more voices. This is the way I have chosen to realize my arrangement. The performer must determine how to bring out the implied polyphony so that it is perceptible to the listener. One of the best ways is by crossing strings after the final note of the first voice and allowing that note to overlap the entrance of the second voice. I have tried to choose fingerings that permit this overlapping of notes. It is transposed to the key of D from the original cello key of G.
- Frank Koonce

Fabulous though Bach's cello suites all are one does wonder about the motivation for yet another Cello Suite No. l arrangement for guitar. Is there anything different about this version that makes it worth investing in if you already have one or more of the others?
Whatever the answer to that is, I have to confess admit that this one looks every bit the real job. With nine pages of notes in the back covering such areas as «The sources«, Transcription vs Arrangement, Implied Polyphony, Ornamentation and Performance Notes, this book is cetainly very scholarly and not just a basic music-only version.
As for the music itself, it is presented in D Major, as so often is the case. With the 6th string tuned to D you get that wonderfully resonant low D in the Prelude, which, whilst not being very authentic, certainly does add a certain frisson to the music when it is presented on the guitar.
There are also to be fair a couple of places where certain notes are questioned as to their authenticity, one being a particular place in the Prelude, which suddenly makes much more sense than the version we have always been used to playing, and a further number of places where Koonce adds a bass note or a little harmonic run which is different to what we have come to expect and which usually work well.
So maybe there is room for yet another Suite No. 1, I found myself finding a fair amount to interest me in this one.
Chris Dumigan (Classical Guitar Magazine)


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