The last movement of the D major sonata is perhaps the most interesting in its variety of textures. Here the harpsichord has a long extended episode with figuration specific to the keyboard idiom; the gamba merely accompanies. This predominance of the harpsichord towards the end of the movement somewhat parallels the cadenzas that Bach sometimes added to his harpsichord concertos, most strikingly in the first movement of the fifth Brandenburg Concerto.
The opening movements of the first and second sonatas pay lip-service to the expansive melodic gestures of the traditional trio sonata, yet the pastoral atmosphere of the first sonata is integrated with an often intense contrapuntal dialogue at times between all three voices , and chromatic gestures. The second sonata opens with a short-breathed, almost galant melody, accompanied by a bass which is obviously of the 'modern' Alberti kind; yet it soon emerges that the gamba and harpsichord work together in close imitation—for a time in strict canon—musical devices which many would have considered far too 'serious' for the subject matter in hand.
While the second movement of the first sonata is in the conventional fugal style, Bach gives it a galant motivic flavour; in other words, an ancient form is combined with relatively modern material. This is even more noticeable in the second movement of the second sonata, which is unexpectedly cast in binary form i.
The most striking work is the third sonata, which comprises three movements rather than four. Not only is this more typical of the Vivaldian concerto than the trio-sonata, but the style of the music, particularly in the first movement, resembles that of the concerto idiom. Indeed these considerations have led several scholars to conjecture that this is the transcription of an original concerto movement.
Yet, as a piece in the more 'private' sonata genre, it is doubly effective, pointing to worlds and concepts outside its own confines. The bold gestures, especially where gamba and harpsichord come together in unison, belie the traditionally introverted natures of both instruments and evoke a tutti string section.
The central movement contains an astonishing variety of note values and motives, all within the slow triple metre, while the finale provides the most virtuosic display, interspersed with a more lyrical episode.here
Sonata for viola da gamba & keyboard No. 1 in G major, BWV 1027
The two modes—virtuosity and lyricism—are not pitted against one another, as they might have been by a later eighteenth-century composer, rather they are both integrated into the unstoppable world of the piece. Although legend has it that Bach composed his 'Well-Tempered Clavier' Book I during a time of discontent and boredom, without access to an instrument, it seems certain that the pieces were drawn together from a variety of earlier sources and that the process of compilation and composition was relatively protracted reaching roughly the present form in , just before he moved to Leipzig.
Certainly the notion of writing a collection of pieces in every possible key to most composers, many of these were only theoretical possibilities must have required some thought. Bach also definitively established the practice of pairing a prelude with an independent fugue, something that had heretofore only been a particular variant of the usual pattern of writing a piece with alternating free and fugal sections.
Bach clearly shared the encyclopaedic tendencies of his age in his desire not only to cover every possible tonality but also to give an exhaustive collection of the styles, techniques and moods that are possible within his chosen medium.
Catalog Record: Viola da gamba sonata no. 1 in G major | HathiTrust Digital Library
The preludes are often based on relatively simple ideas: arpeggiation in the G major which is spun into a brilliant two-part invention; chordal alternation in the G minor which creates the most tempestuous mood in the group; and a continuous pattern of similar motives in the D major which produces a piece of easy nonchalance.
Bach always manages to develop the material in subtle ways giving the whole a sense of direction that seems to bring us inevitably to the conclusion. Schumann was, to some extent, right in describing these works as 'character pieces'. Even the fugues, sometimes mistaken for dry 'academic' forms, are based on very characterful subjects: a grand regal theme in D major, a slightly severe one in G minor with its emotive intervals and rhetorical rest and a carefree, dancelike one in G major. The latter fugue becomes increasingly dramatic with a touch of the minor mode towards the end.
One particularly interesting feature is the way Bach uses or doesn't use difficult contrapuntal devices: the D major fugue presents an impressive, almost authoritarian effect, but it is relatively simple in terms of fugal construction, without even a regular countersubject; on the other hand, the G major fugue, for all its relatively facile air, conceals a quite complex compositional technique including a complete inversion i.
Jahrhunderts stammt. Jahrhunderts, doch nicht im moderneren Sonatengenre. Letztere Fuge wird zunehmend dramatischer, mit einem Hauch von Moll dem Ende entgegen. Ein besonders interessanteres Merkmal ist die Art und Weise, wie Bach schwierige kontrapunktische Techniken einsetzt bzw. The following movement includes echos and from the first one, especially of the latter half of the first movement.
The third movement is in the rhythm of a siciliano , followed by a fast movement in 6 8 time. Parts of this sonata were used in Bach's St Matthew Passion. The musicologist Philipp Spitta has described this sonata as being "of the greatest beauty and most striking originality. This is driven forward with lively figuration.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord BWV The music lesson, with virginal and viola da gamba , Jan Vermeer. Allegro ma non tanto. Allegro moderato. Chamber music and orchestral works by, and transcriptions after, Johann Sebastian Bach.
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