Mariah Helgeson. Or, listen to these renditions by an enterprising clarinetist and an equally ambitious saxophonist. Or how about this menacing arrangement for trumpet and orchestra and this lyrical performance by two cellos. There is truly an arrangement for everyone. Bach composed the chaconne sometime between and Historians speculate that Bach composed it after returning from a trip and found his wife and the mother of seven of his children Maria Barbara had died.
Fellow composer Johannes Brahmsin a letter to Clara Schumann described the piece like this:.
If I imagined that I could have created, even conceived the piece, I am quite certain that the excess of excitement and earth-shattering experience would have driven me out of my mind.
But while Brahms was a composer of the Romance era of music for whom personal emotions were paramountBach did not inhabit the same world. Such Romantic notions would never have occurred to a court composer who had trained in the late s as a Lutheran town organist. Creating art then and there was not an act of personal expression but one of civic or religious service. Of course emotions could be depicted and messages delivered. And tries to leave out the middle.
What I mean by this is that there are all kinds of mental, psychological dispositions from the opera that he totally shunned. I mean, this is the bread and butter of the opera. He never went there. He had no interest in that. His music tries to express things like, awe.
All kinds of sentiments a child can have, and an older person can have, but none of this sexual nonsense in the middle. And, so, in that sense, he thinks of death very differently from his own experience. He lost his parents before he was He lost both of his parents, and then he lost half of his children. He lost 10 children. And, so, these are different, different times, different circumstances, and for us, it can be very surprising to see these reactions.
You can tell from his music that his emotion is raw. It is so controlled, but it is so profound. This is a man who truly grieves. I know, it seems like a paradox.Matthew Passion, and innumerable operas. But I do not know that any single individual movement in any of those works exceeds the length of the Chaconne. A three-foot-high pyramid would hardly have been appropriate for the burial of the pharaohs. Novels allow writers to plumb a spectrum of issues in detail and nuance that they cannot squeeze into a short story.
A miniature or a small line drawing cannot contain the range of shadings of a large canvas. During the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, composers developed a number of musical forms that could support a musical argument of considerable length. In particular, sonata form, with its large-scale tonal and thematic balances and its flexible periodicities that could extend to immense proportions and contain a wide range of musical contrasts and lengthy processes of statement, development, and transformation, became a vehicle that allowed composers to make significant artistic statements in their instrumental music.
With rare exceptions, only in the compounding of individual movements was he able to create musical architectures of great size and scope—in his passions or in the Goldberg Variations in which the overall effect results from the combination of numerous juxtaposed but separate movements. The Chaconne stands almost alone among his creations for its bold attempt to sculpt a single continuous movement of monumental proportions.
But these two limitations that Bach set for himself—writing a movement on this scale for solo violin and writing a movement without any large-scale tonal contrasts—are major factors in creating the effect of the Chaconne. And the concentrated focus of the Chaconne grows in part from its unvarying tonality. Some sort of variation was without doubt the best option for Bach to create a piece on this scale.
For variation techniques—defined broadly—underlie his entire compositional process. His compositions in all genres—preludes, fugues, two-reprise movements, other parallel-section movements, ritornello movements, and so forth—arise from varying and intensifying the musical materials that emanate from textures that themselves result from elaborations of thoroughbass progressions.
The Chaconne is a continuous series of variations on a thoroughbass and its related chord progression. At every level, various processes create heightened intensifications. Within the first statement of the four-measure theme, harmonies at first move in halves and quarters but then accelerate to steady quarters at the cadence. The melodic rhythms in this opening statement likewise speed up from the repeated opening dotted quarter, eighth, quarter to sixteenths.
Similar processes are at work in many of the variations. On a slightly larger scale, many of the variations occur in pairs, in which the second is quite similar to the first, but intensified. For instance, the opening eight measures comprise two statements of the theme, in which the second is identical to the first for three measures but broadens the registral span at its cadence and introduces the fastest rhythms yet: a pair of thirty-seconds which, combined with the preceding dotted eighth, foreshadow the predominant dotted rhythm of the next four variations.Skip to main content.
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Violin Partita No.2 in D minor, BWV 1004 (Bach, Johann Sebastian)
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Bach-Brahms – Chaconne (Left Hand) – Trifonov, Piano
Haydn Piano sonatas.It is a part of his compositional cycle called Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin. The partita contains five movementsgiven in Italian as:.
Except for the ciaccona, the movements are dance types of the time, and they are frequently listed by their French names: AllemandeCouranteSarabandeGigueand Chaconne. The final movement is written in the form of variations, and lasts approximately as long as the first four movements combined. Performance time of the whole partita varies between 26 and 32 minutes, depending on the approach and style of the performer. Professor Helga Thoene suggests that this partita, and especially its last movement, was a tombeau written in memory of Bach's first wife, Maria Barbara Bach who died in though this theory is controversial.
Yehudi Menuhin called the Chaconne "the greatest structure for solo violin that exists". Violinist Joshua Bell has said the Chaconne is "not just one of the greatest pieces of music ever written, but one of the greatest achievements of any man in history. It's a spiritually powerful piece, emotionally powerful, structurally perfect. Raymond Erickson has identified approximately two hundred transcriptions and arrangements of Bach's Ciaccona. Johannes Brahms, in a letter to Clara Schumann in Junesaid about the ciaccona:.
On one stave, for a small instrument, the man writes a whole world of the deepest thoughts and most powerful feelings. If I imagined that I could have created, even conceived the piece, I am quite certain that the excess of excitement and earth-shattering experience would have driven me out of my mind.
Felix Mendelssohn and Robert Schumann each wrote piano accompaniments for the work. Carl Reinecke transcribed the piece for piano duet. The earliest version for organ is by William Thomas Best. In the preface to his transcription, John Cook writes: "The Chaconne is sublimely satisfying in its original form, yet many will agree that a single violin is only able to hint at the vast implications of much of this music … It is perhaps not unreasonable to suppose that Bach would have chosen the organ, had he transcribed the Chaconne himself, as the instrument best suited to the scale of his ideas … A good performance on the violin may be taken as the best guide to interpretation on the organ — the two instruments are not without their points in common, and both were beloved of Bach.
There is a transcription of the Chaconne for solo cello made by cellist Johann Sebastian Paetsch in This has been published by the Hofmeister Musikverlag in Leipzig. The Chaconne is often performed on guitar. Marc PincherleSecretary of the French Society of Musicology in Paris, wrote in "If, insofar as certain rapid monodic passages are concerned, opinion is divided between the violin and the guitar as the better medium, the guitar always triumphs in polyphonic passages; that is to say almost throughout the entire work.Home Help Search.
Bach-Busoni Chaconne first attempt! Read times. Member Posts: Dear all, I never played the Bach-Busoni Chaconne in public, but I learned the notes last summer and then gave up on it because I thought it was unplayable.
I came back to this in September, and here is the work in progress. Please let me know what I can do to improve it. BTW, this piece is, to my surprise, much, much more difficult than it sounds. Very, very awkward yet sonorous piano writing. I also attached the score if anyone wants it.
Bach-Busoni Chaconne My youtube channel: please sub! Hello furiouzpianist, First of all, I want to say that I really love this Chaconne and the successful transcription of Busoni.
As for your performance, it's very nice job, I really liked many parts of the piece! It was clear good for bachpowerful and sweet when needed and you showed it's romantical spirit. Now, my opinion is that in the beginning first two pages of the piece you could add more pedal as well as in other similar parts of the piece.
Of course, don't overdo it! You should avoid losing its power and style baroquebut, at the same, you should keep the emotion, as the piece is written in memory of Bach's first wife. It's an exceptional work! In addition, I think that you can use more rubato in the opening chords and, also, make them more beautiful.
I'm not really explanatory What I mean is that they are a little bit too straightforward and flat, and they seem to me unrelated to their context, which is nicely expressive. I'll be back to comment on more!There are few compositions that I consider transcendental in scope, by which I mean works that grow from a single, seminal theme or concept and expound on this concept, quasi-hypnotically, uninterrupted until all that can ever be said has been said. It is a journey at the end of which I know I will never be the same again.
The whole of Mahler's "Resurrection" Symphony is one such work, the Adagio from Bruckner's eighth symphony another. In the case of the Bach-Busoni Chaconne, I had decided to take a unique approach. Interspersed among the performances of the piano transcription were several performances of the original version for violin as well as versions for harpsichord and for guitar.
I though it might be beneficial in evaluating an interpretation of a transcription to determine the performer's understanding of the original version as well as the transcription and the music itself. It was my hope that in being reminded regularly of the sound of the original version and transcriptions for other instruments, the ear will constantly be refreshed, the music will begin to exist in its pure abstract form, and understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of the interpretations of the transcription will increase.
I must confess, however, that part of my original motivation was the dearth of available performances of this great work. In the four and a half years since first creating this page, many more performances of the Bach-Busoni Chaconne have become available to me. There is now a more than sufficient number of these to permit an insightful comparison of interpretations which is the ultimate intent of these pages.
I have therefore removed the recordings that are not definitionally germane to the subject of this page.
First, let us examine a performance by the master himself whose playing of the Chaconne incorporates numerous aspects of the technical capabilities of the violin. We will follow these performances, unless we are so transported by them as not to want to continue, with others formidable performances. The order in which they are presented has no significance as to my views on the quality of the individual performances, all of which I believe to have much to offer.
However, I have found three more Michelangeli recordings and one by Lazar Berman with which to replace them. Giltburg's is superlatively played.
Violin Partita No.2 in D minor, BWV 1004 (Bach, Johann Sebastian)
His use of the pedal is exemplary and in no way obscures the contrapuntal aspect of this music. Stern, on the other hand, seems to forget that this is essentially Bach. Her heavy-footed use of the pedal makes many critical passages sound muddy. Focus on the octave passages in the left hand starting at in the Giltburg recording and at in the Stern. Not only are Giltburg's octaves cleanly and delicately played, but the perfect arch of crescendo and diminuendo over the entire passage is a stunning example of interpretive control.
Of all of the following performances, the one I find most appealing, possibly because it offers us the essence of the contrapuntal Bach in equal measure and perfect harmony with the passionately romantic Busoni, is the performance by the great Italian pianist, Maria Tipo.
For those of you who enjoy murder mysteries, here is my first with a strong musical polemic as background. Murder in the House of the Muse. And this is the more recently published second mystery in the series:. Murder Follows the Muse. Copyright - forte-piano-pianissimo.