TRADUCTION FRANCAISE A VENIR...
PRACTICING THE BACH CELLO SUITES
DON'T BE SCARED OF PLAYING BACH
by Marianne Dumas
The "Bach" word...
When it gets to Bach we often face 2 emotions: joy and freight...
The Bach cello Suites are like the Himalaya mountains for us, but with growing mounts! When you think you are about to reach the top of the mountain, another mount appears...
Playing the Suites is a lifelong journey, a beautiful one.
At what level do you want to play the Suites?
No matter the level, we always feel small in front of this masterpiece... but it doesn't mean you cannot start with the first step, and it is usually the First Suite.
Be aware of your technical level and of what you think you can achieve in order to make the best of this experience.
TEMPO & PHRASING
Choose the tempo where you think the piece will sound at its best.
Suggestions on how to find your tempo
Free yourself of any technical problem. Singing the piece over and over is a good way to define phrasing ideas and tempo.
Think of the dance. Once you found a tempo, start thinking about phrasing. Keep in mind that besides the prelude, it is a Suite of dances. No matter if people were dancing on the Suites or not, the spirit of the dance should be there. What makes people dance together are the rhythm and the regularity of the strong beats. You can phrase and make move but don’t lose the rhythmic structure
Sing and feel the beat in your feet!
Once you have a clear vision of the phrasing and tempo, you might want to consider 2 more points.
The set up of your instrument / the acoustics of the room. The set up of your cello and the room where you play have an influence on the choice of tempo. The speed of projection of the sound, the type of room and reverb, let your ears be your guide.Your technical levelThe best tempo is often the one where you can play at your best... where you give your best to the piece.
FLUIDITY AND ARTICULATION
Fluidity in your playing is what you want to aim for. You want your audience to be captivated from the beginning until the end. If you stop too many times or go into too many details, you might lose the attention of the listener(s). Knowing what is important in the structure
this is beautiful - THIS IS BEAUTIFUL
THIS IS BEAUTIFUL - THIS IS BEAUTIFUL
this is beautiful - this is beautiful
this is BEAUTIFUL - this is BEAUTIFUL
BOWING AND FINGERINGS
BOWINGS AND FINGERINGS
Listen to the vibration of your cello...
"Some move the bow as is customary on the viola da gamba, that is, instead of a down-stroke from left to right for the principal notes,
they make an up-stroke from right to left, beginning from the tip of the bow."
Because the Suites are (for most of us) our Alma mater
we have a personal story, and an individual approach to the text.
Don't be too hard on yourself and on others...
there is no absolute truth in art ;)
Having a clear opinion is important, it will define your interpretation, but finding your absolute truth doesn't mean it is the absolute truth. For example, it is not because I deeply believe the cello sounds better by reversing the bowing technique that I think it is the absolute truth, nor that people who don't reverse are wrong.
Stay open to discussion as well as different opinions.
> being opinionated vs being judgmental.
It can be a scary topic for a cellist since everything can be argued but discussions on the topic are very important because we can all learn from each other.
.LE MOT DE LA FIN
- My personal experience...
- What I learned :
- One of the answers I found...