Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Creative resolution, first steps

I've been thinking of how to go about this and have actually done a couple of things already:

1. I contacted the music director at a church where I've played a number of times asking if I could perform there. They have a decent piano (a Kawai grand), and the director is sympathetic to serious music. I explained what I want to do, and I am now waiting for him to get back to me. If that doesn't work out, there are lots of other options. Or maybe I could even do each program twice -- once there and once somewhere else.

2. I have started practicing the suites. Suite No. 4, in E flat major, is the main focus because I never felt like I got a handle on it when I played it before. Because of the key, it's probably the most awkward of the six, and it's the hardest to make sing, I think.

3. I decided that if I follow through on the idea of pairing the cello suites with preludes and fugues, I will stick with Book II of the WTC. The corresponding sets in Book I are not as appealing (at least to me). I learned the G major set two years ago (see my recording in the sidebar), and I love the E flat set. So I started looking at these. Another thought is to play only the preludes, but the fugues are so good ... or maybe play some other pieces, like movements from the partitas or keyboard suites.

4. In thinking about the actual programs, here is my idea at the moment, though I may need to put Suites 5 and 6 on their own rather than pairing them with 3 and 2 and thus break this into four programs rather than three. Though none of the suites are any longer than about 20 minutes, and the prelude and fugue sets are less than 5 minutes apiece each, that's a lot of music and might be stretching it a bit both in terms of my skill level and the audience's patience. In that case, Suites 2 and 3 would be paired together, and 5 and 6 would each get their own programs.

Program I

Prelude and Fugue in G major, WTC II
Cello Suite No. 1 in G major

Prelude and Fugue in E flat major, WTC II
Cello Suite No. 4 in E flat major

Program II

Prelude and Fugue in C major, WTC II
Cello Suite No. 3 in C major

Prelude and Fugue in C minor, WTC II
Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor

Program III

Prelude and Fugue in D minor, WTC II
Cello Suite No. 2 in D minor

Prelude and Fugue in D major, WTC II
Cello Suite No. 6 in D major

This all could be just a wild fantasy on my part, but it's interesting to imagine it.

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