Using the organ to teach the fourth suite prelude for violoncello solo by J.S. Bach

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Lena G. Timmons (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Alexander Ezerman

Abstract: Among the Bach unaccompanied suites for violoncello, the fourth suite in E-flat major is probably the least familiar to listeners and young cellists. It is also the least idiomatic for the cello, and the most difficult movement is the prelude. Musically speaking, it can be frustratingly abstract. For these reasons, it is not as popular as the other preludes and some students and teachers avoid its study. Taking into account Bach's famous and primary skill as an organist, the cello idiom can be enhanced by studying the organ idiom and using this knowledge to study this prelude. Watching organists perform the music of Bach and listening to more of Bach's organ works, especially the praeludia, toccatas, and fantasias can give cellists ideas for this fourth suite prelude. An organ performance of a transcription of this fourth suite prelude will be available online in the near future as a resource for cellists interested in this relationship between the cello and organ idioms where genres like the prelude are concerned. Discussing the timbres and technical issues of the organ can guide the cellist toward ideas of phrasing and articulation. Organ issues of registration, manual changes, and performance style can aid the performer, teacher, and student in large-scale analysis and phrasing, thus making this prelude more accessible and shedding a more positive musical light upon this movement to make it less intimidating and abstract.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2012
Bach, Idiomatic, Influence, Organ, Prelude, Violoncello
Violoncello $x Instruction and study
Bach, Johann Sebastian, $d 1685-1750. $t Suites, $m violoncello, $n BWV 1010, $r E-flat major

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