Wednesday, September 26, 2007

My Heart Sings

JS Bach, French Suite, No. 6
The Allemande

What is it about the key of E Major that makes my heart sing? I always feel happy when playing in this key. I think a big reason I was attracted to this piece is because it is in E Major. One of favorite preludes is the E Major one from WTC Book II. Several years ago in Harper’s Magazine (January 2005), they published a sidebar about what the musical keys represented. It was fascinating. According to Christian Friedrich Daniel Schubart (1739-1791) the Key E Major represents: “…loud shouts for joy, laughing pleasure, and still not altogether full gratification.” Perhaps this image was planted in my brain, so from now on, I feel joyful about E Major…the power of suggestion?

Anyway, back to the work at hand (no pun intended!) I have the notes of the Allemande in my fingers. I’m working on tempo and checking my fingering and ornaments. I find Alfred’s Ornamentation Book helpful as it gives me a point of reference to begin with. I’m also exploring added trills on the repeats. It’s fun to try mordents and appoggiatura at full and half cadence points. I also find the sequences in this work fun. I know that Bach’s work is full of sequences, but the syncopation with the leap of the 6th is extra rewarding…but, is it fulfilling?

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