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Thomas J. West Music

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Great Performances - Bach Cello Suite No 1 In G Major From The Slience Before Bach

Everyone in modern Western culture has heard this music before. Bach's cello prelude in G major is consistently used in the background of television commercials and is often the first cello solo that young cellists the world over ask to learn how to play. It's execution and interpretation have been scrutinized by cellists for hundreds of years, and it is pretty much required learning if you consider yourself a cellist.


This morning, one of my students sent me the link to this clip, which demonstrates beautifully the pervasiveness of Bach's music throughout our culture and transcendent of time. From the Spanish film Die Stille vor Bach (The Silence Before Bach), this scene depicts approximately twenty cellists all playing the prelude while riding a vacant subway car.


The juxtaposition of this beautiful prelude with the commonality of the subway is a provocative artistic statement, implying that Bach's artistry permeates even the lowest of places. Director Pere Portabella lets the music speak for itself with simple camera work and an emphasis on how this prelude is performed by cellists the world over for the last three centuries.

Posted by ★ Owner on September 28, 2011 at 7:53 AM 3504 Views

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