March 12, 2021--Sarabande from French Suite No. 5 in G major by Johann Sebastian Bach

Today, I am playing one of my favorite movements from the "French" Suite No. 5 in G major by Johann Sebastian Bach. This is actually a difficult statement to make as all the movements hold a special place in my heart. However, Bach's Sarabandes are pieces of pure beauty. Originally a Spanish dance in triple meter, by the mid-Baroque era (1700ish) the dance had entered into the French court and was slowed down and "french-i-fied". As standard characteristic of the dance is an emphaisis on the second beat. This occurs pretty frequently in this Sarabande with phrases ending on beat two rather than the downbeats of the measure. Much like the other two movements from this Suite I have put up here, this piece is more Italian than French in that the melodic line is the focus rather than the sophisticated rhythms. This is Bach, so there is a two part counterpoint going on underneath the main melody. If you listen carefully, I tried to separate the "bass" and "tenor" voices to clearly delineate them.


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