Bach Violin Partita 3 vs Cello Suite 6
I've just noticed today that the Gavotte in Bach's Partita 3 for violin and Suite 6 for cello are the same. Sincerely, I've been a little upset about that. It's not that it's a variation of a theme, but the theme itself. I don't know, imagine you listen for the first time to an oboe concerto from Bach and you notice it's very much the same as the double violin concerto. It would be upsetting.
How is it that Bach uses the same melodies and structure in 2 different pieces?
Or am I missing something?
Do you know other examples of this?
Other pieces or composers.
Similar in parts but definitely not identical - and definitely in different keys. Being gavottes you would expect similar structure.
Bach borrowed whole concertos from Vivaldi and rearranged them for different ensembles. Tunes too were sometimes passed between composers, and folk/popular tunes were a never-ending source of inspiration - Paganini is a good example with his numerous duets for violin and guitar. All this was commonplace in those days, unlike some of the dreary and overbearing copyright legislation we have to put up with today.
Oh, yeah, but waltzes are dances too, they usually go in 3/4 although they can be in 4/4. There are a lot of different melodies and progressions in waltzes, different rhythms as I just said, all of them are still waltzes, but are different from each other.
Beethoven wrote a piano concerto version of his violin concerto; it seems some sponsor wanted it. Beethoven himself performed it and it has been performed very, very occasionally in modern times (there are one or two recordings on CD, I believe). I've listened to a recording but I'm not all that impressed - a lot of the spirit is lost transferring from the violin to the piano, and the piano version doesn't really match up to his real piano concertos. Not a win-win situation, but where there's a sponsor ...
Look at Bars 14-15 in the D-Minor Allemande and again 11-10 bars from the end of the E Major Gavotte en Rondeau. Same lick, different key.
Like a character turning up in different novels.
Or Shakespeare and Falstaff.
If you want to compare that to novels, to me is like, yeah, a character turning up in different novels THAT has the same lines with almost same words in all of its appearances. That's how it feels to me if you want to compare it to a novel.
Unfortunately, Bach's FB account has been suspended, so you can't contact him directly. File your grievances with St. Gabriel or one of the archangels.
Tim, JK Rowling wrote several novels fitting that very description and now she's a blithering billionaire. Maybe we're the ones in the wrong biz.
Actually musicologists have recently discovered a missing document dated to the Leipzig council in 1730 charging Bach for "negligence" in musical materials that sounded too similar to each other. It cited several examples including the gavottes mentioned above.
Lol Dorian, wouldn't that be fun if it was true :)
Bach's third harpsichord concerto in D major is an arrangement of his violin concerto #2 in E major, one whole tone down.
OK you guys better stop talking and unveiling secrets so you don't destroy my Gods, aight?
In all seriousness echoing Mattias, which parts are the same? They have different phrase and harmonic structures...
Trevor, I read recently it was Clementi who asked Beethoven to redo his violin concerto for the piano. I don't know whether Clementi was a sponsor as such. Possible other reasons are:
At a lecture he gave on Russia and England at Warwick University in the '60s, Geoffrey Bush played some Purcell on the piano. When questions were invited I asked him who had made that piano reduction of that ripieno from the Ode to St Cecilia (which I had played in at school). His answer, following a remark that no one had asked him about it before, was that Purcell had published both that keyboard piece and the Ode independently.
Beethoven's rewrite of his violin concerto Op 61 as a piano concerto is Op 61a.
The other day, when searching the Naxos database for recordings of Haydn's cello concertos I came across two cello concertos by Mozart, transcriptions made in today's era of a flute concerto K314, and a horn concerto K447. The practice is evidently still alive and well. Mozart composed no concertos for the cello (unlike Haydn) so these additions to the cellist's performing repertoire are very welcome.
I think we get the idea of transcriptions.
This may be drifting off topic slightlty but I'm listening to Bach's Partita No.3 in E Major played by John Williams on the guitar (Columbia Masterworks M233510).Its a refreshing and beautiful rendition of how pedal notes should be heard.
Going with that slight drift off topic, I've heard the Bach Chaconne performed on the guitar by Segovia, and by Julian Bream. Both performances lead me to believe that that Chaconne was intended for the lute.
JSB did that with so many pieces of his life. They are wonderful compositions that ought to be played and enjoyed by different instrumentalists.
Another lovely transcription of the Chaconne played on guitar is Christopher Parkening.Very satisfying to hear the opening with solid chords.
But they're not the same at all! They're both gavottes but otherwise, they're pretty different. The gavotte was a popular folk dance in Bach's time and he used it as a form in lots of instrumental music. They have similar structure, tempo, chord progressions. But they're not the same any more than two Bach sarabandes are the same.
"Oh, yeah, but waltzes are dances too, they usually go in 3/4 although they can be in 4/4..."
Bach's suites for unaccompanied cello and sonatas and partitas for unaccompanied violin have both been recorded recently on the mandolin by Robin Bullock and Chris Thile, respectively. Both sound beautiful on mandolin.
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