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Thread: J.S. Bach: Gavotte in D Minor (BWV 811)

  1. #1
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default J.S. Bach: Gavotte in D Minor (BWV 811)

    Johann Sebastian Bach: English Suite No. 6 in D Minor (BWV 811)
    VI. Gavotte I
    Arranged for two mandolins and guitar by A.E. Sheppard (1971)


    This Bach gavotte was originally written in around 1713/14 as part of his English suites for keyboard (harpsichord or clavichord). My recording as a trio of two mandolins and tenor guitar is based on an arrangement published in the September 1971 edition of the BMG Magazine, available for free download from:

    https://classic-banjo.ning.com/page/bmg-magazines

    I attach the score downloaded from that link. Comparding Sheppard's setting with the original keyboard score, or with (say) Glenn Gould's recording here, the adaptation is fairly straightforward - he removed most of the trills, lifted a few bass notes by an octave to bring them into guitar range and change the timing on some of the phrases from dotted crotchet-semiquaver-semiquaver to crotchet-quaver-quaver. However, all of Bach's notes are there, and none were added.

    It's fun to play, and the mandolin parts are fairly straightforward. The guitar part is a bit trickier, because of the relentless movement.

    1898 Giuseppe Vinaccia mandolin (x2)
    Vintage Viaten tenor guitar



    Martin
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    Default Re: J.S. Bach: Gavotte in D Minor (BWV 811)

    Very nice recording, Martun. I had a look at Youtube to listen to a keyboard version.
    It's BWV 811. I found a Youtube clip of a 5 year old Chinese girl, playing it at high speed.
    But I like the mid-tempo version of the mandolin trio better...

  4. #3
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: J.S. Bach: Gavotte in D Minor (BWV 811)

    Thanks, crisscross.

    There are plenty of very fast recordings of this gavotte on Youtube, but apart from the fact that I wouldn't be able to play that bass line any faster on tenor guitar with any sort of accuracy, I am also reassured by the fact that the Glenn Gould recording I linked in my original post is at pretty much the same tempo as mine (indeed slightly slower than mine). Gould was one of the most celebrated Bach performers of his day, and had history with challenging perceived wisdom on "correct" performance tempo, preferring to play it as he thought suited each piece best rather than how everybody else played it.

    Martin

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