Suite for Solo Cello (2012)
This Suite is my homage to the Bach Cello Suite #1 in G Major, a work that has been a foundational pillar of my musical life. All of the movements in this new piece draw inspiration from the original Suite, and in some cases they also draw literal harmonic and motivic connections.
The work began in 2008 with the second movement as a compositional exercise aimed at writing a new melodic line over the harmonic structure of the Courante movement from the original suite. I was pleased with the result and began performing the piece on viola as a single movement. I knew that I wanted to expand the work into a suite for solo cello, and over the course of the next several years I began sketching out ideas for the other movements.
The prelude movement draws its theme from of a solo piece called Joy, serving to establish G Major and welcome the listener into the piece. The Gig movement is a 6/8 upbeat dance that generally follows a simple baroque-style harmonic progression with some sudden detours. The Edna Baras, entirely pizzicato in the key of E minor, was created with the intent of providing a sense of weight and grounding, similar to the Sarabande movements in the original Suites. The final Allegro movement has the most literal motivic connection to the original Suite, often importing entire passages from the prelude directly into what are very different and often quirky phrase structures. In the second half of this movement, I reference the joyous opening four chords to the original prelude and use this material to help build to the end.