cellist playing

“Discovering Essential Voices in Johann Sebastian Bach’s Solo Instrumental Suite Movements," by Daniel Ketter, is available at www.smt-v.org.

This video-article presents the concept of “essential voices” in Bach’s solo instrumental works, which explains how notes can be connected together or implied so as to form continuous musical voices that support the solo part. The contrapuntal lines that essential voices highlight are often repeated in transformed ways within movements to relate different thematic rotations and heighten the musical drama. The video concludes with an analysis and performance of the intriguing Sarabande from J.S. Bach’s Cello Suite No. 5 in C Minor, BWV 1011, accompanied by a four-part setting of essential voices for cello ensemble.