I have been trying to find out more about the Bach Minuet I’m playing – the first of three in Suzuki Book 1 for Violin. It is more difficult than I thought it would be to pin these minuets down.
Let’s stick to the facts:
- A minuet is a dance, the music to which is in triple time, or three beats per measure.
- The minuets in Suzuki are rearrangements written for violin of music that was composed for harpsichord and/or piano.
- Minuets were often pulled out of longer pieces of music and cut down to be appropriate dance-length songs.
- Bach was one of the most prolific and important classical composers ever to live. Many projects over time have sought to catalogue his oeuvre – the one most widely recognized is the Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis (catalog of Bach’s works), abbreviated BWV.
- Suzuki Book One Minuet One, the piece I’m currently playing, is the third minuet from the G Minor Suite – BWV 822, according to one person answering a question quite authoritatively on a Yahoo forum.
- Anna Magdalena’s Notebook was a collection presented to Bach’s second wife by the composer, and it contained his own works as well as those of others. Wikipedia cites two separate notebooks, one from 1722 and one from 1725, and indicates that the first is almost exclusively Bach and the second contains the work of many composers. It seems certain that the Suzuki Book Three Minuet, a very popular tune long attributed to Bach, came from the second Notebook and was actually written by Christian Pezold.
So that’s what I’ve discovered about the Suzuki Bach Minuets. The one I’m working up is much more technically complex than anything I’ve played to date. I also find it to be the loveliest thing I’ve played to date.
Thanks for reading.