Bach and Another Suzuki Gavotte

BWV 822 is Bach’s  Suite in G Minor for Harpsichord, and part of it has also been arranged into a Suzuki Book Three song for violin, Gavotte in G Minor.  Content with my progress on the Bach Minuet I’ve been working up for weeks now, Teacher started me on it yesterday.  This new Gavotte is the third song in Book Three, and of course I’ve been listening to it for a while now, so I have a good grasp of what it’s supposed to sound like.  I am coming to greatly appreciate the sound of minor keys, and as I become more familiar with playing in G minor I’m starting to be able to hear the scale a little better too.  At first it was quite challenging for me to hear if I was getting the notes right – I’ve been working the scale for a while now, though not as much as I should probably.  I have a tendency to make my D string G too sharp when playing in this key, for example.  So far, G minor is the only minor key I’ve played.  As I encounter more I think the overall concept will start to become clearer for me and I’ll get better.  Time, the improver of all things practice-based, will also help.

I’ve been interested in researching the origins of the Suzuki tunes for violin – from the beginning I’ve been struck by the fact that almost none of them are included in the Suzuki series as they were originally written, and almost none of them were originally written for violin – this Gavotte, for example and as noted above, is from a Suite of pieces for harpsichord – it’s the third movement in the suite.  For whatever reason, Suzuki sure included a lot of gavottes in his series.  I’ve basically lost count of which gavotte this is for me and I’m too lazy to count right now.  And more are coming – my next song is the fabulous Humoresque by Dvorak, but after that it’s yet another Gavotte, by Becker.

This morning I found a nice resource on the Suzuki Series; the linked site features no information about its creator, but everything I’ve found there so far rings true based on my other explorations.  It’s a nice, single site to visit to find a lot of information about all of the songs in the Suzuki repertoire.  The author, in the introduction, reveals a compulsion to preserve music in the form in which it was written, which, to my mind, is a doomed project from the get-go if you are looking at the Suzuki repertoire – as I mentioned above virtually none of the repertoire is arranged as the composers wrote it.

Here’s a nice recording of BWV 822, Bach’s G Minor Suite for Harpsichord, by harpsichordist Jean-Luc Ho.  6:25 is where my new Gavotte starts up, then the Book One Minuet One starts at about 9:00:

Technically speaking, this new Gavotte doesn’t bring a whole lot of new stuff in for me.  Making the G minor sound beautiful, slurring across strings and producing something lovely seem to be the goals.  I’m totally on board.

Thanks for reading.


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