As the pieces In the Suzuki Repertoire get longer and more complex, they take longer to work through. My most recent piece, Karl Bohm’s Perpetual Motion from Little Suite No. 6, was an exception. All the pieces that preceded it in Book Four took longer. Still, I began the Perpetual Motion at the beginning of July, so that one took four months. As with all my past pieces, I’ll continue to work on it for a good while.
She had hinted at it during our last lesson two weeks ago, and yesterday Teacher started me on the final Book Four work, Bach’s masterpiece Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor. It’s not the first Bach I’ve played, but it’s the first Bach as Bach intended – the other pieces have been bits of cello suites and excerpts from other works transcribed for violin – this one is the real deal. The score is for the violin 2 part, the first movement. The violin 1 part comes along later in the Suzuki series – the last piece in Book Five.
Bach wrote the piece while he was Kapellmeister in Kothen, Germany around 1718. Its sound is classically Baroque, a fugue of sorts, with twisting themes that spin out for the duration of the movement. You can almost hear the basso continuo of the harpsichord in the background (indeed it’s part of the full score; many performances feature it).
I’ve been looking forward to playing this concerto for a long time. The piece is part of the standard violin repertoire; there are YouTube performances from many greats – I’ve watched videos featuring David Oistrakh through Arabella Steinbacher. And, of course, a fair number of Suzuki kids.
Thanks for reading.