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Sarabande in C major for Unaccompanied Cello


JorgeDavid
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Hello everyone!

This is a Sarabande in C major for solo cello. it is supposed to go together with the allemande and Courante I composed before.  It is in [:A:][:B:] binary form and slow 3/4 time. Also, an occasional (or sometimes constant) stress of the second beat is considered to be a "common" feature of the Sarabande style so I tried to apply it in certain points. The first part is 8 measures long and modulates from the tonic, Cmaj, to the dominant Gmaj. Part B is 15 measures long and stays mostly in the relative minor (Am) but ending in Cmaj. I intended the first part to work as a kind of contrapunctal introduction to the second part. I had quite some troubles composing this due to the slow tempo so I don't think I am so satisfied with the result. Also, the slow tempo really calls for a less mechanical and more realistic cello sound so I am sorry about the boring midi output. 

Any feedback, suggestion or comment is appreciated! Hope you enjoy it and thanks for listening!

 

 

 

Edited by JorgeDavid
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Usually, if you were intending to write a Sarabande to actually be danced to then you wouldn't really have to worry about getting it performed rubato.  But, yeah, thusfar I have not really written a successful Sarabande because it's at such a slow tempo that a midi rendition would be very mechanical and there's just no easy fix for that except to get it performed (that would be easier for a solo cello than for a whole string orchestra).  Given those limitations I think you did a great job!  Sometimes however, I can't tell which beat I am hearing and I feel like in a dance such as this the meter should really be evident in the melody to make it clear for the dancers.  Also, is there a mistake in the first measure with a misplaced bar-line making it look like there's a 2/4 measure?  Thanks for sharing!

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Hi, Jorge

Composing for solo cello in the baroque style looks really complex. The double and triple stops and use of its different registers to create counterpoint, its quite advanced so hats off to you!

I think you're right about the mechanical aspect of midi not being quite appropriate for this slower form but it didn't spoil it for me and your cello sound font is pretty good.

To my ears it has that sorrowful, introspective feel which I enjoy in this type of piece. I've not studied anything to do with baroque music so I cant give you feedback on any technical aspects.

 

 

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Thanks for commenting @PaperComposer! I agree that sometimes the underlying rhythm is hard to tell, particularly after measure 17. I am considering changing that ending to keep the rhythm clearer but I am still thinking about it. I must admit I did not worry to much about the rhythm itself because even though I never get lost when listening to Bach's keyboard Sarabandes, in the case of his Sarabandes for the cello I am at times not sure which beat the performer is at either. And thanks for realizing that first misplaced bar-line! You are totally right! I will try to solve it but it seems like a bug from Sibelius so if I do not find an easy fix I will have to leave it as it is 😅. Thank you!!!

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I am glad you enjoyed it and found it sorrowful and instrospective, @Papageno ! That was also the effect I was going for, particularly in the second part. It's true that by going for that effect the piece turned out to be more in Am than in Cmaj 😅 The cello font is actually not that bad but in the future I plan to try to redo the cello pieces with a good virtual cello instrument and a digital audio station to tweek around with the notes. Thanks for listening and commenting!

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You have a great piece here.  I can't wait to hear a full suite!

 

1) Measures 14-16 I would suggest adding double-stops to your pedal points.  Might give the music a more sonic resonance.

 

2) A sarabande is a dance.   I made this huge mistake in my cello suite by using the wrong title.  I dare say you piece has more "passacaille" moments than sarabande.  Still, that does not subtract from what is a well-written piece!

 

 

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3 hours ago, maestrowick said:

You have a great piece here.  I can't wait to hear a full suite!

1) Measures 14-16 I would suggest adding double-stops to your pedal points.  Might give the music a more sonic resonance.

2) A sarabande is a dance.   I made this huge mistake in my cello suite by using the wrong title.  I dare say you piece has more "passacaille" moments than sarabande.  Still, that does not subtract from what is a well-written piece!

 

It think the double stops idea is really good, particularly in the last two bass notes (measure 16 and 17) it would probably prepare the ear better for the half cadence and the fermata. I will play around to see if there are some playable double stops to add in that part!

I also agree with the second comment. The first part sounds quite Sarabande to me but, somehow, the second part sounds more like a prelude (I agree the atmosphere also reminds me of a Passacaille but I guess the lack of a repetitive constant bass would not allow me to give it that title). I think the lack of clear cadences during the second part makes the phrases "eerie" and not suitable for a Sarabande so I was thinking on adding some perfect cadences and clearer division of phrases but maybe it's better if I just use half of the piece for a whole prelude and the other half for a real Sarabande. I will have to think about it!

Thanks for your comment and I am glad you liked it!

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