Friday, 9 March 2012

Bach's Double Violin Concerto in D minor

Yes, I have already posted about Bach - but no amount of posts can express the sheer genius of his music. For this post, I wanted to blog about a piece that is close to my heart, the double violin concerto in D minor (the 1st movement in particular). Interestingly, I first heard this piece only a few years ago when installing a piece of composing software called 'Sibelius' onto my computer. The software allows eager young composers to notate their work digitally, with plenty of other functions such as playback and editing tools. As well as this, the software comes with example compositions, often the classics of great composers. My demo gave me Beethoven's 'Fur Elise', Chopin's 'Minute Waltz' and Bach's Double Violin Concerto in D minor. The amazing thing about listening to the piece for the first time on this software also allowed me to watch the score as it was being played, which really emphasised the serious complexity of the eight different intertwining parts.

As I am mainly a pianist, I had always dreamed of being able to play the concerto on the violin, but sadly I never had the skills to do it justice. However, I have no passed my grade 8 violin, and I am currently learning the first movement of the concerto to play as a duet with my teacher: Yana Burova. Of course, it is very intimidating playing it with her because she is an incredibly talented violinist - but it is still satisfying to be able to perform a piece that you have listened to about a thousand times! I hope to be performing the piece in a couple of months, but until then (as I'm sure any musicians reading this will know) I will only be playing it incredibly slowly...

So for now I can only share it through YouTube, but luckily I managed to find a video of the work that is accompanied by a scrolling bar-graph score. This way, the colour coded parts show how complicated the polyphony is, and create something quite artistic to watch as well!

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