Six limes Sixa

Richard Taruskin

in The Danger of Music and Other Anti-Utopian Essays

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780520249776
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942790 | DOI:
Six limes Sixa

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This chapter presents an essay on Pablo Casals whose Bach had preludes that were maelstroms ending in tidal waves, allemandes and sarabandes that were passionate arias and courantes that were juggernauts. The dynamics, special effects aside, fluctuated between fortissimo and mezzo fortissimo and the multiple stops, particularly the four-note chords, were grandly rhetorical, broken two-by-two with a flourish, where the upper double stop held loud until the end, with which came a sforzando termination. According to Casals, Bach was the ultimate, the universal source of truth, the fount and the origin of Western musical values and his Bachian ideal was an ethical ideal, founded on a reverent work ethic that epitomized the secular religion of art. The chapter also suggests the best cellists to listen to, including Anner Bylsma's “Servais” Stradivari, who according to the author, is also first cellist on record to manage a harmonic ambience in the Prelude to the Fourth Suite (E-flat Major), where there is a dearth of open-string resonance.

Keywords: Pablo Casals; fortissimo; Western musical values; Bach; Anner Bylsma; Prelude to the Fourth Suite

Chapter.  2567 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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