Today I finally started to learn the C Major Bach Suite. Oh my god, I know it so well by just listening to it numerous times, but how hard is it musically.
I have this new edition in which all the sources are combined – for a very low price they even added every single manuscript, which is very interesting while highly confusing. No slurs, and if you check carefully all the manuscripts, everybody says something else. What to do? I think the optimum would be to freely improvise ones bowings and slurs, knowing the various “rules”. It is highly dangerous to fall into stereotypes and repeat the same bowing over and over – it just becomes boring, as beautiful as the music might be.
And then we have the problem with authenticity. How much vibrato? Vibrato at all? Yes, there should be vibrato, but in a very different way to our vibrato of today. Much smaller, much less often, just as the human voice tends to “swing” naturally” without forcing it. Easier said than done, I must admit…
And then the sound – not really the “Russian Iron” (that means to kind of stay in the string without any articulation), but not the anaemic music making of some others. I listened once to Aner Bylsma, and he goes deep into the string, really loved his sound production and his musical ideas. We have to somehow go in and out of the string, if you know what I mean, and this is sooo frustratingly hard, because there is so much room for error and sidenoises.
Have to do all the Bachsuites next year, and I have to start now, because (I guess not only) for me this is the biggest challenge of all!