Since it’s impractical for the Bach Parley to practice as a group a few seconds ago, on Sunday, June 7, music executive Valerie Arsenault will offer “One Makes Music: Sharing Hope in Solitude,” a one-lady program of unaccompanied violin music of Johann Sebastian Bach, just as three different authors from the seventeenth and eighteenth hundreds of years.
“For violinists, these solo Bach pieces are a touchstone,” Arsenault said. “We work on them our entire lives, practicing in solitude, and from time to time, sharing them in concerts.” Arsenault will perform on an elaborate violin and bow, developed and set up such that every author would perceive.
Arsenault will be accessible to visit live on the Bach Parley Facebook page at 2:30 p.m. before the 3 p.m. show on Sunday. “I generally love to stroll around and visit with individuals in the crowd before each Bach Parley show, and by going live at 2:30 p.m., we will do this on the web,” Arsenault said.
The violin is a social instrument — violin players frequently play with in any event one other performer as a couple, up to a whole ensemble. Less regular are pieces composed for solo violin alone, unaccompanied, where one individual must play the entirety of the songs and harmonies.
In these pieces, this implies the musician must play at any rate two sections, and in some cases up to 4 sections one after another, resounding a gathering piece with just a single player.
Johann Sebastian Bach was conceived in 1685 and is the most youthful arranger on this program. John Paul von Westhoff was conceived in 1656 (29 years before Bach), Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber was in 1644 (41 years before Bach), and Johann Joseph Vislmayr was conceived in 1663 (22 years before Bach). Every arranger handles the test of composing for a solitary violin going with itself in an unexpected way.
The pieces on this show are profoundly close to home to Arsenault. A few of the show choices are spic and span to her. She took in the two pieces by Westhoff just in the previous half a month, yet different pieces are old companions.
“The Bach Allemande in D minor is the first piece of solo Bach I ever learned to play, more than 30 years ago, but I play it quite differently now,” Arsenault said. “Every time I return to practice one of these ‘old friends,’ the music has more to tell me, to teach me, and I can respond with a new interpretation informed by what is happening in the present moment.”
The first original copy of the Biber Passacaglia has an engraving of a guardian angel at the top. There are four rehashing notes running consistently all through the piece, and this steady help could be compared to a guardian angel. One of the Bach developments resembles a lullaby, and a consistent line of equivalent eighth notes bolster the tune like a heartbeat.
Arsenault says, “For all the J. S. Bach pieces, we can see the original manuscript, written with a quill with Bach’s own hand. In this time of physical isolation, I love that we can connect through both time and distance, right back to the parchment Bach had on his desk.”
Arsenault feels a nearby association with all the pieces.
“For this concert, I want to share where I am now, practicing in the COVID-19 spring of 2020, and that this is how these pieces are working in me now. I can never be perfect, but I can share this music which means so much to me. I am still learning and will keep practicing as long as I am able. My students have been practicing almost every day alongside me on Zoom, and they are an inspiration,” Arsenault said.
“While they are unaccompanied, some of these pieces been accompanying me most of my life, and I never feel alone when I play them. First, there’s the connection with the composer, even if they died centuries ago. This connection hits me the hardest when I look at facsimiles of Bach’s manuscripts straight from a quill in the composer’s own hand. Next, there’s the connection with all of the violinist over the centuries who have ever wrestled with, learned from, and loved these pieces, including all of my students as well as all of my teachers. And finally, the music is only complete when someone else listens to it, either in a concert, or in this case, online” Arsenault said.
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