This Allemande is the second movement of Bach's first cello suite (in G major).
The suite is a collection of five different movements inspired by dance styles (Allemande, Sarabande, Minuet, and Gigue) all preceded by an introductory Prelude. Bach wrote six suites for unaccompanied cello; each has a different key and a different character, but all follow the same basic structure (although the minuets are replaced by bourées in suites 3 and 4 and by gavottes in suites 5 and 6 ). The set of cello suites forms one of the most important contributions to the instrument's repertoire.
The cellist, Ruth Alford, explores this movement, looking at it within the context of other movements in the same suite and other pieces of baroque music.
Here, Ruth plays the entire Allemande.
Click the buttons below to explore the movement in more detail.
Each link includes written information about the music and its interpretation, together with videos, during which Ruth talks about ways to approach its performance.
1 - Choosing a Tempo
2 - Phrasing
3 - Bowing and Bow Distribution
4 - Left-hand Fingering
What is historically informed performance practice?
An introduction to historically informed performance practice of baroque music, and a look at period instruments and bows.
Allemande from JS Bach's Suite no. 1 in G for unaccompanied cello, BWV 1007
Ruth Alford explores this movement in the light of other baroque music for 'cello.
Giga from J S Bach's Partita no. 2 in D minor for solo violin, BWV 1004
Helen Kruger looks at what what baroque theorists had to say about bowing, phrasing and articulation and applies it to this movement.
Largo and Allegro from G P Telemann's Viola Concerto in G, TWV51:G9
Nicholas Logie discusses phrasing, ornamentation and vibrato.