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Bach's Works for Solo ViolinStyle, Structure, Performance$
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Joel Lester

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780195120974

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195120974.001.0001

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The G-minor Adagio

The G-minor Adagio

(p.25) Two The G-minor Adagio
Bach's Works for Solo Violin

Joel Lester

Oxford University Press

The slow movement that begins each solo sonata is a prelude to the fugue that follows, akin to the prelude-fugue pairs in Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier. Many of these preludes are built upon a thoroughbass with an opening key-defining harmonic progression, a descending bass scale, a dominant pedal, and a cadence. This thoroughbass supports the melodic elaborations of the G-minor Adagio, all held together by motives, with continually heightening levels of activity creating the rhetoric of the movement. Performance suggestions arise from these considerations. The G-minor Adagio shares many features with other opening movements in the solo-violin works.

Keywords:   prelude, thoroughbass, Well-Tempered Clavier, motives, heightening activity, performance

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