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Please read the below information on Bach, view the two music videos, and read the article on the Chaconne. Complete the discussion as instructed below and reference the rubric for points awarded.
Johann Sebastian Bach was a paramount figure in the field of Baroque music, producing immense quantities of keyboard music for the organ and harpsichord, as well as chamber and orchestral music. He was equally versatile in choral music and all instrumental genres of the day, including sonatas, suites, and concertos. Among his most impressive instrumental works were those for solo violin.
For this discussion assignment, you will listen to two examples of Bach’s Chaconne in D minor and read a short article about the origin of the piece. Chaconne was originally written for solo violin and is one of the longest and most challenging solo pieces ever composed for that instrument. It is the final movement of a suite (Partita No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1004) and was written to commemorate Bach’s first wife’s death, Maria Barbara Bach, who died at the age of 36.
The Chaconne is frequently played as a piano transcription (notating a piece of music that has been re-written for a different instrument). It begins with a basic, short and simple theme and continues with 64 variations, each with evolving and emotional complexities.
You are to compare and contrast the first recording of the violin with the second one, which is the piano transcription, and read the short article on the Chaconne. Be sure to compare and contrast the two links above, not the ones in the article. You are encouraged to elaborate more on your thoughts and opinion, and please use your own words. Be sure to compose the discussion by organizing it in three paragraphs (approximately 300 words or so) and not short answer format.
There is no specific word count for a grade, but if you write on the three links (Violin Performance, Piano Performance, Article on the Chaconne), you typically will accrue approximately 300 words to thoroughly cover the question prompts listed and your opinion on the three links. The rubric listed below the performances should serve as a guide for grade/content expectations.
For full credit, be sure to include answers to the following as a minimum.
- How would you describe the beginning mood of the Chaconne?
- Does the mood change as the piece progresses? If so, how?
- Does the piano transcription sound similar to the violin?
- What are the differences between the two versions?
- Describe the texture, dynamic range, and emotional intensity.
- After reading the article, what are your thoughts on why the Chaconne was written? Does it sound like a piece written for its intended purpose? If so, why?