of Suite No 1 in G major
does recall the opening movements of Bach’s cello suites with its agile semiquaver passagework weaving patterns through the whole range of the instrument’s span. It modulates further than Bach’s norm, however, and is contrasted with a more ruminative idea in double-stopped sixths and thirds. This theme, at a slower pace, then proves to be the first idea of the central C major Adagio
, where it receives development and expansion. A livelier ascending-scale figure is the main element of contrast. The movement builds to a climax in which the main theme is intensified by triple- and even quadruple-stopping, then unwinds to a melancholic coda. The suite concludes with a lively triple-time Fuge. As in Bach’s solo string instrument fugues, the interweaving of independent lines is more often suggested than practically achieved, but there is an ingenious evocation of stretto towards the end and the fugue ends with a triumphant low pedal-point on G.
from notes by Calum MacDonald © 2008