'As always, it was sheer pleasure to observe Robin Hill's remarkable fluent technique: everything looks easy when he plays it.' Colin Cooper- Classical Guitar Magazine ----- 'Wonderful for their (Hill & Wiltschinsky) precision, touch and clarity of sound... refined virtuosity, the achievement of a long interpretive process.' Il Giornale D'Italia (Rome) ----- 'I loved your CD and thought your technique and performance were fabulous...' Rick Wakeman

Friday, April 13, 2007

Robin Hill Plays 'J.S.Bach - Cello Suite No.1'

This is what I really miss when Robin is away on his trips.
Let me set the scene for you.
I am tidying up the kitchen after a typical family breakfast. From the music room come the sounds of J.S.Bach, Cello Suite No.1.
Whilst recently on the QM2 Robin was stopped as he did his daily deck pounding, (makes up for the lack of dog walking), by a couple asking if he would play a piece at the second concert. The man hummed the first few bars, which he had heard on a Segovia CD, and Robin identified it as Bach Prelude.
He explained to the couple that he knew the piece, and had played it a long time ago, but that he hadn't prepared it for the concert.
A quote from his book, 'The Guitar Gymnasium', says, "An amateur practices to get it right - a professional practices so he can't get it wrong."
Therefore, there wasn't time to achieve this before the concert.
It did stimulate his interest though, and after searching through his vast music library on his computer, found the required piece and set about taking it down.

Once home the job of memorizing was underway.
That brings me to breakfast this morning.

As I tidied up, Robin appeared, perched on the edge of the table, and announced he had now memorized the piece.
As the original is for cello, Robin had added the occasional bass note where the harmony is implied but not stated.
This is a very symmetrical piece which gradually modulates to the dominant key almost exactly half way through, it then proceeds to ratchet up the tension by means of a dominant pedal note and after many cascades of scales and arpeggios finally resolves back, on the final triumphant chord, to the tonic (D major).

(The original would have been G major, but this arrangement, and in fact most guitarists, use D major.)

Beautiful, and all as I emptied the dishwasher...

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