J.S. Bach, BWV 1002, Partita 1 in B Minor, Sarabande, Tutorial (Part 1)

This video discusses the sarabande’s illustrious career, from its rather dubious beginnings when it was banned in polite circles due to obscenity.

We then follow the trail to when the sarabande first appears in guitar tablature, and then through to its final acceptance when it becomes the refined dance that we all now know from the Court of Louis XIV.

We also have a look at a poetic dictionary definition of a sarabande that vividly describes a dancer interpreting one. Interestingly, the definition also describes someone dancing a sarabande using tempo rubato, a technique that we normally ascribe to the Romantic period, and that is sometimes too easily (and mistakenly) dismissed when used in early music.

The video also shares an excerpt from the Baroque period that praises a performer for his seemingly spontaneous performance. Although the sarabande is a slow and stately dance, it really is also a virtuosic soloist’s piece. This will be discussed further in part two.

See Part two
and Part three