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Monday, 23 March 2009

Music Video of the Day - Bach/Brahms Chaconne

My right arm will no longer raise itself, so normal piano playing is out. Fortunately my left arm is OK, so I have got hold of a great piece of music that can be played with just the left hand. It is the Chaconne (a stately dance based on an ever-repeating sequence of chords) from Bach's D minor Partita for solo violin, arranged by Brahms as a study for left hand.

IT is a long piece, so this is the first part, running exactly to YouTube's 10 minute limit. I hope to have part 2 ready soon. I believe that the original violin piece is one of the world's great bits of music. I'm sorry that I haven't had longer to study this version. I offer my performance 'as is'. I take it as a meditation, and find spiritual depth here.


  1. Hi David,

    Great to see you last week. Just enjoying listening to your version of the Chaconne - it actually works quite well on the piano! Don't think I'll be posting the violin version on Youtube though- way to tricky without hours of practice! Also The Album leaf sounds surprisingly good! In hindsight I think you were right about it sounding like Dvorak - more so than Grieg actually. Really lovely piece - I enjoyed playing it with you and very impressive work for the night before! Am planning to be back down in Street next week so hope to pop in then. Thinking of you and great to be able to keep up with the blog too.


  2. Well played, Dad. I love playing this too. However many times one returns to the Ciaccona, the pleasure and the mystery remain.

    And that's even without having studied the possible hidden depths of the piece proposed by Helga Thoene and explored by the Hilliard Ensemble, as I now read.

    You pianists are lucky enough to have reverberation built in to your instrument. To enjoy playing this on the violin, you really have to find somewhere with a rich natural reverb. My favourite such place so far is the stone passageways of the former nunnery I stayed at in Ferrara with 'On The Fiddle' while attending the Buskers Festival in 1993. One merely has to touch the bow on the string there, and the most beautiful sound comes back.

    Looking forward to part II.

    Do give us a link to the complete non-streaming video file if you can.

  3. Dear David, What an inspiring piece of piano playing, you made, of the great Master, Bach, who just says it all. I showed this piece of blog to an Ass Board examiner who was here for supper, and we both felt that it was such a brave, concentrated piece of work that you have been doing today, and such a committed and musical study of a great work. It was lovely to share some time with you yesterday, and just to say that your blog is inspiring and wonderful. I feel privileged to share in it.

    love from Helen Lunt