That famous cello prelude, deconstructed

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Shared January 30, 2020

Bach's G major prelude has captivated cellists and music lovers for years. Cellist Alisa Weilerstein deconstructs it.

Bach's six cello suites are considered a rite of passage for cellists. They're masterpieces of classical music, and the prelude in G major — the first movement of the suites — is perhaps the best example of Bach's power as a composer. In it, he's able to achieve rich and complex harmonic movements with just a four-stringed instrument, while using the very basic tenets of music composition. Those basic tenets are what Alisa Weilerstein, a renowned cellist and McArthur fellow, helps us understand.

A previous version of this video mislabeled a C sharp as a C natural. We also removed a simplified chord visual that mislabeled a C natural as a C sharp.

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