Du Yun: The Veronica (Overture to J.S. Bach's Cello Suite No. 2) for solo cello

For solo cello

Sale price$17.00

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Additional Info

  • Composer
    Du Yun
  • Publisher
    G Schirmer Inc


for cello

Composer note

the ones who are gone are gone
but the ones who survived
begin to arrive
— from Rumi

I know Matt for 8 years now. Not only have I written pieces for him, we have also collaborated on a song together, Miranda, and played together on his Figment tour. When Matt called me for this project, I was thrilled for his undertaking and honored to be part of a project that is this close to him.

Among the six Bach Cello Suites, I always feel the most personal with the Suite No. 2. So I chose to write an overture for this suite. In preparing for writing the overture for the d minor, Matt and I talked about how JS Bach had been away from home on tour for a year. When he came back finally, only then did he learn of his first wife’s passing; and a year prior, he lost his child. The bereavement and absolute inward-looking of this suite rang in my ears.

The Veil of Veronica, the image of a woman wiping sweat and blood away, too, dances back to my eyes. I’m interested in the provenance of cultural intersections. Bereavement takes in many shapes and forms.

For this work, there is a Russian Orthodox prayer for the dead, Kontakion - Tone 3, as a structural pivot point. The piece ends with a ganga style prominent in the Serbian Chant. The lower sustainable is the most pronounced from that region.

*Ganga is a dissonant form of singing, using two clashing notes to project sound over long distances.

— Du Yun, 2015

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