Sarabanda for viola solo
This 3-minute homage
to Bach is a transcription for viola of the eponymous movement from the solo
cello pieces Divertimento and Suite.
It was dedicated to violist and conductor Yuri Bashmet, who had taken part in the
premiere of Penderecki’s Sextet in
Sarabande was the compulsory piece in the first stage of the Fifth Yuri Bashmet International Viola Competition in Moscow in 2006. Performers were to present the piece in the context of two selected (obligatorily – contrasted) movements from Bach’s violin sonatas and partitas and his suites for cello. We can only guess what impression this piece may have made then, and they perceived its intertextual links to works of Bach that participants chose. Thanks to the transcription, Sarabande became an independent piece and a valuable addition to the contemporary viola repertoire.