The Complete Bach Cello Suites in Six Concerts

Fall 2020

Performed by Pablo Mahave-Veglia / baroque cello, modern cello and five-string cello


Pablo Mahave-Veglia

A Note From the Performer

I started learning some of the Bach Suites when I was a child in Chile in the mid-1970s. I had a small serviceable cello that my mother found for me, but a bow that was quite subpar. “The broomstick,” my Mom called it. In 1976 my father was to attend a professional conference in Austria, and because foreign travel was extremely rare for Chileans at the time, he was tasked with finding me the suitable bow that proved so elusive in my hometown. Being the only non-musician in the family, he simply walked into a music store and asked for a recommendation. I have no idea how he was able to communicate with an Austrian storekeeper in his non-existent German or monosyllabic English, but a bow he found and was back in Chile a few weeks later to offer quite an upgrade to “the broomstick.” Many years later he confessed that the currency conversion, in addition to the language problem, had confused him to the extent that he spent a great deal more than he had agreed upon with my mother. By the time he realized there was an extra zero in the Chilean peso conversion he could not envision going back and trying to explain his predicament. This marked the last time (and probably the first) my father ever made an error in arithmetic.

I spent my Winter of 2020 Sabbatical in Chile, where I was conducting a research project (more on that on a future concert) and was to perform and travel throughout the country. It goes without saying that plans were changed, trips were cancelled, and the repertoire of concertos and chamber music had to be, let’s say, customized. I spent almost six months with my father (now 92 and still unable to make math mistakes), many of them vacuum-sealed from the outside world and enjoying good weather and spotty internet access. I turned to Bach because the world-wide Fútbol ban left me empty afternoons, or perhaps because I have adored the music since I was seven and it is my comfort food, or maybe just to prove to my Dad that his unintentional investment had paid off in some regard.

I have often been inspired by unusual performance venues, or by the intimacy of finding audiences in unexpected places. When the great singer Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau died a few years ago I discovered from his obituary a touching biographical detail: as a child during WWII he shared a room with his mentally disabled brother, who was the audience of one for his earliest performances. I thought of this more recently when I learned of the senseless killing of Elijah McClain, who spent lunch breaks playing his violin for lonely kittens at his local shelter. I think this speaks to a basic need many of us performers have to share our comfort food to those nearby who might, willingly or unwittingly, lend an ear.

Thank you for listening.

-PM-V


Schedule

Performances will not have any in-person audience members. Concerts will be live streamed on www.gvsu.edu/mtd/livestream and to the Department's Instagram page, @GVSUmtd.

September 4, 2020, 12 p.m.
Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007 - Location: Outside HCPA
Prelude – Allemande – Courante – Sarabande - Minuet I and II - Gigue

September 18, 2020, 12 p.m.
Suite No. 6 in D Major, BWV 1012 – Location: HCPA Art Gallery
Prelude – Allemande – Courante – Sarabande - Gavotte I and II - Gigue

October 9, 2020, 12 p.m.
Suite No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1008 - Location: HCPA 2759
Prelude – Allemande – Courante – Sarabande - Minuet I and II - Gigue

October 23, 2020, 12 p.m.
Suite No. 4 in E-flat Major, BWV 1010 - Location: HCPA Art Gallery
Prelude – Allemande – Courante – Sarabande - Bourrée I and II - Gigue

November 6, 2020, 12 p.m.
Suite No. 5 in C Minor, BWV 1011 - Location: SVS
Prelude – Allemande – Courante – Sarabande - Gavotte I and II - Gigue

November 20, 2020, 12 p.m.
Suite No. 3 in C Major, BWV 1009 - Location: LAT Lobby
Prelude – Allemande – Courante – Sarabande - Bourrée I and II - Gigue