Music History Wednesday: G.F. Handel, Harpsichord suite in D minor vol.2 No 4 HWV 437 Sarabande

Not too long ago, we watched a film by Stanley Kubrick called Barry Lyndon. It was a 1975 production of British American period drama. The film made an impression on me because of its cinematic and painting quality scene after scene. Later on I learned about technical details on the production of this film that one could not help but being even more impressed. There were scenes where Kubrick uses nothing but candles for lighting. This was made possible because he uses ultra-fast lenses that NASA produce for their Apollo mission to the moon. More about the lenses here. This conscious choice Kubrick made was the reason why the cinematic quality that impressive and painterly.


A screenshot from Barry Lyndon (1975)

Handel’s Sarabande is the main theme for this film. Sarabande itself means a type of dance in triple metre. This type of dance is popular in Spanish colonies in 16-17th Century. Later on popular in Italy and France the dance turned into slow court dance. Other composer also produce Sarabande includes Johann Sebastian Bach, Debussy and Satie.


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