David Popper composed 7 gavottes, 6 for cello and piano, and 1 for 2 cellos. Our collection groups the 6 gavottes (opp. 10, 23, 27, 67, 75, 81) in one convenient collection. The other works in the collection include Sarabande (Op. 10), Praeludium (Op. 27), Largo (Op. 67), Serenade and Venetian Barcarolle (Op. 75). We can see how Popper's style changes throughout his career.
Sarabande and Gavotte, Op. 10 are dedicated to Robert Emil Bockmuhl, a fine cellist, composer, and transcriber. Popper pairs the Sarabande and Gavotte as one might see in a baroque suite. This neo-baroque pair leans more towards J. S. Bach's keyboard suites and partitas. As is typical, the Gavotte has a more placid middle section, commonly known as a musette.
Gavotte No. 2, Op. 23 needs no introduction. It is one of Popper's most popular works, also found in the Suzuki Method. The work is dedicated to Senator and amateur cellist A. N. Markewitsch.
Andante serioso and Gavotte No. 3, Op. 27 are dedicated to Popper's younger brother, cellist and composer Wilhelm. The "Andante" is also called "Praeludium" and is an unaccompanied introduction to the Gavotte. The Gavotte has more of an English sound, like Handel or Purcell. The Musette sections sound a little more French.
Largo and Gavotte No. 4 "in olden style" (im alten Style), Op. 67 are the next pair of pieces in the collection. The Largo is pompous, like an introduction of a French overture or a Handel sonata. The Gavotte (popularized by Janos Starker) sounds closest to gavottes by Camille Saint-Saens. It is the most succinct of the gavottes by Popper.
Op. 75 is a set of three works: Serenade, Gavotte No. 5, and Venetian Barcarolle. The Serenade has a distinctly French sound akin to Faure and Dukas. Parts of the melody are reminiscent of Chanson villageoise. Gavotte No. 5 is the most stately gavotte in the set so far, with the slowest tempo marking of "Andantino." However, the short middle section is more akin to Mendelssohn. The Venetian Barcarolle is very similar to Rossini's Soirees Musicales in style. The harmonic language, however, has an early 1900s Richard Strauss influence.
The final work in the set is the Gavotte Op. 81. This gavotte could easily fit into a mid-20th Century Broadway musical. It is also motivically the most concise.
Our edition is based on the first editions of the works, graciously provided by the Czech Digital Library. Obvious errors were corrected.