Monday, April 9, 2012
Bach Cello Suites
The suites are actually Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello, composed during a period from 1717-1723, when Johann Sebastian Bach was employed as Kapellmeister, or choir director, for a church in Cothen, Germany. The suites contain a variety of techniques and range of emotion, but it is their intimacy that makes then endure. They appear simple, but there is fierce competition between artists regarding their interpretation. Over time they have been transcribed for various instruments, including mandolin, guitar, piano, horn, clarinet, and even ukulele!
Here's an interesting bit: The suites were not widely known until the 1900's, when Pablo Casals discovered a particular edition of them in a thrift shop in Barcelona, Spain, when Casals was 13. He began studying them, and the rest is history! He did not perform them in public until 1925, when he was 48, and he agreed to record the pieces, becoming the first to record them in their entirety. There popularity them soared!