The Bach Cello Suites

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Johann Sebastian Bach. Cöthen, 1717-1723: Kapellmeister. This is how Bach’s resume might have read at the end of his tenure at the court of Prince Leopold, an enlightened ruler who loved music and art.

During his years in Cöthen, Bach composed some of his best known instrumental works: the Brandenburg Concertos, the four Orchestral Suites, the first book of the Well Tempered Clavier, the two and three-part Inventions, and the Six Suites for Violoncello Solo, among others. The cello suites are perhaps the most challenging and rewarding set of works for cello ever written. Famous cellist Pablo Casals spent twelve years before he first played the suites in public, and every day for the rest of his life he started the day playing one of the suites: Monday - Suite no. 1, Tuesday – no. 2, and so forth; on Sunday he rested. After years of research and performance, we have a much anticipated recording of the Bach Cello Suites by Ovidiu Marinescu released by Navona. Marinescu also makes available his performer’s edition of suites based on the four eighteenth-century copies available in facsimile (published by Bärenreiter) and the first published edition of the cello suites from around 1824, issued by Janet et Cotelle in Paris.