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Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011 - Bach, perf. by Colin Carr [HD]

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Composer:
Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:
Colin Carr
Source:
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
License:
CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Views:
2968

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The Six suites for unaccompanied cello by Johann Sebastian Bach are some of the most frequently performed and recognizable solo compositions ever written for cello. They were most likely composed during the period 1717--1723, when Bach served as a Kapellmeister in Köthen. The title of Anna Magdalena Bach's manuscript was Suites á Violoncello Solo senza Basso.

The suites have been transcribed for numerous instruments, including the violin, viola, double bass, viola da gamba, mandolin, piano, marimba, classical guitar, recorder, flute, electric bass, horn, saxophone, bass clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, tuba, ukulele, and charango.

The suites have been performed and recorded by many renowned cellists such as Jacqueline du Pré, Pablo Casals, János Starker, Pierre Fournier, Paul Tortelier, Mstislav Rostropovich, Steven Isserlis, Yo-Yo Ma, Mischa Maisky, Daniil Shafran, Anner Bylsma, and Pieter Wispelwey. Ma won the 1985 Best Instrumental Soloist Grammy Award for his bestselling album "Six Unaccompanied Cello Suites".

Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011

Suite No. 5 was originally written in scordatura with the A-string tuned down to G, but nowadays a version for standard tuning is included in almost every edition of the suites along with the original version. Some chords must be simplified when playing with standard tuning, but some melodic lines become easier as well.

The Prelude is written in an A--B form, and is a French overture. It begins with a slow, emotional movement that explores the deep range of the cello. After that comes a fast and very demanding single-line fugue that leads to the powerful end.

This suite is most famous for its intimate Sarabande, which is the second of only four movements in all six suites that doesn't contain any chords. Rostropovich describes it as the essence of Bach's genius; Tortelier, as an extension of silence. Yo-Yo Ma played this movement on September 11, 2002 at the site of the World Trade Center, while the first of the names of the dead were read in remembrance on the first anniversary of the attack. The fifth suite is also exceptional as its Courante and Gigue are in the French style, rather than the Italian form of the other five suites.

An autograph manuscript of Bach's lute version of this suite exists as BWV 995.
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The text above is offered by courtesy of Wikipedia, under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

Performed by: Colin Carr

Music by courtesy and under copyright of: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
Music license: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Website: www.gardnermuseum.org

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