Bach’s Cello Suites

Johann Sebastian Bach:

  • Cello Suites.

For many, — or most — musicians and music lovers, the six Suites for Solo Cello by J. S. Bach are almost Holy. They represent an achievement by the composer to express so much feeling, even though the performer is just one single player. When I first connected with this music, it became very special for me, as well.

There is a level of peacefulness, spirituality, and calmness that this music brings to me. So I look for a performance level that few musicians can achieve. Each of the six suites begins with a Prelude.

This first section is then followed by several movements that are basically dance-like. Here is the Bach Cello Suite No.1 – “Prelude”, as performed by Cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

As you watch and listen, notice the varying dynamics: At some points Mr. Ma’s bow is on the cello’s fingerboard, in order to achieve great quietness. But there are spots for crescendos and places for a louder tone. I love this music! Listen to it actively.

Suspend doing anything for the two minutes that these sounds are on!