Download the prelude from Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1

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Download the prelude from Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1

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The original manuscript for JS Bach’s Six Cello Suites is lost, making it difficult to know exactly when they were written. Four copies were made of score, including one written out by Bach’s wife Anna Magdalena, which dates from between 1727 and 1731.

At this time the cello was not a fashionable solo instrument and was often overlooked in favour of the gamba, which boasted a longer tradition and was considered nobler. So Bach’s Six Suites were among the first technically challenging pieces written for solo cello.

‘Dutch period-instrument musician Viola de Hoog has played at the highest level for three decades before undertaking the cellist’s “rite of passage”: recording JS Bach’s six Cello Suites,’ writes George Pratt in his review of this recording in our Christmas issue.

‘The prelude of the first suite is unusually spacious, its arpeggiated harmony building up unhurriedly … Fine original instruments and bows, and first-class recording, puts this among the very best of the versions I have accumulated.’

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A guide to JS Bach


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