The Cello Suites

December 26, 2009

For Christmas I received a copy of the book The Cello Suites: J.S Bach, Pablo Casals, and the Search for a Baroque Masterpiece from Sibylle, along with Pablo Casals seminal recording of the pieces. Both are simply outstanding.

The Cello Suites is one-third biography of J. S. Bach, one-third biography of Pablo Casals, and one-third journal of the author, Eric Siblin's journey to discover the history of these suites of 'cello music. The book is well written and mirrors the music in its presentation of the story. Each suite has a prelude, followed by five dance movements: allemande, courante, sarabande, menuet I & II or bourrée I & II, and finally gigue. In the book the author divides the two biographies and his own story between the prelude and movements of the suites.

Just from a historical perspective I am finding the book fascinating. That I am a beginning cellist only adds to my enjoyment of the story. Having the music as recorded by Casals to listen to periodically as I read about its birth and later rediscovery is delightful. Sibylle even download copies of the sheet music for me so I can follow along as I listen.

I thoroughly recommend the book and the CD.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.