Ker and Steve Isserlis I actually attended a recording of a Radio France
Show Where They Did where they did blind test with three erudite music critics who chose the best one It turned out I only had two of the cellists that they discussed and apparently the wrong one by Wispelwey the 2012 version is the one to get not the 2008 one and the Jean Ghiilen ueyras one won by both the critics and the studio audience What is spectacular is that this piece of music doesn t have a definitive score or specific meter or dynamic notations which makes each of the interpretations uniue It is worth listening to several versions to catch all the nuances Bach s Cello Suites are sublime this book is not It s not a bad book by any means and I m glad I read it It tells the life stories of Bach and Casals in relation to the cello suites along with the story of the author s discovery of the suites and subseuent research into them There are six suites each made up of six movements so Siblin structured his book into six parts of six chapters each with the title of a suite and a movement an overly cute device in my book As for the subject matter it was interesting up to a point but since I knew the main facts of Bach s life there was little new there for me I knew nothing of Casals so almost all of his story was new to me But while I get the fact that Casals was responsible for reintroducing the forgotten Cello Suites to the public during the early twentieth century it seemed to me that for much of the book that the author was straining to link Bach Casals and himself to the suites Bach s catalog runs over 1000 pieces and while the suites are wonderful so too is nearly all of what Bach wrote He seems to have penned them and never given them a second thought Casals is rightly associated with the suites but he also covered nearly every important piece of cello music in the repertoire his life was not all about the cello suites though at times the author makes it seem that way In a way the sections of the book I enjoyed most were Siblin s own efforts to learn about the suites His story of a lover of rock and roll music he d been rock critic prior to writing this book who became disillusioned with it and went off searching for something else is one I can understand I ve been there That we both ended up at Bach and classical music was the original reason I picked up the book Again it s not a bad book There s no crime in concentrating only on the cello suites I simply felt the cello suites hook was overstated If ou find the subject matter interesting at all Wicked Affairs p 2 you will probably enjoy this book This was not the preparation I was looking for before seeung Yo Yo Ma play all six suites at Tanglewood Like so much about the arts it s about the story behind the art rather than the art itself In this case it is split between the composer and its first primary performer Pablo Casals The chapters that focus on Casals spread throughout the book in the common keep all the balls in the air approach are interesting than the ones on Bach primarily because not much is known about Bach and therefore Siblin feels compelled to do too much with the little we know And there s too much about the author for my taste It s not a bad book but I found myself skimming a lot I first got excited about the cello suites about aear ago when I found a recording by Yo Yo Ma at the library I probably wouldn t have given this book a serious look except the praise for it from Simon Winchester printed on the front of the dust jacket This book tells the story of the rediscovery of the suites in a second hand music store by Pablo Casals in the early 20th century and how he revolutionized the role "Of The Cello With His "the cello with his famous performances of it He practiced it for 12 ears before he performed it It is also a history of JS Bach Given the fanatical interest in his life by researchers and Bach nerds it s surprising how much we don t know about him and Ellists Mischa Maisky Anner Bylsma and Pieter Wispelwey; to archives festivals conferences and cemeteries; and even to cello lessons all in pursuit of answers to the mysteries that continue to haunt this piece of music than 250 ears after its composer's deathThe Cello Suites is an incomparable beautifully written true life journey of passion imagination and discovery fuelled by the transcendent power of a musical masterpie.
Ong my favorite pieces of music Eric Silbin s The Cello Suites tenderly tracks them through Bach s creation their discovery by Pablo Casals and to the author s own exploration of
the music and himselfI really liked this book Learned a lot to be sure about Bach Casals and these wonderfulmusic and himselfI really liked this book Learned a lot to be sure about Bach Casals and these wonderful I found myself boring friends and family about implied harmony The book is structured in six chapters the suites of six sub chapters the movements each Within each chapter Silbin spends roughly two sub chapters telling about Bach two about Casals and two of himself Silbin made it all interesting which made a few annoyances seem not so bad So what then if he speculates some There are other books I assume that take a scholarly approach to the obvious uestions raised Silbin s work is personal part memoir actually While I don t really likes memoirs this was about a personal study of brilliant music Well that s why I was reading this book in the first placeTwo uestionsFirst the sixth suite was written for an unknown instrument a five string cello I assume it s played now on a four string cello How is it transposed Wouldn t there be chords that can t be played on a traditional cello I wish Silbin had answered thatSecond I read this of course while playing over and over my copy of the Cello Suites which really helped when he talked about the music itself the best part of the book My CD is Yo Yo Ma s version Any other recommendations out there of other performances I d really like to listen to anotherand another This is a wonderful book Not definitive in any way but pleasurable as a good guilty readBach s Cello Suites are perhaps the most intriguing pieces of music ever written Largely forgotten for almost two centuries incredibly found by the man who would become the world s greatest cellistEric Siblin a former pop music critic has written a great book about the suites and their mysterious history It s also a mini biography of Bach and Pablo Casals the cellist who discovered them at the age of thirteen and was responsible for making them what they are to the world today which is simply one of the most divine pieces of music ever written Siblin breaks the book into chunks based on the order of the suites so six sections with six chapters each Each section usually starts with a description of the related prelude an interesting device to set the stage For example he ties the melancholy second suite to the death of Bach s first wife the romantic third to the meeting of his "second wife The first few chapters of each section usually coveres Bach the next few Casals and then the "wife The first few chapters of each section usually coveres Bach the next few Casals and then the reserved to tie the pieces together through Siblin s search for the lost original manuscript of the suites something of a holy grail for musicologists as there is currently no version that has the composer s own instructions for performance which explains the wide disparity between interpretations and his emotional exploration of the suitesSiblin speaks credibly about the transcendence of the music using language that is not too overblow Whether ou like classical music or not check out the links to other enthusiastic reviews on my blog and I m sure ou ll rush out and buy the book and music too See This is a highly readable and entertaining book about Bach s Cello Suites which covers Bach s biography that of the epic Cellist Pablo Casals who re discovered the suites his fabled recording was my entry into the Bach world and the author s own research and fascination with Bach and the Suites Far less erudite and most likely less factual as well than the awesome Christoph Wolff biography this one is a uick read and does feature some interesting anecdotes and gave me a new appreciation to the musicI now have about 18 copies of the suites and they are all incredibly different Of course Casals is the first landmark recording but Paolo Pandolfo s is uite beautiful Oph lie Gaillard s is uite amazing as are those of Jonas Star. Stian Bach and the missing manuscript of his suites from the eighteenth century; the second is that of Pablo Casals and his incredible discovery of the manuscript in Spain in the early twentieth century; and the third is Eric Siblin's own infatuation with the suites in the twenty first centuryThis love affair leads Siblin to the back streets of Barcelona a Belgian mansion and a bombed out German palace; to interviews with A delicious smorgasbord of stories linked by the glorious Cello Suites the life of their composer J S Bach the life of their resurrector Pablo Casals and the uest of the author Eric Siblin An easy read but filled with fascinating details Particularly interesting is the emphasis on the link between politics and art in the life of the composer and the cellist strangely absent in the narrative of the author himself Would it be because he lives in a much freer time where an artist like a non fiction writer is "not bogged down too much by policies and budgets Or is he "bogged down too much by policies and budgets Or is he lucky in his environment Nonetheless a delightful book for the interested lay reader n Heerlike deureenvleg van fassinerende verhale saamgebind deur die ses Tjellosuites die lewens van die komponis Johann Sebastian Bach en die tjellis wat die musiek aan die vergetelheid ontruk het Pablo Casals Daarmee saam vertellings oor die skrywer se speurtog om die stories na te vors en sy pogings om Bach se musiek te begryp Die ontroerendste hiervan is seker die ontmoeting met die afgetrede hooftjellis van die orkes in Siblin se tuisstad Montreal Di gul bejaarde musikus het die skrywer oortuig om self tjellolesse te neem ten einde die musiek beter te begryp Die rol van die politiek in die lewens van Bach en Casals val op maar dis vreemd afwesig by Siblin se eie verhaal Is sy politieke ervaring oninteressant of irrelevant Daar is wel n kort bepreking van kulturele ideologie wat bots wanneer Siblin wonder of hy as Jood musiek behoort te sing wat so naby aan anti Semitisme kom hy het in n stadium deelgeneem aan n uitvoering van n Bach kantate deur n groep amateursangers wat spesiaal vir di doel byeengekom het Tog sleur Bach se musiek hom totaal mee en daarom het ons nou hierdie uiters leesbare boek n uitstekende inleiding vir die ge nteresseerde leek tot hierdie boeiende stel komposisies Ever since I heard Anner Bylsma s austere interpretation of Bach s 6 Suites for Cello back in the 80s I ve had a deep affection for this music I just checked my iTunes library I currently have 10 different versions
of the complete set for cello plus one performed on guitarthe complete set for cello plus one performed on guitar another on viola da gamba Ironically I don t have the set by Pablo Casals the engaging hero of Siblin s short account of this almost lost compositionI m not sure what I expected from this book It s the work of an amateur in the best sense Siblin is an established critic of pop music and he sometimes writes about Bach and Casals as if they were an obscure band he just discovered For me the uality of his commentary was wildly uneven sometimes a mere step above gossip sometimes uite illuminating It s sincere to a fault But I m not sure how much I can blame him for me the music is mysterious full of secrets I can t fathom I wanted him to reveal something that s probably beyond the power of writing Maybe no one can as Robert Kapilow says in the title of his recent book All You Have To Do Is Listen But then Kapilow is superb at showing what ou re listening toIn the end Siblin s book is enjoyable for its anecdotes and the sense of how lucky we are that this music survived at all If he relies on sweeping almost empty generalizations I understand it s how one fan speaks to another The second suite will forever remain for me a suite of tragedy the third love the fourth struggle and the fifth mystery The sixth is one of transcendenceFair enough A light biography of both Pablo Casals and JS
Bach vaguely centered around Bach s Cello suites Siblin provides some explanation of the musical pieces themselves butvaguely centered around Bach s Cello suites Siblin provides some explanation of the musical pieces themselves but vast majority of the book concerns itself with the life of these two figures While it wasn t the book I hoped for which would be a easily accessible jaunt through the musical theory that would explain why I love the Prelude for Suite 1 I enjoyed learning about Bach and Casals and their politicalsocial worlds Bach s Suites for Unaccompanied Cello have long been am. One autumn evening shortly after ending a ten ear stint as a pop music columnist for the Montreal Gazette Eric Siblin attended a concert at Toronto's Royal Conservatory of Music There something unlikely happened he fell in love with a piece of classical music Bach's cello suites Part biography part music history and part literary mystery The Cello Suites weaves together three dramatic stories The first features Johann Seba.