All of Bach: a project by the Netherlands Bach Society
Cello Suite No. 4 in E-flat major
Contemplative and philosophical
A suite for a cello with a curvy bottom.
Six Cello Suites
The Six Cello Suites by Johann Sebastian Bach belong to the Old Testament of cello literature. Every cellist who looks at the music immediately feels how naturally the notes are draped around the strings of the instrument. Yet there are many questions and discussions about these Suites a Violoncello Solo senza Basso. Did Bach really write the music for cello, or at least for cello alone? And when did he write it? At the court at Köthen or earlier?
The suites follow a path from simplicity to increasing virtuosity. The Suite no. 4 in E-flat major is contemplative and philosophical, without the mood becoming truly elegiac. In the first three suites, the cellist could play a relatively high number of open strings, giving a high resonance and allowing the upper notes to sound freely. But here the sound is darker. The key of E-flat major involves three flats, meaning that the highest A string cannot usually be played as a separate string.
Cellist Bruno Cocset feels a special bond with this suite. It has a reputation for recalcitrance with cellists, because of its key. But when he heard a recording of the suite in a transcription for harpsichord, played by Gustav Leonhardt, he suddenly understood what it should sound like. For his recording for All of Bach, Bruno Cocset went in search of the right instrument for this suite. Along with cello builder Charles Riché, with whom he often works, he chose this cello, with a curvy bottom and a rosette. In the interview, he explains how this affects the sound.
We are recording all the cello suites at a special location in Amsterdam. This recording was made at Koninklijk Theater Carré, in Amsterdam.
- Cello Suite No. 4 in E-flat major
- chamber music (solo work)
- Six Cello Suites
- between 1717 and 1723
Cast & Crew
|release date||28 October 2016|
|recording date||27 June 2016|
|Location||Royal Theatre Carré, Amsterdam|
|Cello||Charles Riché, Alpes de Haute Provence, 2009, after 17th-century Italian style|
|director and editor||Lucas van Woerkum|
|MUSIC RECORDING||Guido Tichelman, Bastiaan Kuijt|
|MUSIC EDITOR||Guido Tichelman|
|Focus pull||Danny van Deventer|
|interviews||Onno van Ameijde|
|ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS||Koninklijk Theater Carré|