History and Manuscripts of the Cello Suites
about the original manuscript
J.S. BACH's original manuscript of the Cello Suites has not been found.
The only manuscript reference from J.S. Bach is the Luth version of the Suite N°5 called Pieces pour la luth à Monsieur Schouster" BWV 995.
Fortunately, four copies from the 18th Century survived. We often refer to each facsimile with a letter or number:
- I : By A. Magdalena Bach, first half of the 18th c.
- II : By J. Peter Kellner, first half of the 18th c.
- III: By 2 different authors, mid 18th c.
- IV: By Author unknown, from the end of the 18th c.
Because these copies differ from each other, different interpretations of the slurs can be made. As of today, we count more than 90 editions of the cello suites. The choice of bowing and articulation is an endless debate for a cellist.
BACH CELLO SUITE N°1 IN G MAJOR BWV 1007
BACH CELLO SUITE N°2 IN D MINOR BWV 1008
BACH CELLO SUITE N°3 IN C MAJOR BWV 1009
BACH CELLO SUITE N°4 IN E FLAT MAJOR BWV 1010
BACH CELLO SUITE N°5 IN C MINOR BWV 1011
BACH CELLO SUITE N°6 IN D MAJOR BWV 1012
After a long research into the origins of the violoncello and its technique, Marianne Dumas recorded the Suites on a full baroque set-up, natural accoustics, following closely the manuscripts with a technique used in Germany in the XVIIIth century: the strong beats/basses come in an up bow.