manuscripts
bACH cELLO sUITES - bwv 1007-1012

HISTORY

The lost manuscript...

Bach's original Manuscript 

J.S Bach composed the 6 Suites for violoncello senza basso during the years he was “Anhalt-Köthen Prince's own musical director" at the court of Köthen between 1717 and 1723.  

At that time, the Calvinist faith prohibited music in the church (organs were removed from churches).  During his years in Kothen, Bach's compositions were intended for the court. Among them, the Violin Sonatas and Partitas, the Brandenburg Concertos, the secular cantatas, Well-Tempered Clavier (BWV 846-869) and the Cello Suites.

J.S. BACH's original manuscript of the Cello Suites has not been found (yet..?). Fortunately, four manuscript 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. (the oldest)
  • 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. 

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

  • Bach original Manuscript Suite 5 p1
  • Bach original Manuscript Suite 5 p2
  • Bach original Manuscript Suite 5 p3
  • Bach original Manuscript Suite 5 p4
  • Bach original Manuscript Suite 5 p5
  • Bach original Manuscript Suite 5 p6
  • Bach original Manuscript Suite 5 p7
  • Bach original Manuscript Suite 5 p8
  • Bach original Manuscript Suite 5 p9

4 facsimiles

I

A-M BACH

 First half of the 18th  c..

II

J-P KELLNER

First half of the 18th c.  (probably the oldest copy)

III

2 authors, mid 18th c.  referred as the Westphal copy.

IV

Author unknown, end of the 18th c.

BACH CELLO SUITE N°1 IN G MAJOR BWV 1007

bach Suite N°1 - SOurce I

  • MANUSCRIPT BACH CELLO SUITE N°1 - PRELUDE - AM BACH - MANUSCRIPT
  • MANUSCRIPT CELLO SUITE N°1 - ALLEMANDE - AM BACH
  • MANUSCRIPT CELLO SUITE N°1 - COURANTE - AM BACH
  • MANUSCRIPT CELLO SUITE N°1 - MENUETS - AM BACH
  • MANUSCRIPT BACH CELLO SUITE N°1
  • MANUSCRIPT BACH CELLO SUITE N°1 GIGUE

BACH SUITE N°1 - Source II

  • MANUSCRIPT BACH CELLO SUITE N°1 - PRELUDE - KELLNER
  • MANUSCRIPT BACH CELLO SUITE N°1 - KELLNER
  • MANUSCRIPT BACH CELLO SUITE N°1 - KELLNER
  • MANUSCRIPT BACH CELLO SUITE N°1 - KELLNER

BACH SUITE N°1 - SOURCE III

  • MANUSCRIPT BACH CELLO SUITE N°1 - PRELUDE - SOURCE C
  • MANUSCRIPT BACH CELLO SUITE N°1 - SOURCE C - P2
  • MANUSCRIPT BACH CELLO SUITE N°1 - SOURCE C - P3
  • MANUSCRIPT BACH CELLO SUITE N°1 - SOURCE C - P4
  • MANUSCRIPT BACH CELLO SUITE N°1 - SOURCE C - P5

BACH SUITE N°1 - SOURCE IV

  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°1 - PRELUDE - SOURCE D
  • MANUSCRIPT BACH CELLO SUITE N°1 - SOURCE D - P2
  • MANUSCRIPT BACH CELLO SUITE N°1 - SOURCE D - P3
  • MANUSCRIPT BACH CELLO SUITE N°1 - SOURCE D - P4
  • MANUSCRIPT BACH CELLO SUITE N°1 - SOURCE D - P5

EXTRACTS

courante 1

sarabande 1

menuet 1

gigue 1

BACH CELLO SUITE N°2 IN D MINOR BWV 1008

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BACH CELLO SUITE N°2  source I

  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°2 D MAJOR BWV 1008  - PRELUDE - AM BACH
  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°2 - ALLEMANDE - AM BACH
  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°2 - COURANTE - AM BACH
  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°2 - MENUETS - AM BACH
  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°2 - GIGUE - AM BACH

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BACH CELLO SUITE N°2  - Source II

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BACH CELLO SUITE N°2 - Source III

  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°2 IN D MAJOR BWV 1008 Prelude

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BACH CELLO SUITE N°2  - Source IV

  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°2 - SOURCE D - Prelude
  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°2 - SOURCE D - ALLEMANDE
  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°2 - SOURCE D - SARABANDE
  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°2 - SOURCE D - MENUETS
  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°2 - SOURCE D - GIGUE

EXTRACTS

courante 2

sarabande 2

menuets 2

gigue 2

BACH CELLO SUITE N°3 IN C MAJOR BWV 1009

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BACH CELLO SUITE N°3  SOURCE I

  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°3 - SOURCE A

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BACH CELLO SUITE N°3 - SOURCE II

  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°3 - Prelude - SOURCE B

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BACH CELLO SUITE N°3 - SOURCE III

  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°3 - SOURCE C - prelude

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BACH CELLO SUITE N°3 - SOURCE IV

  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°3 - SOURCE D
  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°3 - SOURCE D Prelude

EXTRACTS

COURANTE 3

SARABANDE 3

BOURREE 3

GIGUE 3

BACH CELLO SUITE N°4 IN E FLAT MAJOR BWV 1010

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BACH CELLO SUITE N°4 - SOURCE I

  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°4 - SOURCE A - Prelude

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BACH CELLO SUITE N°4 - SOURCE II

  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°4 - SOURCE B

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BACH CELLO SUITE N°4 - SOURCE III


BACH CELLO SUITE N°4 - SOURCE IV

  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°4 - SOURCE D - Prelude

BACH CELLO SUITE N°5 IN C MINOR BWV 1011

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BACH CELLO SUITE N°5 - SOURCE I 

  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°5 - SOURCE A - Prelude

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BACH CELLO SUITE N°5 - SOURCE II 

  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°5 - SOURCE B

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BACH CELLO SUITE N°5 - SOURCE III 

  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°5 - SOURCE C
  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°5 - SOURCE C Prelude
  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°5 - SOURCE C - Allemande
  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°5 - SOURCE C - Courante
  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°5 - SOURCE C - Gavottes
  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°5 - SOURCE C - Gigue

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BACH CELLO SUITE N°5 - SOURCE IV

  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°5 - SOURCE D - Prelude

sound excerpts

ALLEMANDE 5

COURANTE 5

SARABANDE 5

GAVOTTE 5

GIGUE 5

:

BACH CELLO SUITE N°6 IN D MAJOR BWV 1012

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BACH CELLO SUITE N°6 - SOURCE I 

  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°6 - SOURCE A - Prelude


BACH CELLO SUITE N°6 - SOURCE II 

  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°6 - SOURCE B


BACH CELLO SUITE N°6 - SOURCE III 

  • BACH CELLO SUITE N°6 - SOURCE C


BACH CELLO SUITE N°6 - SOURCE IV 

sound excerpts

allemande 6

courante 6

sarabande 6

gavotte 6

gigue 6

ABOUT the cd AND THE PROJECT

Bach Cello Suites - Baroque - Marianne Dumas
LISTEN...
A unique project:
Recording the Suites on a full baroque set-up, natural accoustics (no reverb added), following closely the manuscripts with a technique used in Germany in the XVIIIth century: the strong beats/basses come in an up bow.
By Marianne Dumas