Friday, June 9, 2017
Books I'm Reading: The Cello Suites: J.S. Bach, Pablo Casals, and the Search for a Baroque Masterpiece
Despite their fame today, the suites were largely forgotten not too long after Bach wrote them, and when they were played, they were usually considered exercises rather than music to be performed on stage.
Much of the book is biography, sketching out details of the lives of J.S. Bach and Pablo Casals (the book looks at how a young Pablo Casals brought the cello suites new attention; Casals was largely responsible for establishing them as concert pieces)—but much is about the music itself, the chapters and the book laid out out in a pattern that mimics the structure of the suites. It's a bit frustrating that you can't hear the music as it's being discussed. This book could be very nicely adapted to the screen, becoming a mini-series with an episode devoted to each of the suites, the music in the soundtrack. Well written, well researched, and engagingly written. Highly recommended.