Saturday, 24 August 2013

An energising journey with Bach

THE first performance of Bach's famous Cello Suites at St John's Church, as part of Just Festival, on Sunday 18th August, has been very warmly welcomed.

Bronwen Naish's delivery of six preludes and suite no. 1 was described by one audience member as "simply gorgeous". And the good news is that she will continue to perform them on Monday 19th, Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st, with a break on 22nd and two final performances on 23rd and 24th August.

The six suites for unaccompanied cello by Johann Sebastian Bach are some of the most frequently performed and recognizable solo compositions ever written for cello. They were most likely composed during the period 1717–1723, when Bach served as a Kapellmeister in Köthen.

The suites have been transcribed for a whole variety of instruments. They have been performed and recorded by many renowned cellists, including Pablo Casals, János Starker, Pierre Fournier, Paul Tortelier, Mstislav Rostropovich, Yo-Yo Ma, Mischa Maisky and Daniil Shafran, among others.

The Cello Suites are normally performed as single suites, travelling through the prelude and dances in their conventional order.

But what happens when all the Preludes are played in sequence, all the Allemandes in sequence and so on through all the six works?

Their extraordinary inventiveness and variety is suddenly highlighted in a new way. The key changes present a different experience for the listener as do the resulting changes of mood.

Because this is Festival time, Bronwen will finish each appearance with a number on the musical saw, (but not by Bach!)

Full Performance information:

18th: 6 Preludes + Suite no 1
19th: 6 Allemandes + Suite no 2
20th: 6 Courantes + Suite no 3
21st: 6 Sarabandes + Suite no 4
23rd: 4 Minuets, 4 Bourrees 4 Gavottes + Suite no 5
24th: 6 Gigues + Suite no 6

Venue: St John's Church (venue 27), corner of Princes Street and Lothian Road, Edinburgh. Price: £5. There is a cash box office at the venue.

Full details and booking here.

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