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The Cello Suites: J. S. Bach, Pablo Casals, and the Search for a Baroque Masterpiece Paperback – January 4, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
This book, the chronicle of series of musical and personal journeys of discovery revolving around the Bach cello suites, is the result. It immediately appealed to me because of my own love for the music -- although unlike Siblin, I'm not a musician of any kind and unlike him, 'classical' music has always been a part of my life. But I kept reading because of my own fascination with Siblin's tale and the way he has chosen to tell it: weaving together three separate strands of a narrative in much the same way that Bach might have woven together musical themes to produce the final work. The first of these strands revolves around Bach himself; the composer's background and how the history of his compositions can be tied to his own life and experiences in a variety of German princely courts of the 18th century. The second is the lifelong love affair between the 13-year-old Pablo Casals (a future superstar cellist), who stumbled across the then almost-unknown cello suites in the back streets of Barcelona, and the music that have ended up becoming some of Bach's best-known and most-loved works. (Without Casals, the suites could have languished in obscurity, rarely played; now they are a part of the cello repertoire that most cellists aspire to perform.Read more ›
Being no more familiar than Siblin was with the Cello Suites, I bought myself a recording (Pierre Fournier's) and had it on high rotation while I read. For fellow neophytes, then, these are pieces for an unaccompanied tenor instrument that itself usually (but not always) fulfills the role of an accompaniment to a "treble" instrument like a violin. Bach's six Cello Suites span a couple of hours, and you'd be forgiven for supposing that it would be, therefore, a challenging listen. First go-round, for a non-enthusiast, it is. I must say, though, that having listened to it repeatedly over a week I find it bouncing uncontrollably - and pleasingly - around my head all day. But all the same, I don't think I'm ready to jettison Led Zeppelin just yet. There again, I'm not really the converting type.
At any rate, on account of their inaccessibility the Cello Suites were commonly supposed, for a long while, to be simply rehearsal exercises. Which is where Siblin picks up the story.Read more ›
It's neither a heavy tome nor a heavy read but it is nourishing entertainment
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great book, especially when you listen, as I have, to the Cello Suites while reading the manuscript version. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Peter D. Springberg
This book was fasinating and more informative than I expected.Published 2 months ago by Christine Fleming
fluently written, this book develops your appetite for Bach and for cello pieces.
A great read, dramatic at times. Interweaving the lives of Casals and Bach took every literary accommodation possible but it does work.Published 6 months ago by robcat2075
Love listening to Pablo Casals... he makes it all look so easy!Published 6 months ago by cello lady
This is my favorite of classical music. The book taught me a lot about Bach andCasals.Published 6 months ago by Leslie C. Jensen
If you like Bach or going to play The 6 suites, don't miss this book.Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
Unless the reader is a musician and/or has a basic love of Bach and/or Casals, this book probably wouldn't mean as much to them as it did for me. I am a musician. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Carolyn Dargevics