The Cello Suites
J.S. Bach, Pablo Casals, and the Search for A Baroque MasterpiecePaperback - 2009
One evening, after ending a stint as a pop music critic, Eric Siblin attended a performance of Bach's Cello Suites. There, something unlikely happened: he fell deeply in love with the music. So began a quest that would unravel three centuries of intrigue, politics, and passion. Part biography, part music history, and part mystery, The Cello Suites weaves together three dramatic narratives: Bach's composition of the suites and the manuscript's disappearance in the eighteenth century, Pablo Casals's re-discovery of the music in Spain in the late nineteenth century, and Siblin's infatuation with the suites at the dawn of the twenty-first century. Siblin's search leads him to Barcelona, where Casals, as a teenager, roamed back streets in search of sheet music and found Bach's lost composition tucked in a dark corner. Casals would play the suites for twelve years before performing them--and making them his own. Siblin pursues the mysteries that haunt this music more than 250 years after its composer's death: why did Bach compose the suites for the cello, then considered a lowly instrument? What happened to the original manuscript of the suites? The Cello Suites is a journey of discovery, fueled by the transcendent power of a musical masterpiece.
Publisher: New York : Atlantic Monthly Press : Grove/Atlantic, Inc. ; [Berkeley, Calif.] : Distributed by Publishers Group West, 2009.
Characteristics: 319 p. : music, facsims. ; 22 cm.
Alternative Title: J.S. Bach, Pablo Casals, and the search for a Baroque masterpiece