Preview: Bach Cello Suites 1-3

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Starring: Peter Martens; Bernhard Gueller

Bach Cello Suites 1-3
Peter Martens (Cello)
Bernhard Gueller (Presenter)

Launch date Friday 15 October 17:00

Bach Cello Suites 4-6
Peter Martens (Cello)
Bernhard Gueller (Presenter)

Launch date Friday 22 October 17:00


The concert of all 6 Bach Suites was recorded on 12 June 2020. The country had just emerged from hard lockdown (level 5) and embarked on Level 3. No live concerts were held in this period and on this crazy day, I recorded not only all the Bach Cello Suites at La Motte in Franschhoek, but a concert of Mozart and Elgar string serenades with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra at the Artscape Theatre in Cape Town. The Bach Suites and string serenades were recorded for the National Arts Festival which presented the concerts online several weeks later.

I started practicing unaccompanied Bach in the second year of my learning the cello – now almost exactly 42 years ago – and cannot imagine a time when I was not preoccupied with this sublime music. There are over 100 editions of the sheet music and as many interpretations as there are cellists who care to take this music seriously. I am one of only a few cellists who plays all six suites regularly, and every time I embark on the preparation for another performance, I am humbled by the glory and profundity of this music. I will no doubt practice it till the day I die as it is my musical tonic from arguably the greatest composer for my instrument ever.

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