Today I’m talking about the Prelude from Bach’s Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011. I highly recommend learning this suite by tuning your A string down to G. This will change the resonance of your cello and make it possible to play all of the chords that Bach wrote. Follow along with me as I point out subtleties for a richer performance: “improvising” between the chord progressions at the beginning, emphasizing gestures, articulating cadences, and bringing out hemiolas.
Below is a short reading list and helpful links for studying the Bach cello suites. Please let me know if you have any comments and/or questions, I would love to hear from you. Thank you for watching!!
My favorite lute rendition of the 5th suite: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vtk-UH08UCc
Download the most important sources we have of the suites right here for free:
Allen Winold’s book: Bach’s Cello Suites: Analyses and Explorations
“The Fencing Master” and the sequel, “Bach and the Happy Few,” are both must reads if I may say so, written by THE baroque cellist of our time, Anner Bylsma.
Another must-have is Barenreiter’s urtext edition, which contains facsimiles of the manuscript copies in the hand of Anna Magdalena Bach, Johann Peter Kellner, as well as the Westphal library manuscript (anonymous copiers), first editions, and more.