Friday, October 31, 2014

Video of the week: J. S. Bach, or not?

The latest buzz in the classical music world is the supposition that Bach's wife, Anna Magdalena, wrote the Bach Cello Suites and possibly other pieces attributed to her husband.  See article HERE.  The oldest manuscript of the suites is indeed in her hand... 

Well, whether composed or transcribed by Mrs. Bach, let's listen to the Prelude of the Cello Suite No 1. in G Major.

 First, we have Mischa Maisky (several years ago before he was grey) in a very traditional performance.  Then, one of the most popular cellists of today by way of You Tube, Steven Sharp Nelson of the Piano Guys, with his eight cello arrangement.  (Kids, DON'T try those stunts he does at the end of the video at home!)  I should note that he has several cellos, and one has inner reinforcement for all those percussive hits!

Which performance do you prefer, and why?


  1. No disrespect to the original but...
    Stephan has taken it to another level.
    1) Putting more emotion into it, obviously enjoying himself, and the music itself sounds "happier".
    2) I want to listen to it over and over, each time discovering some new element. I love the rhythm, the crescendo and the syncopation at the end among other things.
    3) The technology to be able to do this is interesting in itself.
    "Mozart Meets the Piano Guys" What do you think Mozart would think?


  2. OOOOPS!!! BACH - I meant BACH (I've had Mozart on my mind recently)

  3. Thanks for your thoughts, Jean. Not sure Bach would appreciate the modern beat. Mozart probably would have loved it! But maybe Bach would have been okay with this variation adding even more voices to the original. His music is so multifaceted already.