5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Three strings to a story of four (or five?) strings,
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This review is from: The Cello Suites: In Search of a Baroque Masterpiece (Kindle Edition)
Eric Siblin, a relapsed pop music writer, stumbles upon a performance of three of Bach's Cello Suites, is hooked and embarks upon a voyage of discovery. That investigation is one thread of a cleverly-constructed book.
A second thread provides a truncated biography of Johann Sebastian and his family. This includes speculation that the fifth suite may have been written for a strange instrument like a cello but with a fifth string.
The third thread is a truncated biography of Pablo Casals, the greatest cellist of the 20th Century and himself the discoverer by chance of the score of the Suites.
Siblin suffers from having become an obsessive; his musical grail has become these six suites. He has listened to many recordings, not all of them for the cello. He has talked to some of the musicians who have played them. He has read extensively about Bach, about Casals,and about the cello. But he lacks perspective. There is no sense that he has arrived where he is, as it were, from the outside in, from an awareness of so much other music, by Bach himself and his contemporaries and successors.
Nevertheless, with that reservation, it makes a good tale, if not a serious contribution to musicology.