Bach Cello Suite no. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011

The Six suites for cello by Johann Sebastian Bach are some of the most frequently performed and recognizable solo compositions ever written for cello. Most likely composed during the period 1717–1723, they have been transcribed for numerous instruments. Suite no. 5 was originally meant to be played with the A-string tuned down to G, but nowadays a version for standard tuning is included in almost every edition of the suites along with the original version. Some chords must be simplified when playing with standard tuning, but some melodic lines become easier as well. This suite is most famous for its intimate Sarabande, the second of only four movements in all six suites that doesn't contain any chords. Rostropovich describes it as ''the essence of Bach's genius''; Tortelier, as ''an extension of silence''. Yo-Yo Ma played this movement on September 11, 2002 at the site of the WTC, while the first of the names of the dead were read in remembrance on the first anniversary of the attack. The fifth suite is also exceptional as its Courante and Gigue are in the French style, rather than Italian. An autograph manuscript of Bach's lute version of this suite exists as BWV 995.

Sheet Music


Sung Oribe - Allemande from Cello Suite 5
Cello Suite no. 5 in Cm, BWV 1011



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