Almost three hundred years ago, Johann Sebastian Bach wrote a series of six suites for the then most humble of instruments — the cello, or its ancestor.
They were moving, mournful, joyous, rich with the sound of another age — and soon lost.
Pablo Casals found them a century ago. Cellists now know them by heart.
Pop music critic Eric Siblin knew them not at all when he was out covering Sheryl Crow, Radiohead, Hanson. Then, Bach’s cello suites hit him like a ton of bricks. Changed his life. Sent him on a quest.
This hour, On Point: Eric Siblin, and the mystery of Bach’s cello suites.
Eric Siblin, award-winning journalist and filmaker and former pop music critic for The Montreal Gazette. He’s author of “The Cello Suites: J.S. Bach, Pablo Casals, and the Search for a Baroque Masterpiece.”
Eric Edberg, professor of music at the DePauw University School of Music in Greencastle, Indiana, where he teaches cello and chamber music.