Best Bach Cello Suites and Storch/Hrabe publications?

Discussion in 'Tablature and Notation [BG]' started by jackotheclown, Jan 15, 2018.

  1. Hey TB,

    I love Bach and have learnt a good chunk of his two part inventions, now I'm interested in learning his cello suites. There are a lot of publications out there and I'm wondering about which one to go for. I want to avoid any "arranged for electric bass" editions as they often come with the tab which I'm not really about. I would be interested in getting an "arranged for double bass" edition though or just straight cello music too. Any one have good experience with certain publications they wish to share? I'm strictly a 4 string player so was wondering in the cello editions, is there a lot of transposing involved? If so does that take away from the essence of the music? Also, I came across Storch/Hrabe Etudes when I was looking for sight reading practice online, anyone have any good experience with particular publications of this music too? Best.

    - Jack
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  2. tom5string


    Jul 14, 2006
  3. Thanks Tom!

    I will take a look at the link, I was actually hoping for a physical copy of the suites, but this is certainly a start. Best.

    - Jack
  4. ChrisDev

    ChrisDev Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2009
    Ritter Instruments Team & Owner
  5. stigbeve


    Sep 24, 2014
    I used to be able to get through about 3/4 of Cello Suite 1 Prelude in G major in the lower register. For the low parts out of the four string range I would play an "inverted power chord" (forgive me for the guitar term). So if it should be a low D I would play the D on the 5th fret along with the A on the 5th fret.
  6. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    I have only tried Bach Cello Suites foe electric bass.
    by Joaquim Des Pres.
    Great knuckle buster.
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  7. ChrisDev

    ChrisDev Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2009
    Ritter Instruments Team & Owner
    I have always used this one for (5 or 6-string) electric bass. All is original.
    These are not the best renditions of the cello suites, but exactly played as written in this book
    BACH, J.S.: Cello Suites Nos. 1-3, BWV 1007-1009 - 8.550677
    BACH, J.S.: Cello Suites Nos. 4-6, BWV 1010-1012 - 8.550678

    Joaquim Des Pres' book, mentioned by @MrLenny1, has adapted versions for 4-string bass, but the parts have been transposed
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018
  8. I have no idea whether it's a better or worse edition, but I work off the G. Schirmer book, for cello. Keep in mind, most bass is transcribed up an octave. You will be working around the octave fret. I do it on 6 string, Which i consider having some advantages as far as reach. This music was written for an instrument tuned in 5ths, rather than the bass's 4ths. My way involves a couple shortcuts that to me, don't compromise the harmony. With cello, the are places that an open string has an advantage. I have a couple, but they are in different places (mainly talking the Prelude).
  9. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    The Bärenreiter is a good edition. So is the Henle. There is also an International (publisher) edition (iirc) with a facsimile of the Anna Magdelena Bach copy of the suites (Henle might have that, too, but I don't remember). If you're really into the interpretative aspect, see if you can check out a copy of The Fencing Master, by cellist Anner Bylsma -- very cool read. ;)

    Mark Bernat has published a doublebass edition that would be worth checking out (and comparing with a cello edition) for fingering/shifting insights for a 4ths tuned instrument (even if you don't do the exact fingerings he recommends, it will give you some insights for where to put things on a bass).

    Cello recordings: Pierre Fournier and Anner Bylsma's are among my favorites, though very different approaches. Edgar Meyer has played some of the Suites on Doublebass. Bach himself transcribed the Cello Suites for Lute, as well, and listening to them can offer some harmonic insights. Rostropovich (wonderful DVDs available of him and Bylsma) and, of course, Casals (who "rediscovered" the Suites -- maybe rescued them from obscurity -- and brought them to the attention of a modern public).

    There are more scholarly editions of the work and more really excellent recordings. Cellists spend their whole lives exploring these pieces, and they can be approached in multiple ways and on multiple levels. Like Shakespeare, Bach didn't leave a lot of "stage directions"...

    Anyway, learn what you can and apply it in the way that feels most true to you. I wish you continued and deep enjoyment of the works.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
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