Cello Suites by J.S. Bach (transcribed for Bassethorn)

J.S. Bach
Cello Suites
(transcribed for Bassethorn), also for alto clarinet players
Opus 3
Released date: 2021
ISBN 9 790803 760027



The cello is an entrancing instrument, and Bach’s cello suites need no introduction. After a few successful attempts at playing the cello part in F (which allows the full range expression of the basset-horn), I decided to transcribe all the suites.

This transcription was based on the original manuscript, my source being the version copied by Anna Magdalena Bach. The dynamics and articulations follow the manuscript as closely as possible. I have added none of my own so as to leave the performer free to interpret this rich music. The articulations marked in the manuscript guide the violinist in her bowing choices, but it will be up to you to follow them or modify them as you see fit. The double-stoppings and chords (played as arpeggios by the violinist), are given here as appoggiaturas or arpeggios.

I realise that for most clarinettists, playing from a score with no tempi, dynamics, articulations and breathing marked will be a little confusing. But that is precisely what I believe is so rich about this version closely following the original. You can explore this fabulous work, refine your technique (certain passages are particularly difficult) and develop your own interpretation. I encourage you to listen to virtuoso cello performances of these fantastic piece where you will find inspiration and ideas. I hope you will enjoy playing them as much as I do!

Frédéric Matagne

Extracts to download
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