Bach Revealed: A Player’s Guide to the Solo Cello Suites Volume 2 for Viola

Selma Gokcen

Bach Revealed: A Player’s Guide to the Solo Cello Suites Volume 2 for Viola

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Cellist Selma Gokcen, in collaboration with distinguished American harpsichordist and Bach scholar Kenneth Cooper, has created in Bach Revealed a three-volume study of all six Cello Suites, featuring two-part playing editions for the very first time. (This first volume contains Bach’s First and Second Suites. Bach Revealed’s volumes two and three – which are currently in production – will contain the remainder of the work.) These versions are designed to assist professional cellists, students and teachers in their study of these Suites.

This edition consists of musical reductions, mostly in two voices, which make explicit Bach’s complex harmonies by setting out their structure, without losing any of the originals' spirit and beauty. The reductions allow players to explore the layers of musical texture and reveal Bach’s counterpoint, chordal elaboration and ornamentation of the melodic line. They provide the implied bass line, the essential melodic line, opportunities for ornamentation and the essential rhythmic character of the dance movements.

Bach Revealed is also available in a separate edition for viola and will be equally useful for musicians who play the Cello Suites on other instruments, including double bass, guitar, saxophone and marimba. It is relevant to Baroque specialists and modern instrument players alike, teachers and students wishing to deepen their understanding of Bach’s musical language.


Comments on Bach Revealed:

'A detailed insight into the structure and ornamental possibilities of the Six Bach Suites for Cello, and a testament to the greatness and creative potential that these Suites represent. The imaginative way that the authors have revealed the layers and voices of Bach’s musical language makes examination of their material accessible and instructive for cellists at any stage of their development. I applaud the work that went into producing such a volume and endorse the results with admiration and enthusiasm.' Ralph Kirshbaum, Piatigorsky Professor of Cello, University of Southern California

'It has simplified a complex problem for most cellists, where so many editions have surfaced and make the study of the Bach Suites a puzzle rather than a musical adventure.' Bernard Greenhouse, Beaux Arts Trio

'Selma Gokcen and Kenneth Cooper provide us a tremendous service by giving us a guided tour and visceral sampling of the “essence” of these pieces. This grounding experience can naturally lead us to more effortlessly insightful and gratifying interpretations.' From Timothy Eddy, Professor of Cello, The Juilliard School, New York

'I've used Bach Revealed with my students. This edition opens ears and creates deep interest for this incredible opus which keeps us cellists busy for a lifetime.' Thomas Demenga, Professor of Cello, Musikhochschule, Basel, Switzerland

'Bach Revealed is a most excellent, interesting and imaginative approach to an experiential analysis of Bach’s Cello Suites ... a unique departure from the usual editions. The work represents a real contribution to the study and realization of these works through musical understanding and performance.' Bonnie Hampton, formerly Professor of Cello at The Juilliard School, now San Francisco Conservatory of Music

Selma Gokcen and Kenneth Cooper’s work provides students and teachers with an important tool that can help explore and understand the deep structures of the music by providing a bass line and by simplifying the melodic line. I have used her Player’s Guide for myself and with my students [who] have been excited by the discoveries that they have made as a result of using it. I recommend it highly as part of any cellist’s journey of exploration into the mysteries and possibilities contained in the Suites.' Bob Jesselson, Carolina Distinguished Professor, University of South Carolina; Ex-President, American String Teachers Association

Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review
Marna Street
Keep growing with Bach!

Very interesting addition . I have played these suites since 1965 as a student at a Congress of Strings 1965. I started with Suite III with an old Schirmer edition of Sam Lifshey and have collected many editions and taught and performed these suites for many years and this is helpful for structure and clarity.
Marna Street, Principal Viola Cincinnati Symphony 1980-2018

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