Music for Reflection and Peace: Bach Solo Cello Suites

Johann Sebastian Bach in 1748(Photo: Wikipedia)
Johann Sebastian Bach in 1748(Photo: Wikipedia)

As we approach the Christmas holiday, many of us are caught up in hurrying and scurrying to get everything done that needs to be done before we can finally relax.  If you need a rest, and you want a break from the traditional Christmas music playing everywhere, in every store and even blaring from sound systems in the parking lots, consider some of the greatest music of solace and peace composed by J. S. Bach.

The six Solo Cello Suites of Johann Sebastian Bach are works of profound intimacy and depth, as well as joy and lightheartedness.  They were written between 1717 and 1723 when Bach was at Cothen, a period in which he wrote and played mainly chamber music.  Seemingly written as pieces to exploit all the technical possibilities of this wonderfully resonant instrument, and challenge its players, the cello suites are also music of great inspiration and deep solitude.

Here is a performance of Suite No. 1 in G from one of the masters of the instrument, Mischa Maisky:

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