Johann Sebastian BACH, Cello Suites Cello Suites

For which instrument Bach actually wrote his six suites for unaccompanied violoncello? Pictures, writings, and surviving instruments show that early violoncellos were made in different sizes, ranging from the size of a large viola to the modern full-sized violoncello. The modern cello is ordinarily held between the legs like a bass viol. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries this was not the only possible hold, especially not for small instruments. Bach possessed several violoncello piccolos with both four and five strings. These were made by Johann Christian Hoffmann, a contemporary of Bach in Leipzig. Historical evidence suggests that the appropriate type of violoncello for Bachís suites is that made by Hoffmann, and that, when played on the arm ("da spalla") like a violin, the number of unavoidable shifts is no more than average for baroque music. A violin or viola player can rapidly become accustomed to the fingering, which is almost identical to that of the violin. While not a single source mentions that Bach played the violone or viola da gamba, he is known to have been a capable violinist and viola-player. We can suppose that Bach himself had been the first player of this two great cycles of solo compositions.

Dmitry Badiarov   DMITRY BADIAROV was born in Russia, and has lived and worked in Saint-Petersburg and Brussels. He started playing the violin with Semyon Ziskind at the age of 8. He graduated from the St.Petersburg State Conservatory where he studied with Mark Kommisarov and Oleg Shoulpiakov and enrolled at Brussels Royal Conservatory to study baroque violin with Sigiswald Kuijken, and aesthetics of baroque music with Peter Van Heyghen in 1994. Since 1995 he has played with Il Fondamento, Mito dellíArco Quartet, Den Haag Baroque, Bach Collegium Japan, Les Boreades, I Carissimi, Il Gardellino and Les Talens Liriques among others, working as a regular member with La Petite Bande (1995-2006) and Ricercar Consort (2002-2006). Being an active promoter of the violoncello da spalla since the moment it was built in 2004, he performed on it as a soloist in Japan, The Netherlands and in Mexico. His career is a symbiosis of violin playing and making. It has been much inspired by the careers of the earliest violinists and some of the notable Italian luthiers-players such as Pietro Guarneri of Mantua. He started carving wood at the age of five, and was apprenticed to the luthier Vladimir Oiberman at the age of 11, and to luthier Vladimir Yakimenko in St.Petersburg at 19. In 1997 he participated in a five-month-long course of modern violin-making with Luca Primon at Milanís school of Violin-making. Joining his violin-making principles with the Historically Informed Performance Practice, he established his philosophy and style in violin-making based on the faithful adherence to the historicity and aesthetics of the Baroque. Over the last decade he has made about 65 instruments, including a set of early baroque Germanic da braccio instruments for La Petite Bande, nearly a dozen violoncellos da spalla for players such as Sigiswald Kuijken and Ryo Terakado, and dozens of baroque violins for soloists and members of baroque ensembles throughout Europe, Mexico, USA and Korea. He was a guest lecturer at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, and a guest teacher of historically informed violin-making practice at a violin-making school in Tokyo from 2007 to 2009.


CD 1 CD 2
Suite I in G major BWV 1007   Suite IV in E flat major BWV 1010  
1. Prélude   1. Prélude
  2. Allemande 2. Allemande
3. Courante   3. Courante
  4. Sarabande   4. Sarabande
  5. Menuet I, Menuet II   5. Bourrée I, Bourrée II
  6. Gigue   6. Gigue
Suite II in D minor BWV 1008   Suite V in C minor BWV 1011  
  7. Prélude 7. Prélude
8. Allemande 8. Allemande
  9. Courante   9. Courante
  10. Sarabande   10. Sarabande
  11. Menuet I, Menuet II   11. Gavotte I, Gavotte II
  12. Gigue   12. Gigue
Suite III in C major BWV 1009   Suite VI in D major BWV 1012  
  13. Prélude 13. Prélude
14. Allemande 14. Allemande
  15. Courante   15. Courante
  16. Sarabande   16. Sarabande
  17. Bourrée I, Bourrée II   17. Gavotte I, Gavotte II
  18. Gigue   18. Gigue