It is in a delightful Roman church in the middle of the countryside, Saint Bartholomew's Church in Dornheim, that Dutch violinist Anner Bylsma decided to record the "Fifth Suite" for Unaccompanied Cello by Johann Sebastian Bach.
Born in 1934, Anner Bylsma has participated in every Baroque adventure, even though he was the principal cellist of the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam for several years. Intimately acquainted with Bach's works for unaccompanied cello, his recording of the six suites has gone down in history (Sony).
The six suites composed by Bach are at the height of excellence; by inventing a special style for the cello Bach opened up grandiose perspectives for the instrument whilst heralding the end of the bass viol. The Fifth Suite is special because it is intended for a scordato instrument, that is to say a cello of which the fourth string "A" is tuned one tone above the normal tuning (G).
Alone in this charming little church, Anner Bylsma, gives us a moment of sublime intimacy and musical grace.
London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis
Edinburgh Festival 1964