Bach's Suite No. 5 in C Minor has a much more French character than the other five pieces in the suite (which are closer to the Italian style), with its solemn and slow Lullian overture and lively final gigue. However, the most distinctive aspect of this work is that it is written for a cello with scordatura (i.e. tuned differently from usual), in the manner of a Baroque lute. In fact, the only surviving autograph score of this piece is precisely intended for this emblematic instrument of Baroque music.
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Bach's Suite for Solo Cello No. 5 is considered an essential classic in the modern cello repertoire, and it's no surprise that it has inspired the creation of other suites, starting with Eugène Ysaÿe's Suite of Six Sonatas for Solo Violin, Op. 27. Among Bach's six suites, the Suite for Solo Cello No. 5 in C Minor, BWV 1011, stands out with its distinct French character and its writing for the cello with scordatura, in the style of a Baroque lute—an instrument for which the piece's only autograph score is intended. This particular tuning gives the cello a unique timbre, with the high G string resonating alongside the low G and C strings. Join medici.tv to discover Bach's Suite for Solo Cello No. 5 in C Minor, BWV 1011, and explore his other compositions, such as the Suite for Solo Cello No. 3 in C Major, BWV 1009 or the Italian Concerto in F Major, BWV 971!