I will argue that It was due to one exceptional cellist, Pablo Calls who helped ring the pieces to the attention of the classical music community and express their musical appeal in the concert hall idiom. With Calls’ intuitive stylist’s, the cello suites infiltrated their way Into popular culture Bach’s cello suites are among the best known works of classical music (Sibling, 2009: Would, 2007), however, this was not always the case. It was not until a young Catalan cellist, Pablo Calls, discovered these monumental baritone works and performed them in 1901, that they rose onto concert platforms, “Justified as real music”monsoons, 000. . 660: Sibyls, 2009). This exploration of the unaccompanied cello suites was a new revelation in the music community, partly because for the best part of two centuries they were only used, almost exclusively as common practice exercises Monsoons, 2000, p. 660: Blue, 1980, After a decade and a half of perfecting the pieces, Calls toured over twelve cities in 1903 and 1904 promoting his evident romance with the suites (Sibling, 2009). As the knowledge of the suites increased, more cellists took on the challenge of perfecting these works. Eke Dutch cellist Manner Balsam, who dedicated a good part of his life to the cello suites.
In this way, a new medium emerged which saw composers become more interested in the cello as a solo Instrument. Thus Bach’s cello works consequently became more popular among performers and listeners alike Monsoons, 2000, p. 660). The unaccompanied cello suites’ popularity Increased substantially after Calls’ reinvigorated interest in them, not only was his performance considered revolutionary, so was his interpretation (Blue, 1980, p. 143). Because these pieces ere thought only as technical exercises they were only ever performed with little musical depth Monsoons, 2000, p. 60), however Bach was never one to create something without meaning (Window, 2007). It Is hard to specify how the suites were Intended, as Bach’s original manuscript is lost and the copy that closely depicts his Is Anna Magdalene Bach’s transcription (Johnson, 2000, up. 660-661 ). Like most Baroque music there was little indication of how the piece should be played in the scores, so it was almost expected of the performers to Intuitively add it themselves. When Calls was presented with the Anna Magdalene copy he had the opportunity to reinvent the suites (Woodlot, 2007).
Calls embellished, “expressively accentuated” and romanticists the pieces in accordance to his interpretation (Window, 2007). He added slurs and rubout to the prelude (Window, 2007), which were styles developed throughout the romantic era (Stilwell, 2002), styles that he grew up with, so it was only natural for him to play the pieces that way. This aided in the development of the pieces popularity as they had a Tory and a character about them, which made them more relatable to the audiences that were already accustomed to and fond of romantic music (Sibling, 2009).
In the last ten years, Bach’s unaccompanied cello suites, particularly the prelude, have found a place in popular culture with an appearance in the film Master and Commander (Universal Pictures, 2003) and in an advertisement for Volvo cars (2010). In doing so, audiences became more commercially exposed to Bach’s Cello suites to such an extent that in 2007, the suites reached number one on the tunes classical USIA chart (Sibling, 2009, p. 8). But the fashionably of Bach’s cello suites may lie more in the intrinsic beauty of the pieces more so than their use in films and ad campaigns.
There is a multiplicity of genres suggested throughout Bach’s cello suites (Sibling, 2009, p. 9). Eric Sibling argues that even though the music is from the baroque period one can hear “peasant tunes” with Juxtaposing “post- modern minimalism”, “spiritual lamentations” contrasting with “heavy metal riffs”, “medieval Gigs and movie soundtracks” (Sibling, 2009, p. 9). With such variety in the music and the stories created in each suite (Sibling, 2009, p. ), it may well be that Bach’s pieces have found a place in popular culture due to this musical complexity and cultural versatility. If it were not for Pablo Calls’ intuitive performances the pieces, the piece may not have risen to their status today and may well have been relegated as mere exercise. His romantic rendition introduced Bach’s cello suites to the world as concert pieces, which in turn inspired more cellists, composers and other musicians to delve into the interpretation of the cello suites.