About the Recital

1pm Saturday 27th November 2010, Waterston’s Deansgate, Manchester

A beautiful Saturday afternoon, I played the Bach cello suites for the event of the Manchester Literature Festival at the Whitworth Gallery. During the interval, as usual I was greeted with a warm audience, and then Vivien, the event manager from Waterstone’s came to me and asked if I would be interested in playing in the book store, and if so, this would be the first classical music event in Waterstones. This just happened upon recent completion of my journey across Europe from Athens to Edinburg. Inspired by that exiting experience, I was planning to do more performance to a wider audience especially those who might not go to classical music concerts. This was exactly what I was looking for. No doubt, the answer was yes!

Obviously, when going to Waterstone’s, you go for books. But there can be an extra value out of your expectancy, which is a live music performance. If the music isn’t your type, you could easily walk away; but if you are interested, then you can grab a chair and sit down to enjoy the performance. Walla, that’s the idea! No matter you are a fan of classical music or not, I’m hoping performance could add to your joy in your trip to Waterstone’s today.

Beside, the Bach cello suites are known to have the power of catching one’s ear! There is so much to hear in the Cello Suites. As Siblin*noted, “The genre may be baroque, but there are multiple personalities and mood swings within the suites. You will hear barnstorming peasant tunes and postmodern minimalism, spiritual lamentations and heavy metal riffs, medieval jigs and spy movie soundtracks. The ideal experience for most listeners may be as I first heard the music, without preconceptions.”

A little knowledge about the Bach Cello suites

The six suites for solo cello, most of which are written in major keys, have their fair share of upbeat merrymaking, devil-may-care attitude, and ecstatic abandon. The roots of the music are from dance – most of the movements are in fact old European dances.

Each of the suites contains six movements, starting with a prelude and ending with a gigue. In between are old court dances – an allemande, a courante, and a sarabande – after which Bach inserted a more “modern” dance, either a minuet, a bourree, or a gavotte.

In today’s programme, I will play the suite No.1 in G major and No.2 in d minor.

I hope you will stay and most importantly to enjoy it!!!


*Erick Siblin (2009), The Cello Suites, Harvill Secker.