BACH PROJECT


RESEARCH PROJECT ABOUT THE ORIGIN, 

THE TECHNIQUE OF THE VIOLONCELLO,

AND THE BACH CELLO SUITES.

CC Marianne DUMAS

"In October 2014, because of the similarity between the bass viol and the cello, I tried to inverse the bowing technique of the violoncello in the Bach Cello Suites. During this experiment, I instantaneously felt a better response from the instrument and by consequence, more resonance. This experience led me to start research about the origins, the setup, and the bowing technique of the violoncello to find evidences that there were cellists who played with similar bow stroke to the ones used on the gamba, and to understand the bow strokes and the bow-hold of the gamba and the meaning of a "down-Stroke". 
The goal of the recording was to make an urtext recording, recording the new urtext edition I made during the project, staying as close as possible to the text and to the spirit of the dances, playing on the most authentic set up. The sound was my guide. My goal was to reach a connection between the vibration of the violoncello and the harmony in order to let Bach's music make its magic. » 

MD

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.The story behind...

:In 2010 Marianne Dumas commenced a research project on the impact of posture, state of mind and breathing  on the production of sound, always taking the Bach Cello Suites as her reference. 

Her research into the  technique of playing the cello consequently took her to Berlin to gain a better understanding of the sound of the baroque cello, in collaboration with instrument makers and other experts specializing in the period. 

Shortly after her arrival in Berlin, Marianne made an important discovery that would dramatically change her perspective: what should have been only a minor exploration transformed into a major research project into the origins of the instrument and how it was played, which was followed by the recording of this new vision of the Bach Cello Suites. This recording of her edition of the Cello Suites constitutes for her a first and fitting culmination point in this exciting venture.

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AN URTEXT RECORDING

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"I listened to the 6 Bach suites with pleasure. Very well done, I liked very much the resonance, intonation and the way of playing.  Very convincing. A very good work and great success technically."  

- Ton Koopman


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Review  

 "Dumas plays with extraordinary virtuosity and expressive power, though the excessive rubato and brooding weight of Romantic interpretations are replaced by agile rhythms and a lightness of tone that is rare in cello music. Dumas also reverses bowing, in the manner of playing a viola da gamba, and this technique produces greater resonance than conventional bow strokes. Because she regards her work on the suites as a research project, Dumas has aimed at a more objective approach rather than a subjective reading, though her playing is by no means mechanical and her expressiveness still shines through in her artistic shaping of the harmony and the sound, though without Romantic gestures or self-indulgent moodiness." 
Blair Sanderson (read full review)

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SOUND EXCERPTS

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(This text will soon be available in English)

THE WEBSITE OF MARIANNE'S BACH PROJECT

A journey to the origins of the violoncello, in Bach's Land

TIMELINE 2009-2018

  • 2009

    THE TECHNIQUE OF THE CELLO

    Marianne Dumas commenced a research project on the impact of posture, state of mind and breathing on the production of sound, always taking the Bach Cello Suites as her reference.

    THE CELLO PRACTICE HELPER
  • 04/09/2014

    BERLIN - Exploring the origins and the set up of the cello

    Her research into the technique of playing the cello consequently took her to Berlin to gain a better understanding of the sound of the baroque cello, in collaboration with instrument makers and other experts specializing in the period.

    HISTORICAL RESEARCH
  • 10/09/2014

    REVERSING THE BOWING TECHNIQUE

    Shortly after her arrival in Berlin, Marianne discovers that the baroque cello gets a better resonnance when reversing the bow stroke.

    ABOUT REVERSING THE TECHNIQUE
  • October 2014

    CLIP IN FROG BOW

    Made by Hans Reiners

  • 03/17/2015

    FINDING THE SET UP

    During many months, Marianne worked closely with Daniel König, the maker of the 4 strings baroque cello of the project, in order to find the best resonance from the cello with the most authentic set up.

  • 06/25/2015

    Meeting with Ton Koopman

  • 03/17/2016

    RECORDED THE 6 SUITES

    Recording of Marianne's new urtext edition (to be published) with the instruments of the project

    THE RECORDING
  • 05/01/2016

    THE RESEARCH

    Shortly after recording the Suites, Marianne collected her research and prepared the creation of the Website of the project

    BACH CELLO SUITES & BAROQUE CELLO
  • 10/29/2016

    Meeting with Yo-Yo Ma

    A discussion where Marianne explained her work and research to Mr. Ma

  • 06/03/2017

    PREPARING THE EDITION

    From March 2017, Marianne worked on digital version of the Urtext edition she made and recorded.

  • 03/21/2018

    Release of the recording

    The physical version of the recording was released on March 21st
    The Digital version on May 4th

    More...
  • June 2018
  • 06/30/2018

    NEAR FUTURE...

    Release of the Edition
    Publication about the baroque cello
    Teaching and concerts