The project of a cellist fascinated by BACH
Marianne's 3 years in Bach's country,
a diary of her journey, meetings, research, recording.
The recording of the Six Suites follows the new edition.
Marianne played on the instruments she used for this project.
(full baroque set up)
A long research and publication
about the set up, the technique, and the evolution
of the violoncello from its origin.
A new edition of the cello suites
based on the manuscript copies of the Suites
and on Marianne's research and discoveries.
A FEW QUESTIONS TO MARIANNE ABOUT THE BACH PROJECT (2016)
Why using "new" baroque instruments?
My first reason is that when Bach composed the Suites, the violoncello was still a new instrument in Germany, I wanted to have a cello made recently, and wanted to be able to talk with the maker, experiment different set ups. Life took me to Leipzig, where I met the luthier Daniel Konig. He had a baroque cello in his atelier, one he had built in thinking on the first cellos of the end of the XVIIth century. A coincidence or not... I found the cello of the project in Leipzig and we worked together with Daniel Koenig, looking for the sound.... Daniel was also a source of inspiration for me, we shared our idea of the sound, he was a great guidance for me during the project. The research of the right set up has been a team work, it took us one year. For the 5 strings cello, Daniel put me in contact with Johannes Loscher in Koln, I recorded the Sixth Suite with a cello Mr. Loscher had made and who belongs to baroque cellist Markus Mollenbeck.
During this project I also tried many other baroque cellos, I noticed that most of the baroque cellists nowadays play with a set up a little modernized even if they use guts strings (higher angle of the neck of the cello / higher bridge/ more pressure) and a few of them use clip in frog bows.
My exploration went toward the opposite direction, a low and wide bridge, big strings, clip in frog bow... following paintings and books from the baroque area.
The website dedicated to the project: www.jsbachcellosuites.com
Why looking for a new / different sound?
Like most of the cellists, I have always had a fascination for the Bach cello Suites. In 2014 I came to Berlin and started exploring the baroque cello. I wanted to find a sound with more harmonics and resonance.
Did you find it?
A month after I arrived in Berlin I made a discovery in the Bach suites. I found a clue who led me to the right set up of the cello and the deep and rich sound I had been looking for. This clue was like finding a hidden recipe in how to find the sound. From that moment I started working full time on this project, and I stopped all my performances activities and most of my teaching too.
Why stopping all activities?
I felt like it was the right thing to do. Taking the time to rediscover the instrument. To re-think many things. To doubt and to explore, to try to forget about me, a cellist of the XXIst century, and to see myself as someone who discovers a new instrument in the XVII/XVIIIth century.
When are you going to share this work with everybody?
I am now looking into publishing options. Everything is ready, I hope it will not take too long now... I would like to release my work by the end of 2017 / beginning of 2018 but it will depend on the label and the option I choose to publish my edition. It takes time to find the right people, I don't have an agency and do everything myself. Bach taught me a lot more than playing cello with this project, including patience!