Johann Sebastian Bach - Cello Suite 1

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Originally written in the key of G major, Michael Lorimer has transcribed Bach’s Cello Suite 1 (BWV1007) for guitar in D major, with the sixth string dropped to D. In his preface, Lorimer notes that the guitar lends itself well to transcriptions of cello music because the two instruments occupy a similar range and “the lute-like style-brisé (broken chord) textures of this music invite performance on our modern instrument.”

Guitar transcriptions from cello literature are not new to the guitar repertoire. Although the guitar per se did not exist during Bach’s time, Bach himself is known to have transcribed his own cello music for the Baroque lute. What sets Lorimer’s arrangement of Suite 1 apart and facilitates performance of this challenging but worthwhile piece, is the fact that he has provided adequate right-hand fingering and an extraordinary amount of left-hand digitation- all contributing to the musical rendition of an outstanding transcription.