Suite mys­tery: cel­list Joel Beck­tell

Pasatiempo - - ACTS RANDOM -

Although Jo­hann Se­bas­tian Bach’s six Suites for Un­ac­com­pa­nied Cello are mon­u­ments of the cello’s lit­er­a­ture, they re­main en­shrouded in mys­tery. We don’t know just when he com­posed them — it was per­haps over many years — and we don’t know for whom he wrote them, as­sum­ing it was any­one in par­tic­u­lar. The fact that the ear­li­est sur­viv­ing manuscript of the pieces is in the hand of Bach’s sec­ond wife, Anna Mag­dalena, has led to pe­ri­odic spec­u­la­tion that she ac­tu­ally com­posed them — a bit of balder­dash that most re­cently cir­cu­lated (and was mu­si­co­log­i­cally squashed) ear­lier this year. In this week’s TGIF con­cert at First Pres­by­te­rian Church (208 Grant Ave.), Joel Beck­tell, as­sis­tant prin­ci­pal cel­list of the Santa Fe Sym­phony, per­forms a half hour of se­lec­tions from the suites. The recital takes place at 5:30 p.m. on Fri­day, May 29. Dona­tions are wel­comed. For in­for­ma­tion, call 505-982-8544, Ext. 16. — J.M.K.

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