Suite mystery: cellist Joel Becktell
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.