Sunday, November 25, 2012

Allemande from Cello Suite in G Major, BWV 1007

A happy Sunday, friends. We of course have some lovely music for you here on Robert Frost’s Banjo.

Bach’s Suite for Cello in G Major, BMV 1007, is a staple of any Baroque repertoire & is probably the best known of his six cello suites.  Typically we hear these performed on the modern cello, but the contemporary instrument actually differs in some significant ways from the cello of Bach’s day. First, contemporary instruments use metal strings, while the baroque cello is always strung with gut strings; this has a significant effect on the sound. There are other differences in construction as well—perhaps the thing most noticeable when one sees is that the baroque cello doesn’t have an endpin to balance it on the floor—the instrument is secured solely by the cellist’s knees.  

Tanya Tomkins is an extraordinary musician & a virtuoso on both the modern & baroque cellos. She performs with San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque and Portland Baroque (! —in fact, she’s performing here this weekend, but sad to say, I will miss the show); in addition, she performs as a soloist & with other ensembles, & teaches at Juilliard, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, & San Jose State University; she also serves on the faculty of the American Bach Soloists Summer Academy.

I’ve chosen her performance of the Allemande from Cello Suite No. 1 in a 2009 performance for the Great Artist Series presented by San Francisco Early Music Ensemble Voices of Music; however, you can hear her perform the entire G Major Cello Suite on YouTube here.

Enjoy the music & your Sunday!


Image of the baroque cello links to its source on


  1. Great performance. It's so easy to either under- or over-do these pieces. She negotiates the tightrope wonderfully, in my opinion.

  2. Ah! Bach and cello, always a great combination. BTW, I'm posting Bach cantatas on Facebook every Sunday morning now.

  3. As Dominic said, a beautifully measured performance.

  4. Thanks, Dominic, Roy & Dick! So glad you enjoyed this! I find her playing really wonderful.


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