bach the fencing master

Remembering Anner Bylsma

I play early music on period instruments because of the great Dutch cellist Anner Bylsma, who passed away on July 25 at the age of 85.  When I was 14 I entered the classical music section of a Tower Records store where Bylsma’s recent release of arrangements of music for unaccompanied flute and violin by J.S. Bach, performed on his son’s 7/8ths-sized cello tuned like a violin, was being played.  I didn’t pay much attention to it until Bylsma hit the final note of the prelude to the E major Partita, BWV 1006. It ended a driven but, as I realized much later, subtly nuanced and very “spoken” performance. It seemed the energy stored by what had preceded the note was fully released by it: powerfully, beautifully, emphatically, and most [...]

By |2019-10-31T15:41:59+00:00August 28th, 2019|Categories: Performance|Tags: , , , |

Remembering Anner Bylsma (1934 – 2019)

With heavy hearts we share the loss of Dutch cellist, Anner Bylsma.  His presence and artistry have made an enormous impact, profoundly influencing the lives of generations of cellists.  Over the course of his career, Bach played a significant role in Bylsma's life as reflected in his performances, writings, and the two sets of recordings of the complete Cello Suites he made in 1979 and 1992.  In fact, his first recording was the first ever to be recorded on gut strings, achieving a significant stride in the period performance movement. Bylsma was a strong believer in the essential accuracy, and therefore sanctity, of the Anna Magdalena Bach manuscript of the Cello Suites.  He accepted there were some mistakes but not that all performance indications were suspect and therefore optional.  In [...]

By |2019-10-31T15:42:13+00:00July 29th, 2019|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |