In his book Music of Yes, philosopher Bill Martin likens the idea of Squire Variations to a modern version of Bach's Suites for Unaccompanied Cello. This has me thinking about the possibility of recording the Cello Suites for electric bass. Several recordings of Bach's suites have been made in arrangements for double bass (the only such recording I own is Edgar Meyer's performance of Suites 1, 2, and 5), so an electric bass version seems feasible. Since Bach was notorious for a certain kind of instrumental agnosticism, there would be nothing irreverent about an electric recording — although it would be unorthodox. I see such a recording as an interesting experiment: not quite as radical as the synthesizer versions of Bach by W. Carlos, but definitely somewhat "out there". Yet I am interested in this project not for its shock value but for its musical value, since I feel that this would be a wonderful way to showcase the capabilities of the electric bass, and realistically the only way for me to play the music of Bach (unless I can master the Lute Suites on guitar, which seems doubtful).

Although I have not yet started to work on this project, I do at least listen to the Cello Suites often. My favorite recording is on viola by Patricia McCarty, although I also like the versions by Stephen Isserlis and Janos Starker on cello and by Edgar Meyer on double bass.

Peter Saint-Andre > Music > Bach