Bach 6th Suite on 5 string cello

Back in the day, there were plenty of 5 string cellos laying around. Bach wrote a whole suite just for these instruments! Of course, with the passage of time, the 5 string cello went the way of the dinosaur, and most cellists (me too!) play the 6th cello suite on a regular old 4 string cello.

However, occasionally we cellists like to mix things up, so I borrowed a custom made 5 string cello from one of my friends and gave some of the 6th suite a whirl. Some things are a lot easier, like a tricky spot right at the beginning of the Prelude. Other things require some different techniques to get the right sounds out. The gut strings take a little getting used to, and the biggest challenge aside from knowing when to go up the E string (a normal cello has C-G-D-A, this one tacks the E on) is to adjust to where the strings are. To accommodate the 5th string the other strings are shifted over just a tad, so hitting the G string is fairly tricky (at least on this cello).

Hope you enjoy the track!