The purpose of the series if Bach was a cellist is to live the fantasy that everything Bach wrote, he wrote for the cello. It may also serve as a way for cellists to get close to Bach through works other than the six solo suites and the three gamba sonatas.
I first came across the Partita by Johann Sebastian Bach in a version for flute and strings, beautifully recorded by Kurt Redel. Since my early teens it has been on my list of special pieces.
The four movements show extraordinary variation. In the hands of Bach, the key of C minor becomes particularly powerful, of limitless weight, sometimes even stern. Is there an opening of a movement from the baroque era which compares with power of the first movement here? It is a magni-ficent example of musical temperament.
Three 18th century manuscripts survive. One found among the papers of C.Ph.E.Bach and two by Johann Philipp Kirnberger, a student of J.S.Bach. All three are in the form of a keyboard sonata. Because of the choice of register, however, one may ask whether they are, in turn, arrangements of an original composition for solo flute or solo violin. The Double is very pianistic, and may therefore have been added later. For all movements except the Fugue, I have supplied a piano part for the right hand.