Solo Cello Suites of Bach transcribed for Guitar.

Rick Nankivell

This site is dedicated to providing transcribed solos for guitar, of the thirty six movements that comprise the Six unaccompanied Solo Cello Suites by JS Bach.( BWV 1007-1012)

Whilst they are catalogued here as Classical Guitar transcriptions, they represent plausible study material and functional repertoire for guitarists, both finger style and plectrum players alike.

These are not arrangements, nor are they intended to represent 'guitar friendly' versions in 'guitar friendly keys'. They are transcriptions for guitar in Johann Sebastian Bach's original keys, with absolute adherence to the melodies, harmonies and rhythms notated in the cello scores by Friedrich Grutzmacher, Johan  Dotzauer, Joseph Malkin and Hugo Becker. They have been faithfully and accurately transcribed with no added notes.

Particular attention has been given to reference the range of tempos particular to recorded performances, including those of YoYo Ma, Mstislav Rostropovich, Natalia Gutman, Mischa Maisky, Tanya Tomkins and Anner Bylsma.

The work ranges in difficulty from the relatively short and sparse twenty bars of the Sarabande in C minor BWV 1011, to the expansive and technically challenging fourteen pages of the Prelude in D major BWV 1012. Some suites are predominantly single voiced, some with chordal punctuations, whilst others present rich, dense chordal voicings and harmonic movement.

The transcription and notation phase of this project began on October 20th 2013 with the Allemande in G major BWV 1007. It culminated with the completion of the catalogue with the Gigue in D major BWV 1012 on September 26th 2016.

Transcriptions are complete with traditional notation, guitar tablature, suggested fingerings and mp3 audio file.

The guitar tunings used are D A D G B E , C# A D G B E and C A D G B E.

There is also listed an ensemble transcription not associated with the Cello Suites, the Prelude and Fugue in E flat major BWV 876. The Prelude is transcribed for two guitars and the Fugue for four guitars in standard tuning.

Thanks to Christopher Costanzer for the opportunity to reference the commentary from the website 'The Cello Suites by JS Bach'.

For my part, the process of memorizing the Suites for performance is now in motion. This constitutes  work in progress, no 'bells or whistles', just the gentle awakening in the  realization in the performance and  sharing of this wonderful music. 

Thank you for visiting.

Wherever you are, I hope that life is treating you kindly.



Latest Sheet Music
Prelude in D major, BWV 1012
Classical / Piece
Gigue in D major, BWV 1012
Classical / Piece
Courante in D major, BWV 1012
Classical / Piece
Gigue in C minor, BWV 1011
Classical / Piece
Gavottes in C minor, BWV 1011
Classical / Piece