The music of Johann Sebastian Bach may be three centuries old, but today’s music-makers are using today’s tools to get it heard – social media, viral marketing, and especially video. A few weeks ago we premiered two videos of cellist Inbal Segev performing selections from the Bach Cellos Suites – “perhaps the most important piece[s] written for cello” as the artist describes them, and the “Mount Everest for cellists” – in conjunction with the release of her new album.
Today we bring you the exclusive premiere of the short documentary film, Inbal Segev and the Bach Cello Suites, a behind-the-scenes look at the cellist’s months-long preparations for recording those difficult, seminal works.
The 21-minute documentary follows Segev as she visits a luthier for an adjustment to her 1673 Francisco Ruggieri violoncello; practices at home, where her three children make conflicting demands on her time; performs in concert; frets about her interpretations; and studies the manuscripts to try to resolve ambiguities in the score that have been puzzling musicians since the 18th century. It’s an unusual and intriguing glimpse into the life of a virtuoso.
As classical music producer Todd Landor says, “If you’re going to be a great cellist, at some point you have to conquer the Bach Cello Suites.” The documentary presents Segev as an intensely thoughtful, even analytical musician, but one who is also emotional and unafraid to show her vulnerabilities as she mounts her assault on the great works.
Yet when asked what she brings to Bach’s music personally, she demurs: “Music starts where words end.”
Recorded at the Academy of Arts and Letters in New York City, Bach’s Cello Suites was released by Vox Classics in the U.S. on September 18, 2015 and will be available worldwide on November 8.
Inbal Segev performed Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cello Suites No. 1, 3 and 5 at Bargemusic in Brooklyn, NY on September 25, 2015 and will return to perform Suites No. 2, 4 and 6 at the same venue on October 30 at 8pm. Tickets are available online for $35 ($30 Senior, $15 Student).