Bach, Casals & The Six Suites For Cello Solo – Spotlight & Giveaway

Bach CD 1

Bach, Casals & The Six Suites For Cello Solo – Book & Music Spotlight

If you have been ever been moved by the musical genius of classic composer Johann Sebastian Bach and wondered what was the inspiration behind his music, I invite you to enter the creative world of J.S. Bach and explore his life through the eyes of internationally renowned guitarist Steven Hancoff’s groundbreaking, four-volume e-book, Bach, Casals and the Six Suites for ’Cello Solo!

This work is a totally immersive multi-media experience that includes richly detailed text embedded with more than 1000 illustrations that illuminate Bach’s masterpiece, from its creation to its legacy!

Bach, Casals and the Six Suites for ’Cello Solo and 3-CD set Audio Recording of ’Cello Suites also includes Hancoff’s complete recording of his acoustic guitar transcription of Bach’s ’Cello Suites.

Bach CD 2

From tragedy to transcendence is the theme that embodies the essence of the life and work of Johann Sebastian Bach. Hancoff says:

This man, ‘the miracle of Bach,’ as Pablo Casals once put it, led a life of unfathomable creativity and giftedness on the one hand and neglect and immense tragedy on the other.

Bach’s life was rife with hardship and tragedy from the start. By the time he was nine years old, he had witnessed the deaths of three siblings and then, within a year, his father and mother also passed away.

For all his education and talent, however, Bach’s first job was serving as a lackey for a drunkard duke. Subsequently, he spent the next fifteen years in the employ of Weimar’s harshly ascetic Duke Wilhelm Ernst, who cared little for music. When he was twenty-two, he married the love of his live, his distant cousin, Maria Barbara Bach. During the thirteen years they were married, she bore him seven children, three of whom died at birth.

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In 1717, Prince Leopold of Cöthen offered Bach a position as the musical director for Cöthen. Bach jumped at the chance. The officials of Weimar, however, threw him in jail for “the crime” of daring to resign his present position. Still, Bach was on the verge of a career breakthrough.

Three years into his happy and contented tenure in Cothen, Prince Leopold and Bach visited the spa town of Carlsbad for a month of vacationing and music-making. Unfortunately, upon his return Bach learned of the death of his wife and then only when he entered into his home. Imagine the shock, the impact. He never even discovered the cause of death.

Yet this tragic setback in Bach’s life was a major turning point because he came to grips with his personal tragedy by unleashing a flood of masterpieces for which he is and will be forever revered. First came the Six Violin Sonatas and Partitas for Violin Solo and then the Six Suites for ’Cello Solo.

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In the ’Cello Suites we hear Bach expressing his own seeking, yearning, love, loss, sorrow, grief and determination and their overtones of surrender, resolution affirmation and transcendence. He aspired to articulate an ultimate personal confession, a revelation, entirely unique, entirely sublime, as an ultimate act of artistic and creative testimony, a heavenly statement about his own life and even of life itself—as a final gift and an enduring, heavenly send-off for his beloved wife.

Bach, Casals and the Six Suites for ’Cello Solo invites readers and music lovers into a unique experience, contained in an immersive four-volume e-book from Steven Hancoff – a virtuoso musician’s restless, passionate, multimedia exploration of a musical masterpiece that only grows in stature almost three centuries after it was written.

The many fascinating and inspiring aspects of the book include:

  • How Bach struggled and overcame adversity and the lessons his example offer us today.
     
  • The ultimate meaning of the Six Suites for ’Cello.
     
  • How almost all of Bach’s works would have nearly sunk into oblivion were it not for the extraordinary efforts of Sara Levy, the great aunt of Felix Mendelssohn, to rescue them.
     
  • How Felix Mendelssohn singlehandedly created with the performance of the St. Matthew Passion a Bach renaissance and a legacy that continues to be enjoyed to the present day.
     
  • The miraculous discovery of the six ’Cello Suites by Pablo Casals in a Barcelona thrift shop and why he studied them for twelve years before performing them in public.
     
  • What Pablo Casals meant when he spoke of “the miracle of Bach.”

Bach, Casals and the Six Suites for ’Cello Solo promises to be an adventure for anyone fascinated by the enduring power of music, art and why they matter.

I invite you to view the video that follows and enter our giveaway for a chance to win a CD of your very own!

Video 7 – Anna Magdalena Bach by Steven Hancoff

About Steve Hancoff

Steven Hancoff

Steve Hancoff began playing guitar when he was 13 years old, captivated by the folk music craze of the 1960s. Within a year he was performing in coffeehouses around Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

For nearly 15 years, Steve toured the world – about 50 countries –as an official Artistic Ambassador representing the United States of America. His recordings include Steel String Guitar, New Orleans Guitar Solos, Duke Ellington for Solo Guitar, and The Single Petal of A Rose. He is also the author of Acoustic Masters: Duke Ellington for Fingerstyle Guitar and New Orleans Jazz for Fingerstyle Guitar.

Steve is a graduate of St. John’s College, home of the “100 Great Books of the Western World” program and has a Masters degree in clinical social work. He is a psychotherapist, a Rolfer, and a practitioner of Tai Chi. An avid hiker, Steve is also a member of the Grand Canyon River Guides Associations.

Bach, Casals & The Six Suites For Cello Solo Spotlight Tour

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Create With Joy is delighted to participate in the Bach, Casals & The Six Suites For Cello Solo Spotlight Tour, which is hosted by iRead Book Tours!

The Bach, Casals & The Six Suites For Cello Solo Spotlight Tour runs from November 30 through December 18, 2015.

Please visit the Bach, Casals & The Six Suites For Cello Solo Spotlight Tour Page to read guest posts and author interviews and to visit the other bloggers on the tour!

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Bach, Casals & The Six Suites For Cello Solo Giveaway

Create With Joy is thrilled to offer you the opportunity to win a 1 of 50 multi-Disc CDs as part of the Bach, Casals & The Six Suites For Cello Solo Blog Tour!

This giveaway is open to Create With Joy readers who are 18 years and older and reside in the US/CAN through January 1, 2016.

To enter this giveaway, submit your entries as instructed on the Rafflecopter form.

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Please note that this Rafflecopter and Giveaway is hosted by iRead Book Tours and is being hosted across several blogs. They are overseeing the drawing and assume full responsibility for all aspects of this contest, including notification and prize fulfillment.

Disclosure: I received a CD from iRead Book Tours for participating in this Spotlight Tour.

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5 Responses to “Bach, Casals & The Six Suites For Cello Solo – Spotlight & Giveaway”

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  1. Carl says:

    This sounds brilliant. I love Bach’s music and I’d really like to hear it adapted to the guitar. Thanks so much for the chance to win.

  2. I would love to win one of these CDs. I am an avid fan of classic music. Whenever I must accomplish much and need to concentrate, that is my go-to music selection. It helps focus my mind on the task at hand. Also, if I find myself upset, classical music touches my heart and soul in a way contemporary music doesn’t always (0r 0ften) manage to do. This interpretation of Bach’s music is beautiful and I would love to enjoy the entire selection over and over again. Thank you for this opportunity to win.

  3. Hancoff’s fervor for the Bach suites echoes Casals’ devotion… strains of music dovetail with what is the largest collection of Bach-inspired visual art ever amassed… It is an antique subject elegantly rendered in an impossibly light 21st-century container. – Roxane Assaf, Huffington Post, writing about the iBook

    Dear CWJ,

    Thank you.

    Eight years! Eight years ago, I started the process of transcribing Bach’s masterpiece Six Suites for Cello Solo for my acoustic guitar. My only intention was to transcribe and then record them. But the more I worked, the more I felt a need to learn about the man, and especially the circumstances of his life, when he composed the Cello Suites. And the more I discovered, the more questions and ideas arose …until I began to realize that this was not simply a music project, but this was transforming itself into a life’s work. Fulfilling that mission became my purpose.

    And now, the project is done and released. And I want to tell you how much I appreciate your helping to make this work known to the world.

    I have come to feel that the saga I have discovered and articulated in the iBooks is the pre-eminent and most grand and by far the most profoundly serendipitous legend of Western culture. I intend to be touring the country with a multimedia presentation of it, telling the story with slideshow and video – pictures galore — over the next years. The presentation will be entertaining and enlightening.

    Thanks again…

    Steven Hancoff

    • Create With Joy
      Twitter: CreateWithJoy1
      says:

      Thank you Steven for sharing these additional insights into the project with us.
      I have always been a fan of Bach’s and I learned so much about the man behind the music from you!

      I appreciate your music and your passion – please keep us posted on your upcoming tour!

  4. Bethany says:

    Wow! This would be very intriguing. I love Bach’s music.

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