Tim Hugh is increasingly recognised as being one of the finest and most abundantly innovative cellists of the new generation.
In 1990 Tim Hugh won two medals, including the Bach Prize at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. Since that time, he has appeared with Europe's leading conductors: Pierre Boulez, Bernard Haitink, Mstislav Rostropovich, Andre Previn, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Andrew Davis, Kent Nagano, Sir John Pritchard and Sir Georg Solti.
In early 1995 he became Principal Cellist of the London Symphony Orchestra and immediately appeared as soloist with them, standing in for Mstislav Rostropovich. With the LSO he has played concertos by Brahms, Strauss, Messiaen, Walton, Haydn and Elgar.
Tim Hugh has recorded the cello concertos of Arthur Bliss and William Walton, both honoured with the Gramophone magazine's Editor's Choice accolade, as well as Benjamin Britten's Cello Symphony (which was shortlisted for a Gramophone Award). Other releases include the three Britten cello suites, concertos by Hofmann and C.P.E Bach and the first two volumes of Boccherini's concertos.
Aus dem Vorwort:
The six suites for violoncello were composed in a relatively short period (1717-23) along with other great string works. The development of musical and technical demands increases almost exponentially throughout.
The first suite contains nothing above fourth position and lies very well under the hand in the key of G which resonates naturally, with open strings frequently being an option. It is also quite short. There must have been a cellist for whom they were written (possibly Christian Ferdinand Abel) as Bach saw the technical possibilities before him and rapidly explored them.
The cello, along with the other members of the string instrument family, was the culmination of a century of transition from the earlier Gamba viols. The length of the fingerboard gradually increased although the pitches of the strings were not fully standardised as they are today. Bach's use of different tuning in Suite 5 (top string tuned to G) means that A flat can be played in first position on the top string making four-part chords possible as in the second bar of the prelude. This suite is much easier to play with the tuning Bach intended.
Suite 6 was written for a five-stringed cello (an additional E string above the A). A setup for five strings is a major change to the instrument and the only other piece one could want to play on it is Schubert's Arpeggione Sonata. Fortunately, with a few amendments to note positions in some chords, they are both manageable on a four-stringed cello today with our much longer fingerboards and hours of practice! The length of the preludes in both suites means that they are difficult to print over two pages and so we have provided a mini score size in addition for ease of performing, making the customary add-on photocopies unnecessary.
This edition of the Bach suites is intended for performers rather than academics. The original score of the Suites has never been found and the only authoritative early scores in existence are copies by Bach's wife and a pupil Johann Kellner. My bowings, whilst inspired by the markings in Anna Magdalena Bach's copy of the suites, are intended for the modern cello. It would appear that some of the markings in Anna's score indicate phrasing and direction rather than bowing and it is unclear where the beginning and end of each slur start and finish.
The greatness of these works means that there are as many ways of playing them as there are performers. Indeed, with all movements repeated (minuets, bourrees and gavottes twice)! prefer to give as much variety as possible between them with regard to bowing, dynamics, tempo and mood. I find that there are always new ideas appearing.
SUITE I BWV 1007
SUITE II BWV 1008
SUITE III BWV 1009