The cellist returns to Strings 23 years after his first appearance to play Bach’s fabled cello suites in an unusual venue
When Jiri Barta performed Bach’s six cello suites at the first-ever Strings of Autumn in 1996, he was a young man taking on one of the greatest works written for a solo instrumentalist. In 2019, he returns to the festival, and to Bach’s masterpiece, with an interpretation informed and shaped by the experiences of the intervening years: the testament of a mature artist.
‘I remember the first time I ever played these suites,’ says Barta. ‘It felt like meeting a ghost. Every single suite felt like a perfect symphony, like the story of a life in six chapters – a totally logical and thought-out composition.’
The concert takes place in the kind of space not typically associated with Bach: Divadlo X10, with its an industrial atmosphere and concrete interior, promises to bring a new dimension to these venerable pieces.