The Cello Suites
Written by Eric Siblin
Publication Date March 22, 2009
One autumn evening, shortly after ending a ten-year stint as a pop-music columnist for the Montreal Gazette, Eric Siblin attended a concert at Toronto's Royal Conservatory of Music. There, something unlikely happened: he fell in love with a piece of classical music -- Bach's cello suites. Part biography, part music history, and part literary mystery, The Cello Suites weaves together three dramatic stories: The first features Johann Sebastian Bach and the missing manuscript of his suites from the eighteenth century; the second is that of Pablo Casals and his incredible discovery of the manuscript in Spain in the early twentieth century; and the third is Eric Siblin's own infatuation with the suites in the twenty-first century.
This love affair leads Siblin to the back streets of Barcelona, a Belgian mansion, and a bombed out German palace; to interviews with cellists Mischa Maisky, Anner Bylsma, and Pieter Wispelwey; to archives, festivals, conferences, and cemeteries; and even to cello lessons -- all in pursuit of answers to the mysteries that continue to haunt this piece of music more than 250 years after its composer's death.
The Cello Suites is an incomparable, beautifully written, true-life journey of passion, imagination, and discovery, fuelled by the transcendent power of a musical masterpiece.
Winner of the Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-fiction 2009
Winner of the QWF McAuslan First Book Prize 2009
Short-listed for the British Columbia's National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction 2010
Short-listed for the Governor General's Award: Nonfiction 2009
Short-listed for the Writers' Trust of Canada Non-Fiction Prize 2009
Eric Siblin is the bestselling author of The Cello Suites, which won the QWF Mavis Gallant Nonfiction Prize and the McAuslan First Book Award, and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Writers’ Trust Nonfiction Prize, and the BC National Award for Canadian Nonfiction. So far, the work has been published in thirteen territories and in nine languages. He lives in Montreal, Quebec.