Bach Suites in the US, 1899-1925

Date                Location                     Cellist              Suite  / mvts           Performance context

3/13/1899     Boston, MA            Alwin Schroeder     No. 3 / all?             Kneisel Quartet concert   

           "These suites have been edited most carefully by Mr. Schroeder, who was the

           player last night. He played in his modestly authoritative manner, and displayed

           in full the purity of tone, the rare musical intelligence, in a word the consummate

           artistry which distinguishes this master of chamber music."  

                                                                                 Philip Hale in Boston Journal, March 14, 1899, p. 5

3/27/1899     Philadelphia, PA    Alwin Schroeder      No. 3 / all?            Kneisel Quartet concert

5/6/1899       St. Louis, MO         Alwin Schroeder      No. 3 / 4 mvts      Kneisel Quartet concert

          “The four movements of Bach’s “Sonata in C Major” was given as a cello solo by

           Mr. Schroeder. It was played without accompaniment, but such is Mr. Schroeder’s

           mastery of the instrument he convinced his hearers that he furnished his own 

           accompaniment. …He did not make out of the Bach number a mere exercise to

           illustrate his own expertness in fingering and bowing; his first thought was to

           interpret the master’s musical idea; and it was that impression the audience 

           carried away in their memories."             St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 7, 1899, p. 17 

10/4/1899     Toronto, ON          Alwin Schroeder        ? / 2 mvts            Kneisel Quartet concert         

           “The violoncellist, Mr. Schroeder, played an unaccompanied sonato [sic] by Bach,

           in two movements (allemande and gavotte). The latter movement was charmingly

           brisk and redolent of the German folk music from which Bach derived many of his

           melodious ideas. Mr. Schroeder’s wonderfully broad and noble tone and perfect

           execution brought out all its beauties.”   Toronto Daily Mail and Empire, Oct. 5, 1899

10/18/1899    Springfield, MA     Alwin Schroeder    No. 3 / 2 mvts       Kneisel Quartet concert

           “The Bach movements, for ‘cello unaccompanied, which Mr Schroeder is to play,

           are among the gems of the ‘cello repertory, though few players have the genius to

           venture to play them in public.”              Springfield Republican, Oct. 14, 1899, p. 4 

           “The soloist of the evening, Mr Schroeder, was daring in playing from those

           unaccompanied Bach suites which every ‘cellist delights to study, but which are

           found dry by an audience unless they are played in an ideal manner. But Mr

           Schroeder has won so firm a hold on the public that he can afford to experiment,

           and the audience was obviously pleased with the delightful rendering of the

           “courante” and “bourree” from the third suite.”

                                                                                 Springfield Republican, Oct. 19, 1899, p. 4

 

1/10/1900     Fall River, MA         Alwin Schroeder           ? / ?                 Kneisel Quartet concert

 

          “Mr. Schroeder played a sonata for the violoncello by Bach, a piece well selected to

          emphasize his wonderful control of his difficult instrument.”

                                                                                Fall River Daily Evening News, Jan. 11, 1900, p. 8

 

1/10/1900      New York, NY         Karl Grienauer               ? / ?                 Recital at Waldorf-Astoria 

         “The feature of the afternoon was [illegible] ’cello suite by Bach written without piano 

          accompaniment. In playing this classical composition Mr. Grienaur revealed the

          qualities which made his reputation..." 

1/15/1900      Brooklyn, NY         Karl Grienauer              ? / ?                Lydia Venth Trio concert

 

         “Mr. Grienauer played as a solo the Bach ’Cello Suite, without accompaniment,

         which he  recently played at his recital at the Astoria.” From “Music in Brooklyn”

                                                                              Musical Courier, 1900, p. 18 (report dated Jan. 19, 1900)

1/16/1900     Washington, DC    Alwin Schroeder      No. 5 / ?                Kneisel Quartet concert

           When pianist Breitner could not perform with the Kneisels as scheduled, “Mr.

           Alwin Schroeder, the master of the cello, gave as a solo a sonata of Bach, from

           the fifth ’cello suite. Of course, it was most enthusiastically received…”

                                                                                 Evening Star, Jan. 17, 1900, p. 13

2/1/1900       Hartford, CT         Alwin Schroeder       No. 5? / 2 mvts    Kneisel Quartet concert                         

           "There must certainly be much interest in a performance in which the ’cello is

           made to speak for itself, solely.”              Hartford Courant, Jan. 31, 1900, p. 5

           “Another interesting number was for the violoncello, unaccompanied, Alwin

           Schroeder playing two movements from a “Suite” by Bach. He takes the

           instrument quite out of its accepted field of romance and melancholy sentiment,

           and gives to it a virility and strength that is refreshing. None but an accomplished

           player would ever have thought of Bach as a writer for the ’cello, but Mr.

           Schroeder fairly made the instrument speak the fugue-like passages of the first

           movement, and... the second... was given with splendid touch.”

                                                                               Hartford Courant Feb. 2, 1900, p. 8

3/6/1900       New York, NY        Alwin Schroeder      No. 3  / 4            Kneisel Quartet concert

          “Bach’s ’cello solo sonatas are seldom heard as units, as he conceived them. Mr.

          Schroeder will  play the third of the set of six in C major, as edited by himself for

          artistic performance. … Though called a sonata, this work is rather a suite, consisting

          of a prelude and three strongly characteristic dance movements...”

                                                                               New York Tribune, March 4, 1900, p. 28

           “Mr. Schroeder... played Bach’s C major suite for ’cello without accompaniment

           and with an authority of style, breadth and dignity of phrasing and a wealth of

           tone that delighted his hearers beyond measure. He was recalled many times to

           acknowledge the applause bestowed on him.”

                                                                                  New York Tribune, March 7, 1900, p. 6 

3/26/1900     Princeton, NJ        Alwin Schroeder     No. 3?/1 mvt      Kneisel Quartet concert

            As an encore to Schroeder's performance of The Swan and Popper's Spinning Song.

            (According to Daily Princetonian, Mar. 27, 1900, p. 1)

4/12/1900      Brooklyn, NY       Alwin Schroeder     No. 3/ 2 mvts    Kneisel Quartet concert

            The Bach selections were announced in the press, but reviews indicate that he did

            not play them. Schroeder instead performed The Swan and Klengel's "gymnastic"

            Capriccio, which called forth a burst of applause and brought out the artist four

            times, though he would not play an encore.” (Brooklyn Citizen, April 13, 1900, p. 9) 

11/26/1900    Boston, MA           Alwin Schroeder    No. 3 / all?           Schroeder 25th anniversary recital

            “The suite in C major, No. 3, by Bach, was performed in a broad manner, which

            showed that [Schroeder] thoroughly understood classical music of the highest

            type.”                                                        Boston Daily Advertiser, Nov. 27, 1900, p. 4

2/5/1901        New Haven, CT    Alwin Schroeder      No. 3 / all?         Kniesel Quartet concert  

            “Particular attention should be called to the Bach suite for the ’cello. Last year it will

            be remembered that Mr. Schroeder, owing to an accident, was not able to play it, and

            he kindly offered to have it on the programme this year.” (New Haven Morning Journal

             and Courier) n February 1900 Schroeder had had a badly swollen finger due to a fall;   

            he promised to play the entire suite the following season (1900-1) (per New Haven

            Register, Feb. 28, 1900).

3/4/1901        Montreal, QC       Alwin Schroeder         No. 3 / 2+        Kniesel Quartet concert

           “Mr. Alwin Schroeder played Bach’s Sonata in C major, for the violoncello without     

           accompaniment. He is one of the acknowledged masters of the ’cello and produces a

           tone of remarkable depth and richness. The bourree movement in particular brought

           out his lightness and delicacy of touch, and at times his wonderful execution

           produced almost orchestral effects.”      Montreal Gazette, March 5, 1901, p. 2

 

3/8/1901       New York, NY        Hugo Becker                  ? / ?                 New York Symphony concert

       

           As an encore following the Rococo Variations. “The only real blot on the concert was

           the forcing of the soloist to destroy the impression he had made with a piece of

           Tschaikowsky’s by adding one of those short tunes so dear to the encore lover. It

           was Bach, however, to the cellist’s credit…”

                                                                                    New York Times, March 9, 1901, p. 8

5/14/1901     St. Paul, MN           Alwin Schroeder          No. / ?             Kneisel Quartet concert

           “Alwin Schroeder, the ’cellist, played Bach’s sonata in C major, a severe composition

           that revealed, however, the thorough mastery the ’cellist has over his instrument.

           The soloist as well as the quartette was repeatedly recalled last night.”

                                                                                 Saint Paul Globe, May 15, 1901, p. 6

5/17/1901    Colo. Springs, CO  Alwin Schroeder   No. 3 / 4 mvts     Kneisel Quartet concert

 

           “Suite in C Major for Violoncello solo (without accompaniment): prelude; bourree;

           sarabande; gigue”                                      Colorado Springs Gazette, May 16, 1901

           “[Mr. Schroeder’s] power[ful] stroke evolves notes of marvelous resonance. The low

           plaint of the prelude changed to a rebellious murmur in the bourrée, and towards

           the end of the Suite, the time was increased until the notes seemed to coax and plead

           like willful, careless sprites.”                    Colorado Springs Gazette, May 18, 1901, p. 8

10/1/1901     Brattleboro, VT     Alwin Schroeder           ? / ?                 Kneisel Quartet concert

            Concert manager George C. Wilson: "The Kneisel Quartette concert was the

            greatest success in our association history. Schroder’s solo work [in Bach] took the

            people by storm."                                     Montpelier Daily Journal, Oct. 2, 1901, p. 4

10/2/1901    Burlington, VT       Alwin Schroeder            ? / ?              Kneisel Quartet concert

           Schroeder's solo set described in the Burlington Free Press as Bach "solos for

           violoncello." (Oct. 3, 1901, p. 5)

10/3/1901    Montpelier, VT      Alwin Schroeder            ? / ?               Kneisel Quartet concert

           Schroeder again played Bach “solos for violoncello." “Mr. Shroeder’s [sic] solos were

           a revelation to many of the possibilities of the instrument of his choosing at the hand

           of a master, a real artist.”                          Montpelier Evening Argus, Oct. 4, 1901, p. 3 

12/19/1901   Boston, MA             Alwin Schroeder            --                 with Helen Hopekirk

             Schroeder and Hopekirk performed Bach's Sonata No. 1 in G Major (originally for

            viola da gamba and keyboard) and the Grieg sonata on Hopekirk's concert at the 

            new Chickering Hall. (Boston Herald, Dec. 20, 1901, p. 8) 

5/8/1902      Scranton, PA           Alwin Schroeder           ? / 1 mvt      Kneisel Quartet concert

           As an encore following the Chopin Lento, per Scranton Tribune, May 9, 1902, p. 7

5/9/1902      Wilkes-Barre, PA   Alwin Schroeder           ? / ?               Kneisel Quartet concert

          A Bach  “Sonata for violoncello without accompaniment” listed in the program given in

          Wilkes-Barre Times, May 9, 1902, p. 8.

5/23/1902    Denver, CO             Alwin Schroeder     No. 3 / 3 mvts Kneisel Quartet concert

           “Alwin Schroeder played three movements of Bach’s C major ’cello sonata as no other

           player in America can play it. He does not read into Bach any feeling the composer

           did not mean; his playing is pure and clear, and shows a deep insight into the intent of

           the Musicians’ Musician. And the audience attempted an encore.” 

                                                                                   Denver Post, May 24, 1902, p. 2

5/24/1902   Colo. Springs, CO  Alwin Schroeder  No. 3 / 4 mvts  Kneisel Quartet concert

 

           Schroeder played the prelude, bourree[s?], and Gigue “with consummate art, giving

           another movement in the same suite as an encore.”

                                                                                  Colorado Springs Gazette, May 25, 1902, p. 7

10/8/1902   Northampton, MA  Alwin Schroeder          No. 3 / ?        Kneisel Quartet concert

10/9/1902   South Hadley, MA  Alwin Schroeder     No. 3 Prelude   Kneisel Quartet concert

           “For an encore [to the Chopin Lento] he played with breadth and dignity the opening

           allegro of the Bach suite in C major, which he gave in Northampton the evening

           previous.”                                                        Springfield Republican, Oct. 10, 1902, p. 4 

2/2/1903     Philadelphia, PA     Alwin Schroeder         No. 3 / ?           Kneisel Quartet concert

           “A sonata in C major for violoncello by Bach, without accompaniment, will

           undoubtedly be of interest, as Mr. Schroeder has shown his ability to keep an

           audience deeply attentive.”                          Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb. 1, 1903, p. 8

 

           "The playing of the Quartet, while praiseworthy and competent... was scarcely up to

           the high standard which has been set by this organization. Even Mr. Schroeder’s

           rendering of the Bach number was not impeccable.”

                                                                                    Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb. 3, 1903, p. 2

2/21/1903    New Haven, CT      Alwin Schroeder         ? / 2 mvts        Kneisel Quartet concert

           “…two movements from a Bach sonata were given by Mr. Schroeder. They displayed

           his adequate technique and sonorous tone. But a solo by stringed instruments

           without accompaniment is not so pleasing to the ear.”

                                                                                   Morning Journal and Courier, Feb 23, 1903, p. 8

3/3/1903     New York, NY          Alwin Schroeder        No. 3 / ?      Kneisel Quartet concert

          “Between the vocal numbers Mr. Schroeder played Bach’s Suite in C major for

           violoncello solo. It was a thoroughly refined and artistic performance, sound in

           reading, finished and beautiful in tone. Moreover, the audience, which completely

           filled the hall…appreciated and warmly applauded it.”

                                                                                  New York Tribune, March 4, 1903, p. 8 

           “Mr. Schroeder was greeted with a warmth that told him of the appreciation in

           which he is held as an artist when he came forward to play Bach’s C major solo

           sonata for the violoncello. A masterly performance it was, technically finished and

           fluent, perfect in phrasing, and warm and dignified in conception. It was the work

           of a master in style, and a notable realization of what the playing of Bach should be.”

                                                                                 New York Times, March 4, 1903, p. 7

3/9/1903      Boston, MA           Alwin Schroeder           No. 3 / all?     Kneisel Quartet concert

            "…Mr. Schroeder gave a masterly performance of the sonata by Bach. ... [He] played

            with a wealth of tone, with consummate ease, and with marked finesse.”                                                                                                                         Boston Journal, March 10, 1903, p. 4

            “One never realizes perhaps more vividly the appliance and command of Bach’s

            genius than when one hears a whole suite, sonata, prelude or chaconne carried

            through by a single instrument, its flow of melody never running thin or tame,

            and its suggestions of larger development seemingly to be really fulfilled. If Mr.

            Schroeder played it in New York as he did here last night, it is no wonder that the

            house rose at him as the papers said it did.”

                                                                                 Boston Herald, March 10, 1903, p. 10

10/18/1903   Boston, MA         Alwin Schroeder           No. 6 / -         

            Announced but not played: Schreoder performed the Beethoven A Major sonata

            with Harold Bauer instead. “The novelties of the [1903-4 Kneisel Quartet] season

            will include a concerto for violins and string orchestra, by Bach; the same

            composer’s suite for cello solo in D major No 6.” (Boston Globe, Oct. 18, 1903, p. 33)

11/6/1903    Stranton, PA        Alwin Schroeder      No. 3 / 4 mvts     Kneisel Quartet concert

           “Sonata in C major, for Violoncello—Bach. Prelude. Bourree. Sarabande. Gigue.” 

           “Mr. Alwin Schroeder, ’cellist, played his number in a masterly and artistic manner

           and elicited loud applause.”                      Scranton Republican, Nov. 7, 1903, p. 7 

1/12/1904   New York, NY       Pablo Casals         No. 3 / 1 or 2 mvts       Sam Franko concert

           Most likely the Bourrees, following a his performance of the Haydn D Major

           concerto.  Casals "played it admirably, though in a diminutive style.” (New York Sun).

           Krehbiel noted that Casals played Bach as an encore “instead of an ordinary show

           piece. It was sound and beautiful ’cello playing…” (New York Tribune)

1/13/1904   Toronto, ON         Alwin Schroeder          No. 3 / ?           Kneisel Quartet concert

            According to Hanna and Fred Feuerriegel, History of Concerts and Performers

           of the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto, Third Edition (May 2020), program

           listing on p. 14.

1/19/1904    St. Louis, MO       Alwin Schroeder     No. 3 / 2 mvts     Kneisel Quartet concert

           As an encore to the Chopin Lento. The Bach movements, “the second one being the

           familiar Loure… both calculated to exhibit modestly the high-class artist’s easy and

           superb control of the instrument.”           St. Louis Republic, Jan. 20, 1904, p. 3

1/20/1904   Indianapolis, IN   Alwin Schroeder       No. 3 / 1 mvt      Kneisel Quartet concert

           As an encore to the Chopin Lento. “The applause was loud and long after this

           number, and finally the ’cellist responded with an encore number, without

           accompaniment—Bach’s “Sarabande,” from his third suite—which gave further

           proof of his great ability.”                           Indianapolis Journal, Jan. 21, 1904

           “Insistently recalled, he added a Bach sarabande, which in its bold simplicity,

           unaided by the other instruments, submitted the ’cellist’s skill to the most

           searching test, out of which it came triumphant.”

                                                                                   Indianapolis News, Jan. 21, 1904

1/23/1904   Cincinnati, OH       Alwin Schroeder       No. 3 / 1 mvt       Kneisel Quartet concert

          As an encore to the Chopin Lento. “Mr. Alwin Schroeder played the cello solo

          with a marvelous tone and temperament. As an encore he gave a Bach Bouree.”

                                                                                  Cincinnati Enquirer, Jan. 24, 1904

3/8/1904     New York, NY        Pablo Casals                  No. 3 / all?          Metcalfe/Casals recital

          Casals also played Beethoven's G minor sonata and the Locatelli/Piatti D Major

          sonata. “In these pieces he showed much taste and a highly polished style. His

          playing is musical in the best sense, though it lacks the qualities of sensuous tone

          and commanding power. His phrasing is beautiful, his intonation accurate, and

          there is fine and delicate perception in all he does.”

                                                                                      New York Times, March 9, 1904

10/15/1904   Evanston, IL         Alwin Schroeder           No. 3 / ?               Kneisel Quartet concert

10/17/1904    Lincoln, NE          Alwin Schroeder           No. 3 / 1 mvt     Kneisel Quartet concert

          The Bourrees, as an encore to the Chopin Lento. “The lively old French dance

          seemed strangely inconsistent with preconceived ideas of the ’cello, but the quick

          staccato passages were reproduced with marvelous ease and smoothness.”

                                                                                      Nebraska State Journal, Oct. 18, 1904, p. 4

1/7/1905        Baltimore, MD     Alwin Schroeder        No. 3 / 4 mvts       Kneisel Quartet concert

          Schroeder played the Prelude, Courante, Sarabande, and Gigue, substituting the

          Bach for the Locatelli sonata at the last moment because of a misplaced piano score.

          “The Bach sonata was of interest historically, as well as musically. It was under Mr.

          Schroeder’s playing a picture of the old master of 250 years ago.”

                                                                                 Baltimore American, Jan. 8, 1905, p. 7

4/27/1905     Boise, ID               Alwin Schroeder           No. 3 / 1 mvt       Kneisel Quartet concert

           "Mr. Schroeder’s Lento for the ’cello by Chopin roused the audience to a high pitch

           of enthusiasm and he responded with a delightful Loure by Bach written especially

           for the cello.”                                              Idaho Statesman, April 28, 1905, p. 3

5/2/1905      Seattle, WA           Alwin Schroeder              ? / 1 mvt            Kneisel Quartet concert

           As an encore to the Chopin Lento. “Modestly Herr Schroeder acknowledged the

           plaudits of his auditors, finally, after repeated recalls, responded with a Bach gavotte, 

           delightfully handled.”                              Seattle Daily Times, May 3, 1905, p. 7

11/1905    Evanston, IL             Alwin Schroeder             No. 3 / ?             Kneisel Quartet concert

            listed as "Sonata in C major, for violoncello." (Bulletin of Northwestern University

            School of Music, kindly provided by Prof. Andrew Talle)

10/24/1906 Chicago, IL           Alwin Schroeder           No. 3 / ?               Kneisel Quartet concert

           “Mr. Schroeder, the excellent ’cellist of the organization, contributed ... the Bach

           Sonata in C major for ’cello alone. Finer, lovlier ’cello playing has not been heard

           here, and we have heard much that was of the highest quality. Tone, musicianship,

           taste, intelligence, feeling—all were present in wished for measure and so blended

           that an ideal performance resulted. The audience was genuinely enthusiastic, and

           with good reason.”                                   Chicago Tribune, Oct. 25, 1906, p. 8

2/21/1907    Fitchburg, MA      Alwin Schroeder           ? / 2 mvts           Kneisel Quartet concert

           "In response to many requests from his admirers here, Mr. Schroeder consented to

           play a solo, a request which was conveyed to him without any forewarning. He

           played two movements from a Bach sonata with consummate artistry. The audience

           did not let him go without showing its appreciation of Mr. Schroeder in every way

           permitted to the hour and the occasion.” 

                                                                               Fitchburg Sentinel, Feb. 22, 1907, p. 6

2/1907          Brooklyn, NY       Alwin Schroeder         ? / 2 mvts            Kneisel Quartet concert

           “As a special compliment to the institute audiences that had listened to Mr.

           Schroeder during the past fourteen years, he played as his farewell two Bach

           numbers (unaccompanied) a “Sarabande” and “Prelude.”

                                                                                  Musical Courier, March 4, 1907, p. 47

3/19/1907    Boston, MA           Alwin Schroeder            No. 3 / ?             Kneisel Quartet concert

           “The Bach sonata is one of those wonderful works in which the old master has turned

           a monophonic instrument into a polyphonic one, for the violoncello is entirely

           unsupported. Mr. Schroeder’s surety of intonation in difficult double-stopping and

           chord effects was simply perfect, while the breadth of his C and G string work in the     

           Sarabande gave a solidity to some of the composition that made one forget that it was

           given by a single stringed instrument. The Bouree was the acme of delicacy, and the

           dashing character of the Gigue, and especially the double-stopping here, were very

           effective. Six recalls followed the end of the work, and it seemed as if the audience

           would never tire of applauding the artist.”

                                                                              Louis C. Elson in Boston Daily Advertiser, Mar. 20, 1907  

           "Then, to very hearty applause, Mr. Schroeder appeared by himself to play Bach’s

           Sonata in C Major for violoncello alone. It asks not the virtuoso of display wherein

           the performer does every trick that ingenuity has been able to extort from the

           violoncello or to graft upon it, and does it as showily as he can. Rather Bach’s sonata

           asks for the virtuosity that is high and deep understanding and mastery of the

           instrument. ...The true virtuoso searches and learns its heart and wins from it the

           grave beauty, the clear, dark depth, the songful richness, the stately flow, the

           eloquence of contemplation, of melancholy, of subdued passion that dwell in it

           waiting his summons. ... Mr. Schroeder’s virtuosity has been such for years..."

                                                                              H. T. P. in Boston Evening Transcript, Mar. 20, 1907

           "Mr Schroeder’s playing of the Bach sonata was most impressive. It seemed like an

           elegant interpretation of the spirit of the artist whom all musical Boston had eagerly

           come to hear."                                         Boston Globe, Mar. 24, 1907, p. 54 

               

4/2/1907    New York, NY      Alwin Schroeder           No. 3 / ?             Kneisel Quartet concert

           “There was something indescribably touching in his interpretation of this singular

           intimate music of old Bach—music with its writer can never have conceived as subject

           for public performance. In the quiet, retired and unseeking art of Bach there is an

           element peculiarly congenial to the simple and unaffected nobility and artistic

           humanity of Mr Schroeder’s playing, which is without display but alive with all that

           goes to make solo performances worthy of profound respect. Bach himself must have 

           applauded his playing last night.” New York Sun, April 3, 1907 

 

10/25/1907 Frankfurt            Alwin Schroeder       No. 3 / 4 mvts    Museum Orchestra concert

           Prelude, Sarabande, Bourree, Gigue per digitally archived program. “The cellist

           garnered warm applause with a solo Suite in C Major by J. S. Bach...”

                                                                              Hans Pfeilschmidt in Die Musik VII: 4, p. 250

10/22/1908 Brooklyn, NY       Alwin Schroeder      No. 1 / 4 mvts      Schroeder recital 

             Schroeder played the Prelude, Courante, Sarabande, and Gigue. “In the Bach suite

            (played unaccompanied) the player rose to those heights that kindle enthusiasm and

            inspire men and women to live for the beautiful in art. If Bach could be played every

            day as Schroeder played it on this evening, then the divine in music would advance

            more rapidly than it does.”                     Musical Courier, Vol. LVII: 18, p. 16 

3/1909         Cambridge, MA    Alwin Schroeder              --                    with Arthur Whiting

            On a program with the Beethoven A Major and Brahms E minor cello sonatas,

            Schroeder performed "the favorite Air from the sonata in D by Bach” “for a solo

            number for ’cello" (per The Violinist (Vol. VI, no 6), March 1909, p 38). This might

            have been a movement from the sixth suite or from the D Major gamba sonata, or 

            (more likely) the "air on the G string" from Bach's orchestral suite No. 3 in D Major. 

11/30/1909  Boston, MA            Mirko Belinski         No. 6 / all?           Belinski Recital

            "[Belinski] warmed to his work slowly and the Bach suite, the first number on the

            program, suffered thereby. It lacked rhythmic poise and was played with much

            faulty intonation.”                                  Boston Herald, Dec. 1, 1909, p. 5

12/13/1909  Boston, MA           Alwin Schroeder           ? / 3 mvts         Perabo concert

            “He played a courante, a sarabande and a gigue from a Bach suite with much

            appreciation in his deft bowing for the genial humor in these dances.”

                                                                              Boston Globe, Dec. 14, 1909, p. 7

1/31/1910    New York, NY        Alwin Schroeder    Nos. 1, 5, 3 / 3        on Huss concert

            Schroeder performed a Bach-suite set consisting of the G-Major Courante, the

            C-minor Sarabande, and the C minor Gigue. (New York Tribune, Jan. 23, 1910)

2/7/1911      New York, NY         Willem Willeke          No. 6 / all?          Kneisel Quartet concert

2/10/1911   Baltimore, MD       Willem Willeke          No. 6 / all?          Kneisel Quartet concert

            “Mr. Willeke, who gave the Bach sonata, is a cellist of the first rank. The

            composition he played is one which only a really great artist can perform

            satisfactorily. In it the performer gave abundant evidence not only of technical

            mastery but of his abundant temperamental endowment. The work of the

            master contrapuntalist was given a reading of which Bach himself would be

            proud.”                                                     Baltimore Sun, Feb. 11, 1911, p. 8

2/15/1911    Detroit, MI.            Elsa Ruegger                cm / ?                Detroit Quartet Concert

                              

           “Mme Ruegger’s Solo a Revelation to the Detroit String Quartet” … “Mme. Elsa

           Ruegger appeared as soloist and played the Bach suite No. 5 for ’cello, minus

           piano accompaniment. …In interpreting music that calls for technique and

           intellectual understanding, she fully sustained her reputation, and perhaps did

           the most illuminating work she has performed before a Detroit public.”

                                                                             Detroit Free Press, Feb. 16, 1911 p. 4

2/21/1911   Boston, MA              Willem Willeke          No. 6 / all?          Kneisel Quartet concert

            “The Bach sonata for unaccompanied ’cello consists of a grave, sustained melody, 

            alternating between antique dances of quaint and formal elegance. Mr Willeke

            was much enjoyed in this number, not only for the noble purity of his tone and

            style and for his fluent performance in florid passages, but for his just 

            characterization of this music.”           Boston Globe, Feb. 22, 1911, p. 17 

5/18/1911    Cleveland, OH       Willem Willeke            No. 6/ all?         Kneisel Quartet concert

 

            “Mr. Willeke gave Bach’s sonata in D major for the violoncello alone… He

            produces a beautiful clear tone, and at certain moments in this work gave

            almost the impression of hearing a distant organ pealing its deep tones. From

            this manner to the light measures of the dance he passed with fluency and skill

            that pronounced him a master of the instruments, perhaps the best we have

            heard since Gerardy.”                           Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 19, 1911, p. 7 

2/15/1912    Boston, MA        Alwin Schroeder       Nos. 1, 3, 5 / 5           Recital with Karl Fischer

            “Nobody but a seasoned artist need attempt to play Bach’s music for violoncello

            solo, and few do.  ... Mr. Alwin Schroeder is one of the few violoncellists heard in

            the concert-rooms of this city not obliged to exercise caution with his Bach. On

            the program ... stood a group of four pieces by Bach for ‘cello alone—the Prelude

            in G major, Courante, G major, Sarabande C minor, and Gigue in C major, to which,

            on demand, the soloist added the Loure. In the playing of this group, Mr. Schroeder 

            discovered again his flexibility of bowing, his finish of phrasing, his varied nuance 

            (accomplished not with a wobbling left hand, in the too, too modern manner, but

            with the bow, a much more difficult affair) and chiefly, after the technical

            proficiency without which these pieces may not be played, simple as they sound,

            the soloist exhibited once more that mellow scholarship which interprets aright

            this clear-eyed, passionless music. Mr. Schroeder’s Bach was, of course, the great

            affair of the evening...                           Boston Evening Transcript, Feb. 16, 1912

11/20/1912  New York, NY     Alwin Schroeder       Nos. 1, 3, 5 / 5       Schroeder recital

            Schroeder played the same Bach set as on 2/15/1912, above, again with the

            C-Major Bourree ("Loure") as an added piece. “…nothing more delightful than the

            four movements from Bach’s solo sonatas the violoncello that Mr. Schroeder played

            with the power of a master, with beautiful tone, exquisite phrasing, and a richly

            musical quality. There was nothing in their difficulties that disturbed the purity of

            his intonation.”                                     New York Times, Nov. 21, 1912

11/22/1912   Altoona, PA        Alwin Schroeder             No. 3 / 4           Schroeder recital 

       

            Schroeder played the C Major Prelude, Courante, Sarabande, and Gigue.  The

            local press described his concert as a “Bach Recital” and declared that Schroeder

            “is the greatest of the Bach interpreters. His opening number tonight will be the

            C Major sonata." (Altoona Tribune, Nov. 22, 1912, p. 5)

 

12/10/1912  Boston, MA        Alwin Schroeder           Nos. 1, 3 / 4       Schroeder recital 

            “Bach, Prelude and Courante in G major, Sarabande and Gigue in C major” “The

            Bach dances were played unaccompanied. Mr Schroeder’s performance of similar

            pieces is known here for its variety of style, for virility and breadth of bowing in

            songful passages. He was heartily applauded last night.”

                                                                            Boston Globe, Dec. 11, 1912, p. 5

2/24/1913 Louisville, KY      Willem Willeke            No. 6? / 4 mvts    Kneisel Quartet concert

           “Willem Willeke gave in the Bach Suite in D major for ’cello alone, a superb

           demonstration of musicianship and of technique. The suite … is rarely attempted

           upon the modern four-stringed instrument. It is a work of prodigious difficulty,

           but of corresponding richness… Mr. Willeke played with assured control, and gave

           to each of the movements, Allemande, Gigue, Sarabande and two Bourrees [!], an       

           appropriate and interesting. In response to repeated recalls Mr. Willeke played a

           Bach “Gavotte.”                                     Louisville Courier-Journal, Feb. 25, 1913, p. 6

2/26/1913    Chicago, IL          Willem Willeke              No. 3 ? / ?      Kneisel Quartet concert

           “…the audience was…decidedly appreciative—even enthusiastic—for Mr. Willeke

           was recalled some seven times after his selection, and that a Bach Suite in C Major

           for violoncello alone. Perhaps the divine trinity of music and von Bulow, the three

           great B’s of Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, of whose works the program was

           compiled, gave some guarantee which prevented any misplacing of enthusiasm.”

                                                                           The Violinist (Chicago), Feb 1913, pp 45-6

10/6/1913      Boise, Idaho        Frederick Search              No. 4 / 3 mvts     Search US recital tour                          

           This was the first concert of a 100-concert transcontinental tour by the young cellist,

           who in Musical Courier ads was hyperbolically styled America's Greatest Cellist. “The

           John Sebastian Bach sonata in E flat major, for cello alone, as so competently played,

           is a marvelous piece of virtuosity. Here the solo instrument plays also its own   

           accompaniment, with difficulties so great as to be almost staggering to artists.

           Frederick Preston Search is exceptionally qualified, not only by amazing technic,

           but also by rare past associations [during his studies in Leipzig], for a masterly

           interpretation of this famous suite.” (Boise Capital News, quoted in Musical Courier,

           Oct. 29, 1913, p. 44) A list of his tour repertoire includes the specific E-flat suite   

           movements he played: Prelude, Sarabande, and Allemande. On other concerts he

           played the C-major prelude.

1/8/1914       New York, NY     Beatrice Harrison        No. 1 / 4 mvts  Harrison recital

           Harrison played the G Major Prelude, Allemande, Sarabande, Gigue. The New York

           Times critic (probably Richard Aldrich) commented on the monotony created by

           her undifferentiated tempos:  “The prelude was obviously an allegro movement,

           in Bach’s conception, and the gigue inevitably a vivace; but neither emerged from

           the pace of an andante in Miss Harrison’s performance.” (New York Times, Jan. 9, 1914)

2/6/1914     Fort Worth, TX    Elsa Ruegger                  ? / 2 mvts         Vaudeville at the Majestic

 

           “Elsa Ruegger, the woman ’cellist, with her husband, Edmund Lichenstein, as

           conductor, heads a new school in vaudeville—that of classic music played for

           everybody. At the Friday matinee she will play two movements from a Bach Suite,

           written for the ’cello alone and the most difficult work for the ’cello.”

                                                                            Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Feb. 5, 1914, p. 5

2/20/1914   Houston, TX        Elsa Ruegger                      ? / 2?              Vaudeville at the Majestic

           “Miss Elsa Ruegger is an unusual attraction for music lovers, for she plays the

           prettiest of classic music on her cello in a way that pleases concert hall and

           vaudeville frequenters alike. She will play a couple of movements from a Bach

           suite written the cello alone, at today’s matinee.”

                                                                           Houston Post, Feb. 20, 1914

11/12/1914   Canton, OH         Willem Willeke         No. 3 / 5 mvts    Kneisel Quartet concert

 

            A review lists all of the C-major suite movements except the Courante.

           (Canton RepositoryNov. 13, 1914, p. 15)

12/13/1914    New York, NY     Pablo Casals               Nos. 3, 6 / 2        Metropolitan Opera House

           “The Sunday night concert at the Metropolitan Opera House was made notable

           last evening by the first appearance here for several years of the great Spanish

           violoncellist, Pablo Casals. ...After the [Saint-Saens] concerto he appeared again

           and played the prelude from Bach’s solo C major suite and after the “Kol Nidrei”

           the gavotte from another solo suite. “It was a memorable performance... notable

           ... for breadth and the simplicity of a perfectly concealed art.”

                                                                            New York Times, Dec. 14, 1914

1/18/1915       New York, NY     Pablo Casals                  No. 3 / all        Recital with Harold Bauer

           Casals and Bauer played sonatas by Beethoven (A Major) and Brahms (F Major).

           “Mr. Casals... played in New York a dozen years ago, and since then has greatly

           enhanced his reputation in Europe. It was well that he should be introduced to

           the more serious New York public in a recital so exceedingly favorable to the

           finest qualities of his art... . In the solo suite by Bach he played with beautiful

           refinement and flexibility, with ease and the authority of an assured master."

                                                                            New York Times, Jan. 18, 1915

           “The unaccompanied Bach number of the programme, in which Casals showed,

           probably for the first time in America, what the ’cello really is, was listened to with

           almost breathless attention, yet one could not help wishing that the piano could

           have been heard in this number too."

                                                                            Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Jan. 19, 1915, p. 7

1/24/1915      New York, NY        Pablo Casals                No. 1 / all      Recital with Harold Bauer

           “… Mr. Casals was heard in Bach’s G major solo suite, of which he played the

           seven movements; and there was in his playing exquisite repose, clarity, breadth

           of utterance, and especially a rhythmic incisiveness that give it an intense vitality.

           Mr. Casals’s strongest point in this performance was not his depth or richness of

           tone; but it was nobly beautiful in the true spirit of Bach.”

                                                                            New York Times, Jan. 24, 1915

2/12/1915     Baltimore, MD       Pablo Casals               No. 3 / all?     Peabody Recital

           “An event of the greatest musical importance… It is doubtful if any richer, rounder,

           or more vibrant tone has been heard here, and in the Bach suite, especially, his

           playing suggested the performance of a string quartet rather than a solo instrument.

           His playing, too, is characterized by not a single mood, but by many, so that his

           readings were not mere performances, but actual interpretations, imaginative,

           stirring and arresting. …a genius…”     Baltimore Sun, Feb. 13, 1915, p. 4

2/21/1915     Chicago, IL              Pablo Casals               No. 3 / all?    Recital with Harold Bauer

           “However little some persons may have enjoyed certain parts of the program

           yesterday, …Their moments of comparative boredom they attributed to the

           composers. Thus various persons found the Bach suite, which Mr. Casals played

           alone, a tiresome and pretentious effort to write a solo for an instrument which

           is not a solo instrument.”                     Ronald Webster in Chicago Tribune, Feb. 22, 1915

           "Such a work is almost always viewed with suspicion by those who have spent

           horrible half hours with unaccompanied instrumental solos. … Casal’s [sic]

           performance of the Bach suite a week ago was a mistake.”

                                                                           Chicago Tribune, March 1, 1915

2/28/1915   Boston, MA               Pablo Casals               No. 3 / all     Recital with Harold Bauer

           “…Mr Casals will play Bach’s suite in C major for violoncello alone. This is in six parts,                       Prelude, Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Bourree and Gigue.”

                                                                           Boston Globe, Feb. 28, 1915, p. 59 

           “…Mr Casals plays Bach with a style worthy of greater reverence, but since a member

           of the Heavenly host hardly could escape the deadly monotony of a violoncello in

           figured music, there is some regret at not hearing an artist of Mr Casals’ noble gifts

           in more of the beauties of sustained song.”

                                                                           Boston Globe, March 1, 1915

           “Casals playing of the Bach suite was a genuine revelation of the ’cello’s power, such

           as the music-lover in Boston is privileged to witness only once in two or three

           decades. How the audience applauded it!”

                                                                           Boston Journal, March 1, 1915

9/21/1915    --                              Pablo Casals           No. 3  Bourree   Columbia recording

            Casals's Bach recording receives top billing in “October Records” ad for new

            Columbia releases (seen in Scranton Republican and other papers)

12/6/1915     Detroit, MI          Pablo Casals            No. 3 / 3 mvts   Recital with Harold Bauer

           “Mr. Casals will then take the stage to play without accompaniment, Bach’s suite in

           C major, consisting of allemande, sarabande and gigue.”

                                                                            Detroit Free Press, Dec. 5, 1915, p. 68

           “His rendition of the not particularly emotional Bach suite was art at its finest, and

           won him immense applause.”             Detroit Free Press, Dec. 7, 1915, p. 6

11/1916    Cambridge, MA*    Alwin Schroeder         No. 1 / ?         Harvard University*

            During the 1916-1917 season, a five-concert series under the direction of pianist

            Arthur Whiting was given at *Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. The first concert,

            titled “Music for violin, ’cello, and piano," included Bach's Suite in No. 1 in

            G major. Whiting and violinist Albert Spalding performed in other works on

            the program. (The Musician, Vol. XXII, No. 7, July, 1917, p. 1/491)

3/2/1918   New York, NY       Pablo Casals              No. 5 / ?             Aeolian Hall recital

 

? / 1918      New York. NY       Paulo Gruppe.          No. 6? / ?           Aeolian Hall recital

2/12/1919    Boston, MA        Alwin Schroeder       No. 3 / ?            Jordan Hall recital 

           “It is now a late day to speak of Mr Schroeder’s ability as a ’cellist. ... His program

           yesterday, a conventional one, and of a pattern correct and approved, consisted of

           music classic and modern. Boellmann’s symphonic variations are expected on a

           ’cello recital program, so also an unaccompanied suite of dances from Bach.

           Mr Schroeder played the third. A sonata from Locatelli and a group of shorter

           pieces followed. The audience was large and friendly.”

                                                                             Boston Globe, Feb. 13, 1919, p. 5

4/11/1920   New Britain, CT Pablo Casals           No. 3 / 3 mvts    Fox Theatre recital

 

           Casals played the Prelude, Bouree[s], and Gigue, per the written program.

11/4/1921    New York, NY    Boris Hambourg          No. 1 / all ?         Aeolian Hall recital

           “The ’cellist was Boris Hambourg, …whose fine playing in every way justified his

           appearance. …displayed a beautiful tone, a high order of technical ability and a

           delicate sense of nuances. The three most important numbers on his program

           were Marcello’s Sonata in F major, Bach’s Suite No. 1 in G major, unaccompanied,

           and Eugen d’Albert’s Concerto in C major Op. 20.”

                                                                            New York Tribune, Nov. 5, 1921, p. 10

                               

1/7/1922    New York, NY     Pablo Casals                  No. 3 / all ?          Aeolian Hall recital  

     

          “Mr. Casals founds his art upon Bach, of whose music he is an unsurpassed

          interpreter. Yesterday he began his program with two important works by the

          great master; the sonata in G major, with accompaniment of the piano, and the

          unaccompanied suite in C major. Both of these he played with an extraordinary

          beauty of style, with poetic insight, with an ease and fluency that made light of

          difficulties, and with a rhythmic quality that kept the vitality of the music

          undimmed.”                                             Richard Aldrich in New York Times

4/17/1924   Boston, MA       Alwin Schroeder    Nos. 2, 1, 5, 6, 3 / 6    Jordan Hall recital

          Schroeder's Bach grouping was D minor Prelude, G Major Menuetto, C minor

          Sarabande, G Major Courante, and D Major Gavotte. He “added a Bach bourree

          after his Bach group… His tone, like that of all first-rate cellists, was consistently

          free from the slobbering syrupy sweetness that makes the cello an instrument

          of torture in the hands of must amateurs and many professionals. Nor did he

          court bigness and harshness of tone at the expense of suavity and sonority.”

                                                                              Boston Globe, April 18, 1924, p. 12

2/10/1925  Boston, MA        Pablo Casals              No. 5 / 4 mvts?        Symphony Hall


           For his Boston farewell recital (he planned to spend the following seasons in

           Europe), Casals may have played an abridged version of the fifth suite, because

           (only) four movements are mentioned specifically in the Globe review: Prelude,

           Sarabande, Bourree, and Gigue. “’Cellist Stirs Crowd With Bach Suite ...

           “To hear Casals play Bach’s Suite in C minor without accompaniment was to

           have accorded one of the greatest pleasures of the present season. Here in a

           great work a great artist reached his apogee.”

                                                                              Boston Globe, Feb. 11, 1925, p. 21

12/10/1925  Boston, MA      Alwin Schroeder        Nos. 1, 3, 6 / 5     Jordan Hall recital                  

          With this recital Schroeder marked the 50th anniversary of his solo debut as a

          cellist (Berlin, 1875).  “There followed a suite by Bach, made up by Mr Schroeder

          from three of Bach’s suites. It included the Prelude and Allemande from the

          suite in G major, the Sarabande and Bourree from the one in C major and a

          Gigue in D major. Seldom has music for cello alone sounded more convincing.

          Unlike some of his younger fellow cellists, Mr Schroeder does not conceive

          Bach as full of large sound. His quiet playing at once a relief and a joy and the

          eloquence of the Sarabande, the gentle exuberance of the Bourree, brought

          forth much applause.”                            Boston Globe, Dec. 11, 1925, p. 18