Prelude from Bach's Cello Suite No. 1 in G major, BWV 1007

August 30, 2007 at 03:17 AM · Does anyone know of a good trascription for the violin for the Prelude from Bach's Cello Suite No. 1 in G major, BWV 1007? Please let me know if you do. I have always loved with piece, and would like to one day play it on the violin. I guess it would be a simple thing to adapt to the violin, but I presume someone has already done so and that this is readily available???

Replies (11)

August 30, 2007 at 04:02 AM · If you go to you can purchase rather inexpensively a transcription of all the Bach cello suites for violin and download it immediately to your computer. You can join as a yearly member to the site with unlimited downloads or you can just download a piece at a time (more expensive by far if you use the site alot)

August 30, 2007 at 10:42 AM · The suites are available at including a transcription for violin - just scroll down the page a whiles until you get to 'em.

Here's the link direct to the PDF file of the violin transcription of all the suites: While this is the link to just the first suite BWV 1007 for cello or viola or violin:


August 30, 2007 at 01:13 PM · The Icking archive is the place to go, and it is free. Whatever you do do not buy the Riccordi edition because it is very heavily edited. Enjoy!

August 30, 2007 at 01:46 PM · I agree with avoiding the Recordi edition. Tom is right! Print out the free Icking edition!

August 30, 2007 at 02:05 PM · Thank you very, very much!

August 30, 2007 at 03:34 PM · I think the Cello suites sound better on the viola than on the violin. In fact, I like them more on the viola than on the cello! Just my personal opinion.

August 31, 2007 at 09:32 PM · Thanks Tom, I could have done with your advice before I bought it a while ago! Surprisingly this (i.e. Ricordi) was the only (and apparently best!?) complete transcription I could find online (i.e. to have shipped, not electronic).

As for the free Icking ones, well they are good for a start, but they don't seem to have any bowings or suggested dynamics. Whereas the Ricordi version represents the extreme in terms or editions, these seem to be the opposite.

Incidentally, Kevin, I think this piece is "best" on the cello, followed by the viola, and then violin. I only play the latter though! IMHO this raises an interesting point about playing "arrangements", which has no doubt been covered in other threads. That is, are there cases where the (re-)arrangement surpasses the original?

August 31, 2007 at 11:32 PM · Some of the transcriptions by Kreisler, I think, are more popular than the original.

September 3, 2007 at 04:05 PM · " this raises an interesting point about playing "arrangements", which has no doubt been covered in other threads. That is, are there cases where the (re-)arrangement surpasses the original?"

I think that all keyboard works for 3 single note voices (JSBach- 3 part inventions, organ trio sonatas...)

and the flute or violin sonatas where the keyboard plays the 2 lower voices,

sound better with a different instrument on each voice.

The parts stand out clearly and the piece becomes

an ensemble chamber work.

(Did you ever hear Bachs 3 part inv. #11 sung by the Swingle Singers in the 60s. That really opened my ears to beauty of those pieces.)

In this day of midi files and notation programs, it becomes pretty easy to arrange multi-voice piano pieces into parts for each voice.

September 3, 2007 at 09:22 PM · The suites are great. I think they're great to use in teaching as an enterance into Bach solo repertiore. My teacher took me through them before starting me on the sonatas.

I still play through some of them almost every day. They are just simple, perfect pieces that sound beautiful on the violin (or viola, or cello!). For me, they never get old. :)

September 4, 2007 at 11:43 AM · I've been learning this piece, actually the entire Suite #1, on the viola, and I agree with Kevin, I like it best on the viola . . . although I'm biased since I don't play cello.

However, I recently tried the prelude and some of the other movements on the violin, and I think that some work better than others. For example, the Courante (3rd movement of the 1st suite), sounds really lively and sprightly on the violin. I was pleasantly surprised and would recommend it especially, more so than the Allemande, for example.

And I wouldn't recommend playing the prelude to suite #2 on the violin. It's too dark and brooding and loses some of that.

I play the arrangement for viola (Schirmer edition) on the violin as if it were a viola, which would make the pieces an octave and a fifth up from the cello originals, I assume. Is that how they are standardly arranged for the violin?

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