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Suites for a suffering world

Tanja Tetzlaff cello

The German cellist Tanja Tetzlaff performs J.S. Bach’s Cello Suites Nos. 4 and 5 amid natural surroundings devastated by climate change. Beauty confronts its own destruction. Do we really want to watch without lifting a finger?

Melting glaciers, desertified landscapes, flooded communities: climate change is having an alarming impact even in Europe. What are we humans doing to this wonderful planet? Aghast at the depredation and destruction of our unique ecosystems, the renowned German cellist Tanja Tetzlaff wants to ask Nature for forgiveness. She travels with her instrument to places in Europe where climate change has already become reality and visibly dealt severe wounds. Surrounded by sometimes bizarre scenery, she performs Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cello Suites Nos. 4 and 5, contrasting them with works specially composed for her by Thorsten Encke. She levels accusations, stokes resistance, and touches us with her virtuoso playing. The beauty of the music stands in sharp contrast to the often-dramatic images of damaged Nature, combatting the finality of destruction. A moving musical and visual plea for greater care and humility toward the beauty of our planet – at once ravishing and disturbing.


Recorded at Aletsch Glacier (Switzerland), Cernon Forest (France), Harz Forest (Germany), Lac de Brenets (France/Switzerland), Theatre La Scene (Strasbourg/France), Rhone Glacier (Switzerland), Soulac-sur-Mer (France)


J.S. Bach: Cello Suites Nos. 4 and 5; Encke: Cracks, Clouds


Prog. No.
Music genre
70 mins
Lenght short
Stéphan Aubé
Apollofilm in coproduction with Libelo Productions
Production year