As student guitarists, we learned that J. S. Bach wrote four suites and a number of miscellaneous pieces for the lute, now played on the guitar. Wikipedia reads:” Bach composed a suite and several other works for solo lute.” You know what I am going to say next–perhaps you should sit down…: A more up-to-date reading of the evidence would be that Bach did not write any music specifically intended for solo lute.
The apocryphal lute works lie well within the confines of Bach’s established keyboard style, and other than a poorly thought-out arrangement, ill-suited to the instrument and worked-out at the keyboard (BWV 995, Suite in G minor), almost nothing from the composer really links them to the lute. Recent scholarship and the work of a number of makers and players of 18th Century-style keyboards have made it obvious that Bach wrote the music for, and probably at, the lute-harpsichord. The real story is everything that happened after his death that connects the works in question to the lute.
I love Bach’s “works for lute.” I quote the preceding phrase because, as this article explains, they weren’t written for lute. I’ve known these works since I was a teenager, first fiddling with the frets of a guitar, and I have listened to them so many times I can almost hum them. I was only ever able to play one of them, the Prelude BWV 999. But one day, perhaps, I may go back and try and play more of them. (Actually, some of the movements aren’t extremely difficult.)