minorrevival

Bach cello suites

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I came across a new recording of the cello suites - anyone heard of this chap? Worth a go do you think? The price seems reasonable for a three record set...

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It's a 2 CD set or 3 LPs.

Might be good, might be bad - not an 'established' artist.

Very interesting that this new release is being made available on LP though as well as CD and download!

I want mine on 8 track tape and six 78 rpm shellac discs !! :P

Curious that there aren't any download samples from that site.

Speedwise, he seems quite variable. For the 1st suite, comparing with Fournier and Ma for each movement ...

Enders:-- 2:06 4:57 2:48 3:22 3:14 1:29

Fournier: 2:50 4:18 2:45 3:21 3:28 2:03

Ma: ------ 2:31 3:46 2:26 2:56 3:05 1:48

Enders is very fast for the 1st and last mvts, but then slooow for the 2nd mvt Allemande - which indicates to me a very 'emotive' performance.

And then there's Onczay, perhaps my own favourite, who follows the same kind of timing as Enders ...

------------ 2:27 5:19 2:40 3:24 3:19 1:40

... he slows down even more for the Allemande! - very intense, but not quite as fast as Enders in the end-stop mvts.

I'd probably like the Enders; I enjoy a bit of emotional participation and interpretation from the performer(s). :)

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Thanks for the information Jerry - you're quite the expert!

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Rostropovich and Casals aren't bad either! The latter is an historic mono recording of course, but well worth investigating. Have heard Isserlis perform some of them live, absolutely wonderful.

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I've got Steven Isserlis's performance on the Hyperion label. I find it to be a very intense, raw performance, as it's very close mike'd. Compared to the Fournier & Casals recordings I've got, which have a bit more space to them. The tempo differs between performances, but my (admittedly limited) understanding of music of that era was that there was a fair bit of scope for the performers to interpret the music wrt tempo & detail as the scores were never totally prescriptive?

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I've got Steven Isserlis's performance on the Hyperion label. I find it to be a very intense, raw performance, as it's very close mike'd. Compared to the Fournier & Casals recordings I've got, which have a bit more space to them. The tempo differs between performances, but my (admittedly limited) understanding of music of that era was that there was a fair bit of scope for the performers to interpret the music wrt tempo & detail as the scores were never totally prescriptive?

Absolutely right Matt. The scores were certainly not prescriptive, and much music of the time was played by musicians available at the particular moment, so no two performances were the same. Bach's Art of Fugue is a good example, the scoring was left deliberately to the performers to decide.

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We too have the Isserlis. In fact we only have the Isserlis, which is odd since there is a cellist in the house... maybe because Isserlis doesn't leave you wanting more. We have had the Ma recording, also great.

Haven't heard of this cellist but if I were looking for lesser known alternative recordings of the suites, I would hunt out Wen Sin Yang... He has technical prowess to burn but is a wonderfully sensitive musician. consequently his performance of the suites sounds effortless, producing great articulation and openness. The other would be Gavriel Lipkind. I understand he took quite some time persevering with an instrument that was very difficult to play, believing it held qualities worth persevering for. His tone is deep, rich and chocolatey. He is a musician with virtually supernatural technique who appears to pursue his career like a mystical odyssey.

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p.s. a discussion of the 6 suites is not complete without mentioning Pieter Wispelway, who has recorded them 3 times to date.

Good call. Worth investigation.

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You can't have too many versions of the cello suites, but it is Isserlis I listen to as much as the other nine versions altogether (rather more if you include lute, viola, double bass and shoulder cello versions). But they all have wonderful qualities which help to bring a fuller appreciation of this extraordinary music.

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The scores were certainly not prescriptive, and much music of the time was played by musicians available at the particular moment, so no two performances were the same. Bach's Art of Fugue is a good example, the scoring was left deliberately to the performers to decide.

Some interpretations are looser than others. :D

[video=youtube;kf9Nso788V8]

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I love both Rostropovich and Fournier, which are very different interpretations and recordings, and recently I've acquired the Starker set. I've not really digested this yet, but the dramatic intensity and pace are quite different to the grandeur and breadth of Rostropovich or the earthy depth of the Fournier.

I've always wanted to hear the Maisky set; I heard him perform the complete suites and sonatas once, and it was his recording of the sonatas with Martha Argerich that really cemented my love of Bach a long time ago. Just today I picked it up in a charity shop, but it is the 1985 recording. I think it is a later recording of his which is on Spotify. I started listening to this recently and first impressions were superb. His D Minor Prelude has incredible gravity and passion.

I must listen to the Isserlis, since it is so popular here.

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Partial to Janos Starker myself.

:^

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