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Bach Cello Suites

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Que:
There has been quite a discussion on the Listening thread on several recordings of Bach's cello suites.
As self appointed custodian of this thread that deals with this topic I'll repost some of the comments for easy reference in the future! ;D Instead of it all being burried for eternity in the listening thread.

Comments on Bijlsma & Wispelwey:


--- Quote from: SonicMan on September 13, 2007, 05:48:00 AM ---Bach Cello Suites w/ Anner Bylsma using the Servais Stradivarius Cello from the Smithsonian collection of instruments; I've probably had a half dozen or so recordings of these suites over the years - now own this one & the Rostropovich set - Bylsma is my favorite at the moment (recorded in 1992 - excellent sound).   :D


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--- Quote from: George on September 13, 2007, 04:24:27 PM ---Indeed, it is lovely!  :)

Have you heard his student, Wispelwey? He has a gorgeous, introspective take on these works.
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--- Quote from: SonicMan on September 13, 2007, 06:02:03 PM ---George - for those following this 'sub-thread' on the Bach Cello Suites, the Wispelwey recordings do look quite appealing (plus only $14 from Caiman!) - 5* reviews from the Amazonians except for one poor rating (and similarly poor comments).  Hmmm - for that price, I might put that set on my 'wish list'!   :D


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--- Quote from: Que on September 13, 2007, 05:18:35 PM ---Either one of them (Bijlsma or Wispelwey) would be a really excellent choice for a HIP recording, Bill. I'm a Bijlsma man myself (2nd rec. on Sony, that Dave mentioned).
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--- Quote from: George on September 13, 2007, 05:44:29 PM ---I agree that they are both nice, though I give the edge to Wispelwey.
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--- Quote from: Valentino on September 13, 2007, 09:56:19 PM --- When I was buying my first cello suite set I listened to Ma and the Bijlsma Servais, and preferred the Bijlsma. Today I also have the earlier Bijlsma and Starker (on Mercury Living Presence). I think I like the earlier Bijlsma the most, but maybe one of the other two next week. Very good interpretatons all three. None are for sale.
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--- Quote from: Bogey on September 13, 2007, 05:50:19 PM ---Just compared the Casals Pearl, the Bijlsma and the Wispelwey.  Bijlsma seemed to suit me best out of the three, though the Wispelwey has a very unique approach (?) that might be nice to have also and would be more "contrasting" when next to my Ma set.
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Que:
Comments on Casals:


--- Quote from: Bogey on September 13, 2007, 05:23:20 PM ---What "historical" transfer do you enjoy Que?
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--- Quote from: Que on September 13, 2007, 05:29:57 PM ---Pablo Casals - on Pearl, which is a particularly good transfer and has some "bonus" tracks in the form of transcriptons. It's OOP, I believe George was very satisfied with the transfer on Opus Kura.

 
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--- Quote from: George on September 13, 2007, 05:43:35 PM ---Indeed he was. He also has the Pearl (from my local library).

I just compared them side by side. The Pearl has a bit more noise, the cello sounds more realistic and the bass is more present. The Opus Kura is just as clear with less noise and sounds slightly less realistic, with some lacking bass. Nonetheless, the Opus Kura sounds fine, I don't think you'll be disappointed, Bill. It sure beats that horrific EMI version. BTW, I got mine through ArchivMusic.
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Que:
Comments on Paolo Beschi:


--- Quote from: Que on September 13, 2007, 06:19:33 PM ---So what do you guys make of this recording by Paolo Beschi? (click picture)
Another favourite of mine and IMO every bit as good as Bijlsma or Wispelwey, though different. Only recently I bought Beschi, which I would not recommend to those starting out with these pieces: adventurous but also very intense and focused. Quite different from Bijlsma and very "fresh" sounding to my ears - therefore an addition I value very much.
(Click picture for link the Amazon.com)



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(I merged three of my posts!)


--- Quote from: George on September 13, 2007, 06:21:36 PM ---Whoa! This guy breaks the speed limit! :o
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(etc. etc.)


--- Quote from: Que on September 14, 2007, 12:27:46 AM ---No superficiality, but it's fleet in the quick movements, which makes the suites as whole "dance".
Like I said, this really is for "progresed listening" - close familiarity with these pieces helps to take the "leap" to this take.

Saw this editorial comment on Amazon.com, which I agree with:

By now, we've heard Bach's six cello suites so many times from so many different performers, things are starting to get blurry. Pablo Casals still owns the definitive--and first--recorded cycle, while János Starker felt the need to record the suites four times, and Yo-Yo Ma did 'em twice. But then, out of nowhere, Italian Paolo Beschi comes along on the German upstart label Winter & Winter with a performance that sounds so damn good that Bach suddenly seems fresh all over again. Beschi's bow action is quick, but his playing is exquisite; simply put, he makes the instrument sing. It helps when you consider how few cellists in the history of classical music have been recorded this perfectly. You can literally hear Beschi's deep breathing during the more demanding later suites. And, though period instruments are one thing, this disc even boasts a period studio--a 17th-century Italian villa. Some listeners may consider this mic'ing too close for comfort, but for those already familiar with the cello suites, it's a gorgeous package. With its dark, woodsy, and oh-so-sonically detailed sound, you'll feel like Beschi is in your living room. --Jason Verlinde


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--- Quote from: DavidW on September 14, 2007, 01:28:44 AM ---Fantantastic Que!  Beschi might sound fast, but he's not actually as fast as he sounds, he's actually just about right for tempo.  The slower stuff sounds austere when it should, he elevates the rhythmic drive in the faster movements but never loses the smoky, dreamy quality of the cello suites.  This has to go on my to buy list! :)

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--- Quote from: Que on September 14, 2007, 02:10:09 AM ---David, fully agree with those keen observations. He highlights rhythmics contrast - between movements, but also within movements. And like you say: not by playing just faster, but also through phrasing.

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Valentino:

--- Quote from: Valentino on September 14, 2007, 01:03:44 AM ---Uh oh. I need that one.

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Que:
Valentino, yes of course - I forgot that!  ;D

Hope you enjoy it. But given your taste for gutsy Italian baroque musicians, I think it will suit you. :)

Q

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