Author Topic: Bach Cello Suites  (Read 169420 times)

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Offline Madiel

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Re: Bach Cello Suites
« Reply #720 on: May 10, 2022, 02:13:48 PM »
I’ve already referenced the practical: live performances are different to recordings.

Honestly, if orchestras started reassigning parts to different instruments we'd never hear the end of it. But for some reason when it comes to music for only 1 or 2 performers, people start acting as if the words at the front of the stave aren’t part of the score anymore.
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Offline Madiel

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Re: Bach Cello Suites
« Reply #721 on: May 10, 2022, 02:52:49 PM »
As to the other point, a “modern cello” is still a cello. The clue is in how people kept the name as the instrument developed. But more generally, the question of replacing obsolete instruments with modern ones (while interesting) is quite a different question to replacing a cello with a lute. Bach knew what a lute was.
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Offline San Antone

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Re: Bach Cello Suites
« Reply #722 on: May 10, 2022, 04:33:55 PM »
I’ve already referenced the practical: live performances are different to recordings.

A performance is a performance.  I must have missed how you arrived at this distinction, I came late to this thread.  But if you don't want to clarify it, that's probably better at this point.

Quote
Honestly, if orchestras started reassigning parts to different instruments we'd never hear the end of it. But for some reason when it comes to music for only 1 or 2 performers, people start acting as if the words at the front of the stave aren’t part of the score anymore.

Whatever the reason, the Bach cello suites have been performed in transcription often and over a long period of time.  I don't make a habit of railing against reality.  I simply choose to listen to these performances or ignore them - but I happen to enjoy some of them.

As to the other point, a “modern cello” is still a cello. The clue is in how people kept the name as the instrument developed. But more generally, the question of replacing obsolete instruments with modern ones (while interesting) is quite a different question to replacing a cello with a lute. Bach knew what a lute was.

Good.  At least your philosophical argument does have limits.   ;)    I did stipulate, "taken to the extreme."

Offline Ras

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Re: Bach Cello Suites
« Reply #723 on: May 15, 2022, 08:02:15 AM »
I don't have any objection in principle to transcriptions of the cello suites, since Bach himself was hardly averse to adapting his and other music to various instruments and combinations. However I've never heard a transcription of the suites that's very compelling at all. I find comparisons between "modern" and HIP performances (gut vs steel, Baroque vs modern) to be far more interesting and worthwhile.

I like Rachel Podger's arrangement for solo violin of Bach's Cello Suites.

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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Bach Cello Suites
« Reply #724 on: July 07, 2022, 02:10:39 PM »
I regularly keep myself updated as to new recordings of the suites, and the newest I have heard was made by Valentin Erben (born 1945), the cellist of the legendaric Alban Berg Qt.

All the suites are recorded on a standard cello with modern setup. His intonation is impeccable, his tone is mellow and sweet, and he restricts the dynamics to range between pp and f. He uses an almost continual but relatively tight, narrow vibrato (to quote DizzyD's description of Starkers vibrato) but generally his vibrato is less dominant than Starkers. Unfortunately I don't have a grade in modern history, so I am not qualified to judge whether he uses too much or too little vibrato. Erben's playing is more expressive than Starkers, his tempi often a bit slower and the notes more individually inflected. I would characterize the interpretation as intimate and introvert. It's one of the  most rewarding interpretations with modern setup I have heard, and I have heard many. Eagerly recommended.

Erbens son, Sebastian Erben, plays between the suites some of Bach's shorter organ chorales on an uninteresting modern generic sounding organ. His playing is solid but unremarcable. The chorales have no real function in this context and may be skipped.

https://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/die-cellosuiten-orgelchoraele/hnum/10873367
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Offline Madiel

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Re: Bach Cello Suites
« Reply #725 on: July 07, 2022, 03:03:06 PM »
You were the one who advocated for formal qualifications being required to judge musical performance. Not anyone else. So that little piece of snark was wholly unnecessary.
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Re: Bach Cello Suites
« Reply #726 on: July 07, 2022, 09:30:13 PM »
I argued that one must have the relevant prerequisites. Why else do we have musicologists if we only need historians?
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Offline Madiel

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Re: Bach Cello Suites
« Reply #727 on: July 07, 2022, 09:52:02 PM »
Yes you did argue it. But I did NOT argue that one must have a modern history degree.

And I don’t propose to discuss this matter any further.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach Cello Suites
« Reply #728 on: July 30, 2022, 10:52:02 AM »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

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Re: Bach Cello Suites
« Reply #729 on: August 01, 2022, 05:54:04 AM »
Has anyone heard Annlies Schmidt? I ask because apparently she follows the Anna Magdalena phrasing.

I plan to listen to a couple of suites from her recording while looking in the Anna Magdalena manuscript at the same time.
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Offline San Antone

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Re: Bach Cello Suites
« Reply #730 on: August 01, 2022, 08:11:58 AM »
Marianne Dumas

Marianne began her researches in 2011. She first investigated the technique, posture and resonance of the instrument always using the Bach Cello Suites as a reference. In 2014, as she was still looking for more answers, Marianne moved to Berlin and started to work full time on her project. Once in Berlin, she first worked with makers of baroque instruments, had encounters with baroque specialists, made her research in libraries including the research institut for musicology of Berlin. Following this process, she wrote a publication about the violoncello, its origin, technique, set -up and evolution. She also made a new edition of the Bach Cello Suites and recorded it with the instruments of the project (full baroque set up).

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/2NCwVVr4CkA" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/2NCwVVr4CkA</a>

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Re: Bach Cello Suites
« Reply #731 on: August 01, 2022, 10:12:17 AM »
Marianne Dumas

Is she hot on the trail of something important, or has she been lead astray?
As soon as a word has left the lips, not even the fastest horse can catch up with it.

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Bach Cello Suites
« Reply #732 on: August 06, 2022, 09:24:29 AM »
Has anyone heard Annlies Schmidt? I ask because apparently she follows the Anna Magdalena phrasing.

Having listened to suites 1, 2 and 3 of Annlies Schmidt's recording I can state the following:

She largely follows Anna Magdalena's articulation indications. Where they are difficult to interprete she makes a qualified guess and in a few places where they are missing she adds them in Anna Magdalena's spirit. It works very well.

Other than that she plays a cello with modern setup. Fortunately she avoids excessive vibrato. Many of her tempi are very fast (preludes, courantes and gigues), and she opts for efficiency and "Notentreue" rather than for expressivity. The sound is mono and relatively dated for its time (1957//58). For musical reasons the set can be recommended to listeners with special interest in the suites.
As soon as a word has left the lips, not even the fastest horse can catch up with it.