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The Music Room => Great Recordings and Reviews => Topic started by: Que on September 14, 2007, 06:39:03 AM

Title: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Que on September 14, 2007, 06:39:03 AM
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:

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

(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/41HQ3VXXH0L._AA240_.jpg)

Indeed, it is lovely!  :)

Have you heard his student, Wispelwey? He has a gorgeous, introspective take on these works.

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

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41MNNKXW26L._AA240_.jpg)

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).

I agree that they are both nice, though I give the edge to Wispelwey.

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.

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.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Que on September 14, 2007, 06:45:30 AM
Comments on Casals:

What "historical" transfer do you enjoy Que?

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.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/410CZ25QE0L._AA240_.jpg)  (http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/60/503860.jpg)

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.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Que on September 14, 2007, 07:06:56 AM
Comments on Paolo Beschi:

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)


(http://www.winterandwinter.com/typo3temp/pics/84c1bf6408.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Cello-Suites-Paolo-Beschi/dp/B00000F1S4/ref=sr_1_2/002-2454004-1034404?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1189739746&sr=1-2)
(I merged three of my posts!)

Whoa! This guy breaks the speed limit! :o
(etc. etc.)

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



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! :)

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.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Valentino on September 14, 2007, 07:50:07 AM
Uh oh. I need that one.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Que on September 14, 2007, 08:05:54 AM
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
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Valentino on September 14, 2007, 08:47:03 AM
I must say you look young and handsome these days. Q!
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: DavidW on September 14, 2007, 03:30:41 PM
Yeah I'm going to put that Beschi set on my short list, I guess the October orders along with the Haydn Masses and the Clementi Symphonies. :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on September 14, 2007, 04:35:19 PM
Just noticed you guys carried that Bach cello suites tangent from the WAYLT thread here. Here's my contribution copied from that thread:


(http://www.winterandwinter.com/typo3temp/pics/84c1bf6408.jpg)



This is a great one, Q. And speeds - they do the trick for me. In fact, other 'notables' from the past have tended to sound too slow to me.

Another favorite (perhaps tops) is Ophélie Gaillard on Ambroisie. Hers is a lyrical approach which plays up the flowing, rhythmic pulse of the music while giving ample room for the playful angularity of the writing to sound out.


(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/5106BZJSCDL._SS500_.jpg)



Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: George on September 14, 2007, 04:39:25 PM

This is a great one, Q. And speeds - they do the trick for me. In fact, other 'notables' from the past have tended to sound too slow to me.

Another favorite (perhaps tops) is Ophélie Gaillard on Ambroisie. Hers is a lyrical approach which plays up the flowing, rhythmic pulse of the music while giving ample room for the playful angularity of the writing to sound out.


(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/5106BZJSCDL._SS500_.jpg)


Just checked amazon for a price: http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Suites-Violoncello-senza-Basso/dp/B00008OTMQ/ref=sr_1_4/002-1502309-0092050?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1189820209&sr=8-4 (http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Suites-Violoncello-senza-Basso/dp/B00008OTMQ/ref=sr_1_4/002-1502309-0092050?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1189820209&sr=8-4)

 :o :o :o
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Que on September 14, 2007, 07:39:14 PM
Another favorite (perhaps tops) is Ophélie Gaillard on Ambroisie. Hers is a lyrical approach which plays up the flowing, rhythmic pulse of the music while giving ample room for the playful angularity of the writing to sound out.

Ah yes, she is a new rising star - didn't know she already did the Bach cello suites!
Thanks, donwyn, I'll check her out when the opportunity arises. Though I'm very satisfied with Bijlsma & Beschi.

EDIT: Just checked available online clips. My first impression is that this lovely lady is not for me. 8) Yes, I recognised why you said lyrical & flowing - but is much too fluid and smooth for me, with a "soft voice". I like more articulation (expression), and her take on rhythms doesn't feel "right" to me. It feels "off balance"/ not coherent enough for me - I personally like a player with a very firm grip on musical structure. To sum up: I'm missing some profundity.

Q
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on September 14, 2007, 08:19:03 PM
Another that caught my eye is this one! ;D Have you (or anybody else) heard it?

(http://www.outhere-music.com/data/cds/125/BIG.JPG)


Haven't heard this one, Q. The clip sounds interesting, though. Lots of color. His touch is light and feathery yet there's a strong sense of rhythm - like he's dancing on the fingerboard.

I'd pull the trigger but I know I don't need a third set...right?? 8)




Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Que on September 14, 2007, 08:22:31 PM
Haven't heard this one, Q. The clip sounds interesting, though. Lots of color. His touch is light and feathery yet there's a strong sense of rhythm - like he's dancing on the fingerboard.

I had exactly the same impression. And I'm very tempted as well. ;D
(with the special offer on Alpha at MDT and all that.. ::))

Q
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on September 17, 2007, 02:13:53 PM
Another that caught my eye is this one! ;D Have you (or anybody else) heard it?
(http://www.fugalibera.com/data/cds/125/BIG.JPG)

This is a remarkable and very individual interpretation. It is indeed dancing, with generally fast tempi and rhytmic energy even in the Sarabande´s, and Cocset plays with astonishing elegance and virtuosity. Miking is close, you can hear the noise from the left hand clearly, but this is not annoying at all, on the contrary it adds to the feeling of presence. The sound is dark and soft - almost seducing, and sometimes the instrument sounds more like a bass viola da gamba than like a a violoncello. Recommended without reservation.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Que on September 17, 2007, 09:18:57 PM
This is a remarkable and very individual interpretation. It is indeed dancing, with generally fast tempi and rhytmic energy even in the Sarabande´s, and Cocset plays with astonishing elegance and virtuosity. Miking is close, you can hear the noise from the left hand clearly, but this is not annoying at all, on the contrary it adds to the feeling of presence. The sound is dark and soft - almost seducing, and sometimes the instrument sounds more like a bass viola da gamba than like a a violoncello. Recommended without reservation.

Thanks for the comment, Premont. :) The things you say match the impressions that I got from just on line samples. The sound of the instrument was striking to me as well.
I guess I'm going for it - oh boy, oh boy! :o It seems I definitely moving towards a sizeable number of cello suites recordings..... Considering the fact I've also still Paolo Pandolfo (Glossa) on my list, who actually plays these on a viola da gamba instead of a baroque cello! (Must hear that and a superb musician).
I already have Casals, Bijlsma (2nd rec) & Beschi and I'm glad I hold back with buying in the past, because all additions are all new HIP performances! 8)

Q
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 02, 2007, 07:32:14 PM
Ah yes, she is a new rising star - didn't know she already did the Bach cello suites!
Thanks, donwyn, I'll check her out when the opportunity arises. Though I'm very satisfied with Bijlsma & Beschi.

EDIT: Just checked available online clips. My first impression is that this lovely lady is not for me. 8) Yes, I recognised why you said lyrical & flowing - but is much too fluid and smooth for me, with a "soft voice". I like more articulation (expression), and her take on rhythms doesn't feel "right" to me. It feels "off balance"/ not coherent enough for me - I personally like a player with a very firm grip on musical structure. To sum up: I'm missing some profundity.

Interesting you say that about Gaillard's too fluid/loose delivery, Q. That's exactly the impression I had when I first sat down with this set.

However, subsequent listenings confirm a strong hand at work, here. Nothing wayward or loose about her approach at all. Yes, she 'dances' more than others but it's a dance with a purpose. And along with that 'dancability' she keeps a tight reign on the bigger picture. Hers is an overarching concept with a clear idea of what's just around the next corner. But it takes hearing her out over entire passages to fully understand what she's up to. 

Give her a chance over the long haul and you'll see just how much 'grip' she really has! ;)



Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: FideLeo on October 02, 2007, 09:15:46 PM
EDIT: Just checked available online clips. My first impression is that this lovely lady is not for me. 8) Yes, I recognised why you said lyrical & flowing - but is much too fluid and smooth for me, with a "soft voice".

For a more solid, steady lady, check out Phoebe Carrai on Avie.   ;D
http://magnatune.com/artists/carrai (http://magnatune.com/artists/carrai)

(http://img161.imageshack.us/img161/6939/41kpav7194lss500qx7.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)


I have half of the Gaillard set (it was dirt cheap) but don't feel the need to hear the rest.
I also have half othe Beschi set (got it on special as well) and definitely want to finish the set. 
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mark on October 05, 2007, 02:18:42 PM
As I sit enraptured and enveloped by the truly beautiful sound (and playing) of this recording ...

(http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb31/idowords/Bach-Starker.jpg)

... I'm asking myself a simple question: Who is YOUR top choice for these remarkable cello works?

Casals?

Tortelier?

Isserlis?

A N Other?

Be good to have a discussion about this inspired body of work - not least, as I can see myself acquiring as many as half a dozen more interpretations in years to come. :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: George on October 05, 2007, 02:21:45 PM
(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41MNNKXW26L.jpg)


Much less extroverted than Starker/Fournier, which is how I like these works.  :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Bogey on October 05, 2007, 02:22:22 PM
(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51RP070DMCL._AA240_.jpg)

Ma is usually a third or fourth choice when it comes to choosing recordings featuring the cello, but for these he ranks first in my books.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mark on October 05, 2007, 02:23:37 PM
(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41MNNKXW26L.jpg)


Much less extroverted than Starker/Fournier, which is how I like these works.  :)

Baroque Cello? Isn't that the one with just five strings? If so, doesn't only the Fifth Cello Suite call for such an instrument?

I could be being completely ignorant here, so please, spare me a flaying. ;D
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: George on October 05, 2007, 02:33:12 PM
Baroque Cello? Isn't that the one with just five strings? If so, doesn't only the Fifth Cello Suite call for such an instrument?

I could be being completely ignorant here, so please, spare me a flaying. ;D

He plays a period instrument. Beyond that, I know nothing. You won't get any flaying from me, buddy.  :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mark on October 05, 2007, 02:35:55 PM
He plays a period instrument. Beyond that, I know nothing. You won't get any flaying from me, buddy.  :)

Just checked ... and I'm wrong. It's alleged that the Sixth Suite was the one that Bach said should be played on a five-string cello. Whether that's a Baroque Cello, I know not. ???
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: marvinbrown on October 05, 2007, 03:18:52 PM


  Mark, this is the only recording that I have of these fine works and I just love these performances:

  (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41J9P5JHW8L._SS500_.jpg)

  marvin
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mark on October 05, 2007, 03:51:10 PM

  Mark, this is the only recording that I have of these fine works and I just love these performances:

  (http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41J9P5JHW8L._SS500_.jpg)

  marvin

I have this, too, along with Kliegel's Naxos set, the Starker I've praised already and Meneses on Avie. I think Isserlis might be an interesting one to try out. Rudin's approach is interesting, a little dark in places for me, and perhaps he eases off the gas at times when I feel I want more oomph. :) Starker (and his pupil, Kliegel) give a little more of themselves, it seems, as though adding that extra ounce of expression. I rather like this, especially in the First and Second Suites.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: dtwilbanks on October 05, 2007, 03:53:00 PM
Not my go-to music, but I think I prefer Casals to Rostropovich and Starker, though Starker ain't bad.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mark on October 05, 2007, 03:53:45 PM
Not that I'm in a rush to get it, but does anyone have Starker on CD?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: dtwilbanks on October 05, 2007, 03:54:39 PM
Not that I'm in a rush to get it, but does anyone have Starker on CD?

Used to.  ;D
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mark on October 05, 2007, 03:56:19 PM
Used to.  ;D

RCA? Just seen that available on Amazon.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 05, 2007, 04:26:47 PM
For some quality Cello Suites banter, check this out... (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,1081.msg81260.html#msg81260)






Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Bonehelm on October 05, 2007, 07:34:02 PM
Jian Wang on DG.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mark on October 06, 2007, 12:23:58 AM
For some quality Cello Suites banter, check this out... (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,1081.msg81260.html#msg81260)

Excellent! Thanks for this. :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Que on October 06, 2007, 12:31:08 AM
Okay, okay, Que. No need to rub it in. ::)

;D

Oh, but I rather enjoyed that... ;)  ;D

BTW these Starker/Bach posts might interest you: http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,20.msg47134.html#msg47134 (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,20.msg47134.html#msg47134).

Q
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: marvinbrown on October 06, 2007, 01:07:20 AM

Rudin's approach is interesting, a little dark in places for me,

   thats why I like it so much  :)


  marvin
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Harry Collier on October 06, 2007, 01:40:10 AM
Not that I'm in a rush to get it, but does anyone have Starker on CD?

Yes. The 1957 recordings were issued by EMI in France in a boxed set at a ridiculous (cheap) price, coupled with the Johanna Marzty violin sonatas and partitas.

But, in the Bach cello works, I am a Casals man. One of the very few "no doubts or hesitation" recordings I posses.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Grazioso on October 06, 2007, 02:59:44 AM
Anyone heard this one?

(http://www.fugalibera.com/data/cds/125/BIG.JPG)

The audio clip is certainly interesting:

http://www.fugalibera.com/readmorecd.php?cd=125&label=alpha
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: FideLeo on October 06, 2007, 03:23:19 AM
Anyone heard this one?

(http://www.fugalibera.com/data/cds/125/BIG.JPG)

The audio clip is certainly interesting:

http://www.fugalibera.com/readmorecd.php?cd=125&label=alpha

Got it and like it.  Makes a satisfying listen and that is quite something, considering how saturated the market already is even for recordings on period instruments.

ps. For something less idiosyncratic, but equally ably played and superably recorded, may I recommend Hidemi Suzuki's more recent recording on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi.  It's an Amati instrument with a baroque setup which he used.  Available as hybrid SACD (http://www.sa-cd.net/showtitle/2979)'s.

 (http://img516.imageshack.us/img516/6471/41wwdsyfbzlss400hu6.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on October 06, 2007, 01:44:57 PM
Masolino, I own Suzukis first and very uninspired recording of the cello-suites. Do you think his second recording is that much better, as to justify a purchase??
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: BorisG on October 06, 2007, 03:57:52 PM
Wispelwey, Schiff.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: matti on October 06, 2007, 06:14:11 PM
Fournier.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: FideLeo on October 07, 2007, 12:55:02 AM
Masolino, I own Suzukis first and very uninspired recording of the cello-suites. Do you think his second recording is that much better, as to justify a purchase??

The second is appreciably better (more inflected and overall better thought out) than the first as far as I am concerned.  But then I don't find the first one to be "very uninspired" either - just straightforward and light on "interpretative touches" and that is fine with me.  So ymmv (your mileage may vary) I guess  ;D
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on October 07, 2007, 08:45:20 AM
Masolino, thanks, I shall consider Suzukis second set.
The situation may be the same as to Sigiswald Kuijkens recordings of the solo Sonatas and Suites for violin, as I own the first recording and am a bit hesitant as to the aquisition of his second recording. Even more as I own about 25 sets of the violin solo music already.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: FideLeo on October 07, 2007, 11:55:00 AM
Masolino, thanks, I shall consider Suzukis second set.
The situation may be the same as to Sigiswald Kuijkens recordings of the solo Sonatas and Suites for violin, as I own the first recording and am a bit hesitant as to the aquisition of his second recording. Even more as I own about 25 sets of the violin solo music already.

Dear premont,

Two sound examples from Suzuki II for your consideration - yvgapm. 
I not only like Sigiswald Kuijken's violin S&P's, but I like Wieland Kuijken's cello suites even more!   Suzuki's Bach is quite a different animal from the Kuijken (Arcana) but I find owning both to be a real pleasure, beautifully recorded as they both are.  :D
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on October 07, 2007, 12:32:51 PM
Dear Masolino, see PM.
Yes Wieland Kuijkens cello suites are perhaps the most introspective ever recorded, and still within the frame of a true baroque concept. I like them very much too. They are like nothing else.

But my question was, if you in a similar way think, that Sigiswald Kuijkens second set is a must-have, seen in the light of the fact that I already own his first set.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: FideLeo on October 07, 2007, 12:52:22 PM
But my question was, if you in a similar way think, that Sigiswald Kuijkens second set is a must-have, seen in the light of the fact that I already own his first set.

Hmm the two recordings by S. Kuijken are more contrasted from each other than the two Suzuki Bach recordings - what strikes me as detached and tense in the earlier one is considerably smoothed out and relaxed in the later.  I have read some critcism of the second set being bland and superficial, but then it may well be the more mature Kuijken preferring not to concern himself with musical point-making anymore.  I'lll see whether I can upload some examples later  :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: sidoze on October 07, 2007, 12:53:00 PM

Yes Wieland Kuijkens cello suites are perhaps the most introspective ever recorded, and still within the frame of a true baroque concept. I like them very much too. They are like nothing else.

sounds great but where can I find it? Checked amazon.com and hmv jp and didn't see it listed.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on October 07, 2007, 01:24:09 PM
sounds great but where can I find it? Checked amazon.com and hmv jp and didn't see it listed.

I got them from jpc a little more than half a year ago. They seem to be outsold at most sites now. But try here:
http://www4.fnac.com/Shelf/article.aspx?PRID=1576579&OrderInSession=1&Mn=24&SID=09633cff-5e78-a5aa-ebe8-e684a2fc16dc&Origin=FnacAff&Ra=-29&To=0&Nu=18&UID=0E0CE9A62-16A2-9256-13A2-706193E4DC8B&Fr=0
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on October 07, 2007, 01:27:01 PM
Hmm the two recordings by S. Kuijken are more contrasted from each other than the two Suzuki Bach recordings - what strikes me as detached and tense in the earlier one is considerably smoothed out and relaxed in the later.  I have read some critcism of the second set being bland and superficial, but then it may well be the more mature Kuijken preferring not to concern himself with musical point-making anymore.  I'lll see whether I can upload some examples later  :)

Thanks again, Masolino, seems as If it is a must-have.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Justin Ignaz Franz Bieber on October 07, 2007, 06:09:31 PM
I've already got more recordings of the cello suites than anything else but it looks like there are a bunch more good ones that I don't have! So far my favourites are the ones by Casals, Tortelier (student of Casals), Markson (student of Tortelier) & Fournier.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: head-case on October 07, 2007, 07:43:37 PM
There are many fine recordings.  I think Heinrich Schiff's stands out as one that takes the notion that this is stylized dance music seriously.  His recordings have a rhythmic drive that all other recordings I have heard lack.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/74/f1/8d18828fd7a085d07e231110._AA240_.L.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: dirkronk on October 08, 2007, 04:13:39 AM
The 1957 recordings were issued by EMI in France in a boxed set at a ridiculous (cheap) price, coupled with the Johanna Marzty violin sonatas and partitas.

I have this set and enjoy it (the Martzy Bach is a treasure IMO). However, IIRC, Starker did the Bach suites at least three times, maybe more. The EMI are good but the early-1960s Mercury versions shown by the OP are still my favorite, powerfully projected, gutsy where warranted yet articulate, and very beautifully recorded; I have these on original Mercury AND the Golden Imports pressings AND on CDr from downloads! I also have one LP from the Fournier set, which provides me with an elegant alternative to Starker when I'm in the mood.

I have Casals complete on CD, which I admire but don't really listen to very often. Normally I respond well to Casals' playing, but for some reason I don't feel much involvement in this set. Part of the problem may be the recording. It's not really the age--I'm used to older recordings. But while mine is an early Naxos edition, this is one time when I can't say that their transfers are really preferable to a good earlier vinyl transfer (I used to have the LPs on GPOC library edition, either British or French pressing). It's been a while since I tried Casals, though, so perhaps I should pull it and give another listen. I'm listening as I type to the Starker/Mercury suites 1-3, so that would give me a good basis for comparison.

Other versions? Well, I have Harnoncourt on a cheapie MHS set I picked up, but I've only listened through that set once, so I'm not ready to make pronouncements...though I can't say I was overwhelmed, I'm willing to give him another shot. Yo Yo Ma's I checked out from the library, but I wasn't thrilled with his, either. Maybe my taste in the Bach suites has been formed and doesn't want to be altered!

FWIW,

Dirk
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on October 08, 2007, 05:31:58 AM
I think Heinrich Schiff's stands out as one that takes the notion that this is stylized dance music seriously.  His recordings have a rhythmic drive that all other recordings I have heard lack.

One of my favorites for precisely the same reason.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Shrunk on October 08, 2007, 07:47:00 AM
However, IIRC, Starker did the Bach suites at least three times, maybe more. The EMI are good but the early-1960s Mercury versions shown by the OP are still my favorite, powerfully projected, gutsy where warranted yet articulate, and very beautifully recorded; I have these on original Mercury AND the Golden Imports pressings AND on CDr from downloads!

You might want to have a look on Ebay and see what kind of price that Mercury pressing is going for.  It might make you reconsider hanging on to it!  (Agreed on the quality of the recording and performance, though.)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: dirkronk on October 08, 2007, 08:26:06 AM
You might want to have a look on Ebay and see what kind of price that Mercury pressing is going for.  It might make you reconsider hanging on to it!  (Agreed on the quality of the recording and performance, though.)

True. However, while technically my copy is an original box, the pressings aren't the earliest, but middle era (lighter "faded" maroon, though not "Vendor" copies), and so wouldn't command top dollar. Actually, even the Golden Import box sets were bringing several hundred bucks a while back, but the high quality vinyl reissue by Speaker's Corner last year has subsequently prevented the kind of feeding frenzy that we once saw.
 ;)

Dirk
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on October 28, 2007, 12:16:11 AM
Thanks very much, Que, for your comprehensive review. A more free approach to this music always interests me, so I shall put it on my wish list.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mark on October 28, 2007, 06:38:26 AM
Had the chance today to hear the only recordings Du Pre made of Suites Nos. 1 and 2. Her reading of the First isn't anything particularly remarkable; for such a (usually) distinctive cellist, she could easily be mistaken for someone else in this recording. The Second Suite, however, is a very different story. It's much more the Du Pre that some people, myself included, know and love. She seems to have invested more time in the study of this work - and indeed, more of herself - and gives it a well-thought performance that makes her version of the First Suite sound like a run-through. When playing of such calibre was once possible, it's a shame she didn't record at least Suites Nos. 5 and 6. :(
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Don on October 28, 2007, 08:52:34 PM
Masolino, I own Suzukis first and very uninspired recording of the cello-suites. Do you think his second recording is that much better, as to justify a purchase??

Yes, that first Suzuki recording is plain and boring.  I wouldn't trust that he could do a much better job now.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: PSmith08 on October 29, 2007, 01:38:49 PM
Fournier.

Second! Indeed, having several versions of the Cello Suites at this point, I still cannot imagine a recording that I would like and respect more than Fournier's. Hearing him tear into the Prélude from no. 6, for me, is more than enough to cement the deal. He handles the various voices wonderfully and creates the contrasts that Bach, in my mind, created.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Peregrine on October 29, 2007, 02:08:37 PM
Second! Indeed, having several versions of the Cello Suites at this point, I still cannot imagine a recording that I would like and respect more than Fournier's. Hearing him tear into the Prélude from no. 6, for me, is more than enough to cement the deal. He handles the various voices wonderfully and creates the contrasts that Bach, in my mind, created.

Thirded! Have Fournier, Slava, Casals, Tortelier and Gendron. Fournier is the most rounded and complete version for me, a very regal account of this masterpiece.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Josquin des Prez on October 29, 2007, 02:14:12 PM
Yes, that first Suzuki recording is plain and boring.  I wouldn't trust that he could do a much better job now.

Funny, the 'other' Suzuki (Masaaki) isn't that great either when it comes to solo recordings of the music of Bach. Fine conductor though.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Renfield on October 29, 2007, 07:01:05 PM
Thirded! Have Fournier, Slava, Casals, Tortelier and Gendron. Fournier is the most rounded and complete version for me, a very regal account of this masterpiece.

"Fourthed!" ;)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: FideLeo on October 31, 2007, 04:12:53 PM
Yes, that first Suzuki recording is plain and boring.  I wouldn't trust that he could do a much better job now.
Yes, Suzuki's second set is actually a much better job, performance and sound wise.  :D
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Que on November 04, 2007, 01:41:17 AM
Haven't heard this one, Q. The clip sounds interesting, though. Lots of color. His touch is light and feathery yet there's a strong sense of rhythm - like he's dancing on the fingerboard.

I'd pull the trigger but I know I don't need a third set...right?? 8)

This is a remarkable and very individual interpretation. It is indeed dancing, with generally fast tempi and rhythmic energy even in the Sarabande´s, and Cocset plays with astonishing elegance and virtuosity. Miking is close, you can hear the noise from the left hand clearly, but this is not annoying at all, on the contrary it adds to the feeling of presence. The sound is dark and soft - almost seducing, and sometimes the instrument sounds more like a bass viola da gamba than like a a violoncello. Recommended without reservation.

(http://www.outhere-music.com/data/cds/125/BIG.JPG) (http://www4.fnac.com/Shelf/article.aspx?PRID=1357746&OrderInSession=0&Mn=5&SID=4dde9e94-cf25-fe16-bab9-da2ff8d4effa&TTL=051120071011&Origin=TWENGA&Ra=-29&To=0&Nu=5&UID=0C1281A4D-A031-9D25-1787-911274FC7E60&Fr=0)
click picture for more samples

I thought I'd listen to this a few times before posting my impressions. But I'd don't think that is necessary - it's all crystal clear. I totally agree with all the things Premont said about this recording before. It's elegant and seducing indeed. It is dancing but in a elegant, flowing way - Donwyn, I think this one will definitely be to your taste! :) Compared with Beschi, this is less "gruff" and inward looking. If Paolo Beschi's rendition is dark shining wood, Cocset's is lush velvet. In fact, I imagine the soft edged sound and the interpretation might well appeal to those new to HIP in these pieces. More than any other HIP recording.
Cocset uses no less than four different instruments, all made by Charles Riché after originals by Gasparo da Salo, Guarneri, Stradivari and Amati. I was a bit apprehensive on that, but that was unfounded: the subtle differences between the instruments enhance the variety between the suites. The instrument have mostly a dark, deep and "lush" sound - more "soft" (the Da Salo), a more dark wooden sound (the Guarneri), more fresh and "open" (Stradivari). 
The recordings were made in a church but sound very natural and open, not overtly spacious or reverberant at all. One caveat: As Premont mentioned, (at times) the action of left hand on the fingerboard can be heard clearly - the strings producing a soft "plopping" sound when released again. Like him, I don't mind this at all, but that is up to personal taste. One very sour buyer posted a two star review on Amazon just because of this... Well, that's his loss.  8)

Yet another superb HIP recording, and after Beschi this recording by Cocset confirms to me that the interpretation of Bach's cello suites has entered a new stage. This is outstanding and IMO on par with Anner Bijlsma (Sony) and Paolo Beschi (Winter & Winter).

Q
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on November 04, 2007, 09:49:07 AM
(http://www.fugalibera.com/data/cds/125/BIG.JPG) (http://www4.fnac.com/Shelf/article.aspx?PRID=1357746&OrderInSession=0&Mn=5&SID=4dde9e94-cf25-fe16-bab9-da2ff8d4effa&TTL=051120071011&Origin=TWENGA&Ra=-29&To=0&Nu=5&UID=0C1281A4D-A031-9D25-1787-911274FC7E60&Fr=0)
click picture for more samples
[mp3=200,20,0,left]http%3A%2F%2Fwww.fugalibera.com%2Fdata%2Fcds%2F125%2Fclip.mp3[/mp3]

It's elegant and seducing indeed. It is dancing but in a elegant, flowing way - Donwyn, I think this one will definitely be to your taste! :)

Que, thanks for that description. It does indeed sound right up my alley! I will definitely investigate! :)

Good thing Christmas is just around the corner! I need all the gift cards I can get just to keep up with this board! ;D



 
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: MISHUGINA on March 26, 2008, 06:14:25 AM
I can't seem to find topic for this work in search engine, so here's one. I've heard Casals, Rostropovich so far and am interested in getting the Steven Isserlis version on Hyperion (which Hurwitz on classicstoday jokingly refer as "lost suite for tabla and cello" ::)) How many H.I.P besides Peter Wiespeway? (forgive me if I can't spell his name properly)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Keemun on March 26, 2008, 06:28:38 AM
HERE  (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,3719.0.html)is the link to the pre-existing thread on Bach's Cello Suites.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Ephemerid on March 26, 2008, 06:31:40 AM
I can't seem to find topic for this work in search engine, so here's one. I've heard Casals, Rostropovich so far and am interested in getting the Steven Isserlis version on Hyperion (which Hurwitz on classicstoday jokingly refer as "lost suite for tabla and cello" ::)) How many H.I.P besides Peter Wiespeway? (forgive me if I can't spell his name properly)

This is one of the few piece I have enjoyed seeking out multiple copies of (though all but one have been lost now  :( ).  My personal favourite composition *ever*!  :)

Casals is of course indispensible-- Naxos' remastering is excellent.  

My first purchase of all six suites was the last Janos Starker recording (done in the late 90s? 2000?).  His seems very "heavy" to me (which is not necessarily a bad thing).  He does seem to struggle a bit on No. 6.

My personal favourite is the badly titled "Inspired by Bach" album by Yo-Yo Ma, which I prefer over his original recording from the 80s.  He's got a lighter & grace ful touch-- the way he handles the gavotte of No. 6 sounds like dancing two inches off the ground.  

Fortunately I still have the Yo-Yo Ma, but I'd like to buy them all back and build on it more.  I never tire of the cello suites and I love all the different interpretations.  

I'll be interest to hear other people's responses as well, to compile a list for myself.  Normally I am satisfied with just one recording of a composition, as long as its reasonably well-done (I simply cannot afford to buy more), but the Bach's cello suites are one luxury I have allowed myself.   0:)

p.s. oh, I see Keemun's link now!
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: FredT on March 26, 2008, 08:23:49 AM
Casals, Casals, Casals...insight, insight, insight!

I have Starker too. I've never found him a convincing or engaging soloist though.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Ephemerid on March 26, 2008, 08:46:21 AM
Interesting article on the intricacies of interpretation: http://www.cello.org/Newsletter/Articles/angst.htm (http://www.cello.org/Newsletter/Articles/angst.htm)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Ephemerid on March 26, 2008, 09:59:43 AM
For something a little different:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41XW96H69GL._AA240_.jpg)

On viola-- just ordered it.   :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: dirkronk on March 26, 2008, 10:12:58 AM
I have Starker too. I've never found him a convincing or engaging soloist though.

!!!
Well, that's what makes horse races.
Me, I love Starker. And as for his soloist credentials and ability to engage the listener, I'd recommend almost any of his works from his time with the Period (LP) label, especially his Kodaly solo cello sonata and (w/ Eidus) the duo for violin & cello. Utterly stunning. Keep in mind, however, that he's done the Bach solo suites at least three times, possibly four. I have the first (well, I think it's the first) on EMI (good straightforward take) as well as the second, more famous traversal on Mercury (my favorite--gutsy, powerful playing and excellent recording). Seems to me that he did a set that was originally released on Sefel or Denon or some such early-digital label in the late '70s or in the '80s, and I see that there's a set on RCA now that's ostensibly from 1997. I do NOT have the later ones because on brief audition of his third round many years ago, I did not care for him in that particular performance--so if either of the last two are the basis for your judgment, we may be more in accord than I'm assuming.

In general, for the Bach pieces I like:
Starker (Mercury) for power and intensity.
Fournier for beauty and elegance.
Casals for real depth (but not great sonics...these ARE historic).

I am familiar with Ma, Harnoncourt and Rostropovich, as well, but less enthusiastic about their renditions than for my top three. Keep in mind, though, that I have NOT heard Tortelier, who was once very highly regarded in these works, nor more than a sampling of Wispelway (who I do like, in general).

FWIW,

Dirk
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: dirkronk on March 26, 2008, 10:22:08 AM
Anner Bylsma.

I have Bylsma for the 1027-1029, but not for the solo suites. Any comment on specifics of approach or performance?

Dirk
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Brian on March 26, 2008, 11:41:10 AM
Anybody heard Ralph Kirschbaum? It's something like $12 for his cello suites and somebody else's complete violin sonatas and partitas.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: FideLeo on March 26, 2008, 12:30:45 PM
For something a little different:

On viola-- just ordered it.   :)

For something more different:

(http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/4715/51rkavd218lss500er4.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)

The first three performed by the same can be found on a Verita2x reissue.

Nigel North on Linn similarly has done these.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Keemun on March 26, 2008, 12:31:33 PM
For modern instruments, I have both of Yo-Yo Ma's recordings (1982 and 1998).  For period instruments, I have Anner Bylsma and Paolo Beschi.  Of all these, I think I like Yo-Yo Ma's 1982 recording the best, but I'm still going through the rest.  On my wishlist are Casals, Fournier, Starker (RCA and Mercury), Tortelier, Schiff, Rostropovich and Isserlis.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: FideLeo on March 26, 2008, 12:36:41 PM
Staying with period instrument renditions with something different to offer, these are very interesting performances in their own right. 

(http://img403.imageshack.us/img403/1160/313ysfhtwzlss500mt5.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Ephemerid on March 26, 2008, 12:42:50 PM
For something more different:

(http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/4715/51rkavd218lss500er4.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)

The first three performed by the same can be found on a Verita2x reissue.

Nigel North on Linn similarly has done these.

*drool* (Josh, step away from the debit card!)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: FideLeo on March 27, 2008, 09:26:25 AM
Baroque violinist Dimitry Badiarov argues that the Bach suites were originally composed for a Violoncello piccolo da spalla - the picture shows him playing one of his own reconstruction.

(http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/247/vcspallafs6.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)

Complete recording by him is forthcoming but a sample can be heard at http://violadabraccio.com/index.php/content/view/88/66/lang,en/ (http://violadabraccio.com/index.php/content/view/88/66/lang,en/)

Youtube features of more Bach on the Violoncello piccolo da spalla: http://youtube.com/user/badidaa (http://youtube.com/user/badidaa)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Tyson on March 27, 2008, 08:51:48 PM
Kirschbaum is my favorite, followed by Fournier, then Schiff, then Casals, then everyone else congregating way below, including Blysma, Rostropovich, Ma, Wispelwey, and Starker.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: val on March 29, 2008, 02:13:45 AM
To me, Casals, with his eloquence will always be a reference in this works.

Regarding other recordings, I prefer the elegance of Bylsma (SONY).

Fournier (DG) seems to me too rhetoric but he is as always very impressive.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on April 14, 2008, 09:05:39 AM
Just an aside here -  I have spotted on the SA-CD site that a new Denon sacd release has been announced
for the Bach cello suites performed by the japanese baroqoe violinist Ryo Terakado using a Violoncello piccolo
da Spalla.  I'd be really interested to hear how good it is.  It may start a new trend of violinists playing/recording the
cello suites! 

The Japanese releases are often the most difficult to get hold of. I wonder, if it ever will become available in my country, and if I have to purchase a SA-CD player, or whether it will become released in a hybrid version.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Moldyoldie on April 21, 2008, 12:13:28 PM
After intense sampling on Amazon of many recommended recordings, I opted for the Schiff on EMI and the Kirshbaum on Virgin -- fine, divergent interpretations and performances combined with fine sound and the right price.  If it wasn't for that last prerequisite, I'd have gotten the latest Starker on RCA.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on April 21, 2008, 12:15:59 PM
After intense sampling on Amazon of many recommended recordings, I opted for the Schiff on EMI and the Kirshbaum on Virgin -- divergent interpretations combined with fine sound and the right price.  I enjoy them both.

Very good choices IMO.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: stingo on April 21, 2008, 05:57:22 PM
I enjoy the Bylsma and the Kirschbaum recordings a lot.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on January 27, 2010, 01:14:40 PM
Beethovenian alias MNDave asked to day  in the "what are you listening to" thread about recommendations for Bach´s suites for solo cello. Options are legio, but here are some of those, I enjoy the most.

Sigiswald Kuijken (Accent), played on violoncello da spalla. An introvert and a bit apollonian rendering, which maybe ought to dance a little more, but it is exceedingly beautiful.

Similar things may be said about the recording of Wieland Kuijken (Arcana) which uses
3 CDs and fills up with the three Sonatas for viola da ganba and harpsichord.
 
Paolo Beschi (Winter & Winter) is playing in the pointed, agile expressive HIP style, we know from Il Giardino Armonico (of which he is a member). Very refreshing.

Among strictly non-period recordings I have a preponderance for my countryman
Morten Zeuthen (Danish Classico) and for Heinrich Schiff (EMI), both contribute with agile and dancing interpretations, and as to general impression maybe the most comvincing I know.

Ralph Kirschbaum (Virgin) gives us another exceedingly beautiful interpretation in a rather subtle and singing style.

Pierre Fournier (Archiv) and Maurice Gendron (Philips) give us noble and balanced interpretations, which already are a little oldfashioned but still impressive.

Janos Starker (Mercury) is completely his own. Everything is so logical and convincing, but he may be an acquired taste.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Scarpia on January 27, 2010, 01:18:35 PM
Janos Starker (Mercury) is completely his own. Everything is so logical and convincing, but he may be an acquired taste.

It bothers me that he skips repeats.

Schiff has become my favorite in proper rhythmic style, Rostropovich for an indulgent, romanticize performance.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on January 27, 2010, 01:27:50 PM
It bothers me that he skips repeats.

Schiff has become my favorite in proper rhythmic style, Rostropovich for an indulgent, romanticize performance.

Even Leonhardt skips repeats, so ...
 
Rostropovich is too romantic to these ears.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Clever Hans on January 27, 2010, 03:43:13 PM
What about Queyras?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on January 28, 2010, 07:49:00 AM
What about Queyras?

My intention was not to be encyclopedic, but to mention some of the interpretations, which satisfy me the most (at the moment). One could equally well ask: What about Bijlsma? What about Wispelway? What about Casals? And so on.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Antoine Marchand on January 28, 2010, 08:29:57 AM
and... Jaap ter Linden 2? Terakado?  :D  (two important sets, I think).
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on January 28, 2010, 08:51:37 AM
and... Terakado?  :D  (two important sets, I think).

Terakado´s set is indeed important, but  I definitely prefer S Kuijken.

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Clever Hans on January 28, 2010, 09:34:36 AM
My intention was not to be encyclopedic, but to mention some of the interpretations, which satisfy me the most (at the moment). One could equally well ask: What about Bijlsma? What about Wispelway? What about Casals? And so on.

Ah. I agree about S. Kuijken.
I think Queyras should be mentioned, though, because he falls in between period and non-period in that he uses steel strings, doesn't hold the cello between his legs, and probably a few other things I'm not qualified to explain.
Although I'm not sure about anyone beyond Bylsma and the Kuijkens holding the violoncello the old way. 
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Bulldog on January 28, 2010, 01:56:18 PM

Rostropovich is too romantic to these ears.

Yes, way too romantic.  He's a great artist, and I just can't understand why he'd want to move Bach forward into the 19th century.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Scarpia on January 28, 2010, 02:01:18 PM
Yes, way too romantic.  He's a great artist, and I just can't understand why he'd want to move Bach forward into the 19th century.

Works for me.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Bunny on January 28, 2010, 10:24:35 PM
Yes, way too romantic.  He's a great artist, and I just can't understand why he'd want to move Bach forward into the 19th century.

I don't think Rostropovich wanted to move Bach into the 19th (or 20th) century. He just played the way he knew how to play.  He made no special effort to transport himself back into a 17th-18th century esthetic, but instead played the music as if it had been composed in his lifetime.  There's a certain integrity in this approach: he played Bach on his terms and that is the right of any artist. 

Now whether Rostropovich's Bach performance is to your taste, or even to my taste is a different matter.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on January 29, 2010, 05:48:30 AM
This thread has been created out of two existing threads and the all the posts on the cello suites in the Bach's Chamber & Instrumental Music thread.

Thanks, Que, I had forgotten the existence of this thread.
Now I know, what moderators are good for. :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Scarpia on January 29, 2010, 08:32:20 AM
I have an interest in Boris Pergamenschikow's recording, although Hannsler's asking price is characteristically exorbitant.  Some people express revulsion in the Amazon reviews in a way that attracts me.  Comments? 
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Bulldog on January 29, 2010, 09:33:42 AM
I have an interest in Boris Pergamenschikow's recording, although Hannsler's asking price is characteristically exorbitant.  Some people express revulsion in the Amazon reviews in a way that attracts me.  Comments?

I've had this set for a few years.  I read through those Amazon customer comments that were either saying the set is fabulous or horrendous.  I just think it was an "okay" set not as wayward as Rostropovich or Maisky.  Its best quality was a youthful appeal.  Overall, I don't think it's worth a premium price.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Scarpia on January 29, 2010, 11:12:25 AM
I've had this set for a few years.  I read through those Amazon customer comments that were either saying the set is fabulous or horrendous.  I just think it was an "okay" set not as wayward as Rostropovich or Maisky.  Its best quality was a youthful appeal.  Overall, I don't think it's worth a premium price.

More or less what I expected to hear.

On a related note, my copy of Fourier's set from DG is a CD release pressed in 1988, I think, the dark days of remastering.  Any impressions from anyone about whether they have done good work remastering this set for current releases?  (It can be obtained very cheaply now, is it worth re-buying?)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Bulldog on January 29, 2010, 11:43:26 AM
I don't think Rostropovich wanted to move Bach into the 19th (or 20th) century. He just played the way he knew how to play.  He made no special effort to transport himself back into a 17th-18th century esthetic, but instead played the music as if it had been composed in his lifetime.  There's a certain integrity in this approach: he played Bach on his terms and that is the right of any artist. 

I don't quite see it that way, at least concerning the "integrity" premise.  It's more of a "comfort zone" approach.  Unfortunately, his comfort zone and mine are miles apart.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on January 29, 2010, 12:25:18 PM
I have an interest in Boris Pergamenschikow's recording, although Hannsler's asking price is characteristically exorbitant.  Some people express revulsion in the Amazon reviews in a way that attracts me.  Comments?

Light, eloquent, at times almost capricious. Not that searching or deep.
He died from cancer five years later, aged 55.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Marc on January 29, 2010, 01:53:24 PM
I don't quite see it that way, at least concerning the "integrity" premise.  It's more of a "comfort zone" approach.  Unfortunately, his comfort zone and mine are miles apart.

I don't play those Rostropovich recordings that much, either. It's not really 'my' JSB.
But it's nice to watch the DVD, with Slava at the piano beforehand, trying to explain all the beauties and some details of the compositions.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on January 29, 2010, 01:55:01 PM
On a related note, my copy of Fourier's set from DG is a CD release pressed in 1988, I think, the dark days of remastering.  Any impressions from anyone about whether they have done good work remastering this set for current releases?  (It can be obtained very cheaply now, is it worth re-buying?)

Because of the low cost I recently acquired the new release, but I have not made any direct comparison with the 1988 release so far.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: haydnguy on January 29, 2010, 06:29:03 PM
After reading through this thread, I think I'm going to opt for the Schiff. Going to listen to different samples and unless another really strikes me, I think Schiff is my man at least to start with.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Scarpia on January 29, 2010, 06:44:59 PM
After reading through this thread, I think I'm going to opt for the Schiff. Going to listen to different samples and unless another really strikes me, I think Schiff is my man at least to start with.

I think Schiff is my overall first choice, although I like having alternatives.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Bunny on January 29, 2010, 07:06:23 PM
I don't quite see it that way, at least concerning the "integrity" premise.  It's more of a "comfort zone" approach.  Unfortunately, his comfort zone and mine are miles apart.

You just can't argue taste.  He's not precisely my cup of tea either.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: MN Dave on January 29, 2010, 07:06:46 PM
Thumbs up for Schiff here as well.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Scarpia on February 01, 2010, 06:16:36 AM
Just listened to the first suite by Harnoncourt, a recording made in 1965 or so.  (Available very cheaply on Warner Ultima).  I wouldn't say he is a cello virtuoso, but he has interesting ideas about the phrasing and articulation of this music.  It was probably more unorthodox at the time than it is now.  I like it a lot so far.

In any case, despite the fact that everyone seems to agree that Pergamenschikow doesn't provide "deep insights" (whatever that means) he sounds fascinating to me in the available excerpts (I like the jaunty phrasing) and I have the set on order (a used copy).   I'm also contemplating the Bruns and Queyas sets, both of which are available rather cheap at Berkshire record outlet.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: DavidRoss on February 04, 2010, 06:05:09 AM
FYI, BRO just listed Queyras's fine recording for $12. 
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Scarpia on February 04, 2010, 06:48:06 AM
FYI, BRO just listed Queyras's fine recording for $12.

Yes, I spotted that, both the Queyras and Bruns are on order from Berkshire.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 04, 2010, 07:05:45 AM
Yes, I spotted that, both the Queyras and Bruns are on order from Berkshire.

Well, I've not thought about additions of these works to my collection for a while - own Rostropovich, Bylsma, and Kuijken; latter on the 'shoulder-cello' or Violoncello da spalla - but the Amazon reviews on Queyras are just fabulous (8/10 5*, including one by Giordano Bruno, who I've trusted in the past); and the price for that set at BRO is unbeatable - may pay them a visit today!  ;D
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: bassio on February 04, 2010, 08:16:01 AM
My favorite is Steven Isserlis on Hyperion.
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51wwXIbSUrL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Anyone here owns this and has any thoughts about this particular recording?

Also on the top of my list is the older Bylsma recording.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Clever Hans on February 04, 2010, 09:26:20 AM
I think the Kuijken is a must buy, just because it is so fascinating.
They also used those shoulder cellos on Suzuki's latest Brandenburgs, which are the best I've ever heard, especially if you factor in sound quality. So, perhaps we'll be seeing more of them.

Isserlis is a little too light for my taste, although he uses a period instrument with gut strings. I think that recording is over-hyped, as if he is the first cellist to take the dance origins into consideration.

Queyras is a great virtuoso, modern instrument but incorporating baroque style. I think he is better than Isserlis.
Giordano Bruno also loves Ophelie Gaillard on period instrument, but unfortunately her recording is out of print.

Bylsma 1 and 2 are both amazing, even more so when you compare them.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: DavidRoss on February 04, 2010, 11:21:52 AM
Well, I've not thought about additions of these works to my collection for a while - own Rostropovich, Bylsma, and Kuijken; latter on the 'shoulder-cello' or Violoncello da spalla - but the Amazon reviews on Queyras are just fabulous (8/10 5*, including one by Giordano Bruno, who I've trusted in the past); and the price for that set at BRO is unbeatable - may pay them a visit today!  ;D
Dave, as you may recall from years past, I'm one of many for whom these are linchpins of the repertoire.  The Queyras is the only recording I've purchased in recent years (including the excellent one by Beschi) that I'm as likely to reach for as Fournier or Tortelier.'

(Although there is another from recent years that I enjoy very much, it's not on cello and is not complete:  Edgar Meyer playing suites #1,2,&5 on double bass.)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: MN Dave on February 04, 2010, 11:24:22 AM
I listen to Casals and Schiff. They keep me pretty happy.  :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: kishnevi on February 04, 2010, 02:56:01 PM
Any opinions on this one
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/410JkVJk6jL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

This was the second recording of the suites I purchases--the first being Casals, and I've never been sure about it.  The other recordings I have are Kirschbaum and Ma.

And does anyone have any idea if this one is worth getting (just released this week).
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Pcz4ZQ-eL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Scarpia on February 04, 2010, 03:03:09 PM
And does anyone have any idea if this one is worth getting (just released this week).
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Pcz4ZQ-eL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

I was initially surprised to see a new Telarc release, given that the company was famously dissolved.  But perhaps they are still using the name even though the founders are gone.  The question is whether the recording is produced by the original Telarc recording team and would continue their distinct recording style.

But the short answer, I have no idea.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 04, 2010, 03:35:48 PM
Dave, as you may recall from years past, I'm one of many for whom these are linchpins of the repertoire.  The Queyras is the only recording I've purchased in recent years (including the excellent one by Beschi) that I'm as likely to reach for as Fournier or Tortelier.'

(Although there is another from recent years that I enjoy very much, it's not on cello and is not complete:  Edgar Meyer playing suites #1,2,&5 on double bass.)

Hi David - thanks for the support on Queyras - put in an order earlier at BRO for his set (2 CDs; 1 DVD) for $12!  I do own some Edgar Meyer in his non-classical recordings and know that he did some of these suites, but have not heard any to date - might be yet another purchase?  Dave  :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: kishnevi on February 04, 2010, 08:54:45 PM
Hi David - thanks for the support on Queyras - put in an order earlier at BRO for his set (2 CDs; 1 DVD) for $12!  I do own some Edgar Meyer in his non-classical recordings and know that he did some of these suites, but have not heard any to date - might be yet another purchase?  Dave  :)

Non Bach recommendation if you like Meyer--he's also composed at least one Quintet which he recorded with the EmersonSQ;  I highly enjoy it; it's companioned on the CD by a quartet by Rorem.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 05, 2010, 09:03:24 AM
................
And does anyone have any idea if this one is worth getting (just released this week).
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Pcz4ZQ-eL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Mm6C05k9L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

We saw Zuill Bailey in concert (early last year or the previous fall?) and enjoyed him - picked up a 'general CD'  then; more recently I added the Beethoven Cello Sonatas w/ him & Dinnerstein, which are quite good.  I suspect that he does the Bach well, also - but cannot give an opinion and looking forward to others' thoughts who may have heard these recordings.

BTW, the price at BRO for the Queyras set is hard to beat, and all that own them have uniformly recommended the recordings!  Dave  :)

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Tyson on February 05, 2010, 08:13:47 PM
Who has the most energetic presentation of these suites?  Kirschbaum is good, but I don't like Ma, Rostropovich, Schiff, Grendon, Maisky, Starker, Casals, Blysma, and a host of other "deep" interpreters of these works.  Give me the dance!
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Scarpia on February 05, 2010, 09:31:52 PM
Who has the most energetic presentation of these suites?  Kirschbaum is good, but I don't like Ma, Rostropovich, Schiff, Grendon, Maisky, Starker, Casals, Blysma, and a host of other "deep" interpreters of these works.  Give me the dance!

If you don't hear Dance in Schiff, you may consider giving up. 
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Que on February 06, 2010, 12:56:14 AM
Who has the most energetic presentation of these suites?  Kirschbaum is good, but I don't like Ma, Rostropovich, Schiff, Grendon, Maisky, Starker, Casals, Blysma, and a host of other "deep" interpreters of these works.  Give me the dance!

Try Paolo Beschi (Winter & Winter) or Bruno Cocset (Alpha), maybe Ophélie Gaillard (Ambroisie) is to your taste. Avoid non-HIP interpretations since they rarely stick to the authentic Baroque dance rhythms.

Q
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Grazioso on February 06, 2010, 05:24:14 AM
Who has the most energetic presentation of these suites?  Kirschbaum is good, but I don't like Ma, Rostropovich, Schiff, Grendon, Maisky, Starker, Casals, Blysma, and a host of other "deep" interpreters of these works.  Give me the dance!

Did you try the first Bylsma set on Sony? I haven't heard his later one, but the first one certainly conveys a Baroque sense of dance to my ears.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on February 06, 2010, 06:07:32 AM
Who has the most energetic presentation of these suites?  Kirschbaum is good, but I don't like Ma, Rostropovich, Schiff, Grendon, Maisky, Starker, Casals, Blysma, and a host of other "deep" interpreters of these works.  Give me the dance!

Try Stephen Isserlis (Hyperion). Light and merry dancing, rhytmically alert - and do not expect any deep interpretation here.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Bunny on February 06, 2010, 11:25:21 AM
Try Stephen Isserlis (Hyperion). Light and merry dancing, rhytmically alert - and do not expect any deep interpretation here.

But it's so closely miked much of it sounds "col legno."
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on February 06, 2010, 11:53:11 AM
But it's so closely miked much of it sounds "col legno."

Not so much, that it annoys me, - and it does not change my general impression .
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: DavidRoss on February 06, 2010, 02:53:02 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Qwz0foa7sQ
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on February 06, 2010, 07:50:42 PM
...maybe Ophélie Gaillard (Ambroisie) is to your taste.

Gaillard's is a nicely 'danced' version. I like how she makes the most of the long line: flowing and nuanced.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: bassio on February 07, 2010, 12:33:13 PM
Try Stephen Isserlis (Hyperion). Light and merry dancing, rhytmically alert - and do not expect any deep interpretation here.

Isserlis is my favorite too premont. Although I would suggest that his D minor Suite Prelude deserves the adjective "deep".  :)
Deep in a HIP way of course  ;)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Bunny on February 07, 2010, 01:41:27 PM
Isserlis is my favorite too premont. Although I would suggest that his D minor Suite Prelude deserves the adjective "deep".  :)
Deep in a HIP way of course  ;)

Not HIP to my ears!  He sounds very, very modern -- especially wrt to the timbre of his instrument.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on February 07, 2010, 01:52:08 PM
Isserlis is my favorite too premont. Although I would suggest that his D minor Suite Prelude deserves the adjective "deep".  :)
Deep in a HIP way of course  ;)

Well, not quite sure, but I definitely do not find his Sarabande of the second Suite and particulary not his Sarabande of the fifth site deep at all. Actually it is these two movements which disappoint me the most in his otherwise very life-affirming interpretation.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Bunny on February 07, 2010, 02:27:30 PM
Well, not quite sure, but I definitely do not find his Sarabande of the second Suite and particulary not his Sarabande of the fifth site deep at all. Actually it is these two movements which disappoint me the most in his otherwise very life-affirming interpretation.

Oh dear!  The Second Suite is about the Agony in the Garden and the Fifth Suite is about the Crucifixion according to Isserlis.  Not the best places to lack depth. 
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Marc on February 07, 2010, 03:06:43 PM
Oh dear! The Second Suite is about the Agony in the Garden and the Fifth Suite is about the Crucifixion according to Isserlis. Not the best places to lack depth.
In general, I'm not that fond of such romanticized descriptions, like it is some kind of Programma Music.
On the other hand: we have no idea what Bach was 'thinking' during composing these Suites, so each and everyone of us is free to make their own analysis.
I could also say: the Sarabande of the Second Suite is about a lost love. So it must have been composed shortly after the death of Bach's first wife .... who will be there to contradict me? ;)

We do know this for sure: Bach used church music again for secular reasons without any problem, even if the 'meaning' of the music changed a lot by that.
A lost soul in Gethsemane could become a lost soul in the Gardens of Lust.
Who's to say?

In the end, ALL music was SDG to him: Soli Deo Gloria.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on February 07, 2010, 03:06:55 PM
Oh dear!  The Second Suite is about the Agony in the Garden and the Fifth Suite is about the Crucifixion according to Isserlis.  Not the best places to lack depth.

It is downright impossible to hear such things in his interpretation IMO.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on February 07, 2010, 03:11:07 PM
We do know this for sure: Bach used church music again for secular reasons without any problem, even if the 'meaning' of the music changed a lot by that.

I am not sure that you are right about this. We know that he used secular music again for church music, but can you recall any uneqivocal example of the opposite?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Marc on February 07, 2010, 03:26:25 PM
I am not sure that you are right about this. We know that he used secular music again for church music, but can you recall any uneqivocal example of the opposite?
My mistake, I indeed meant the other way around.
(Although the Matthäus-Passion and the secular Mourning Cantata "Klagt, Kinder, klagt es aller Welt" BWV 244a do raise some interesting questions.)

Luckilly my mistake doesn't kill the meaning of my entire post.
Just some turning around: the Gardens of Lust could finally become Gethsemane. If someone provided good lyrics (maybe Bach himself), JSB would't have had any problems with that.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Bunny on February 07, 2010, 03:54:05 PM
In general, I'm not that fond of such romanticized descriptions, like it is some kind of Programma Music.
On the other hand: we have no idea what Bach was 'thinking' during composing these Suites, so each and everyone of us is free to make their own analysis.http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/Themes/default/images/bbc/toggle.gif
I could also say: the Sarabande of the Second Suite is about a lost love. So it must have been composed shortly after the death of Bach's first wife .... who will be there to contradict me? ;)

We do know this for sure: Bach used church music again for secular reasons without any problem, even if the 'meaning' of the music changed a lot by that.
A lost soul in Gethsemane could become a lost soul in the Gardens of Lust.
Who's to say?

In the end, ALL music was SDG to him: Soli Deo Gloria.

I doubt old Bach was thinking of Gethsemane, isn't he the man who explained that playing the music was all about putting your fingers on the right keys at the right time?  Steven Isserlis, on the other hand, believes that the suites are an
   expressive journey [that] marks them as “Mystery Suites”, travelling from the nativity (No.1) to the agony in the garden (No.2),    the descent of the Holy Spirit (No.3), the Presentation in the Temple (No.4), the Crucifixion (No.5), to the Resurrection (No.6). 
(BBC    Magazine (http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/m6rg))

If someone finds parts of Suites 2 and 5 to be superficial then clearly he has not communicated the gravity of his feelings as he was performing.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Marc on February 07, 2010, 03:57:54 PM
If someone finds parts of Suites 2 and 5 to be superficial then clearly he has not communicated the gravity of his feelings as he was performing.

Perhaps.
That certain 'someone' might also be missing something.
For interactive communication, one needs at least two persons. ;)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Bunny on February 07, 2010, 04:01:39 PM
It is downright impossible to hear such things in his interpretation IMO.

It also seems strange to superimpose a "program" on Bach -- definitely a romantic conceit and far from the rigorous application of historically informed performance.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: kishnevi on February 07, 2010, 05:42:42 PM
In general, I'm not that fond of such romanticized descriptions, like it is some kind of Programma Music.
On the other hand: we have no idea what Bach was 'thinking' during composing these Suites, so each and everyone of us is free to make their own analysis.
I could also say: the Sarabande of the Second Suite is about a lost love. So it must have been composed shortly after the death of Bach's first wife .... who will be there to contradict me? ;)

We do know this for sure: Bach used church music again for secular reasons without any problem, even if the 'meaning' of the music changed a lot by that.
A lost soul in Gethsemane could become a lost soul in the Gardens of Lust.
Who's to say?

In the end, ALL music was SDG to him: Soli Deo Gloria.

Well, according to whomever it was that wrote the liner notes for the GROC rerelease of Perlman's recording of them, it's the solo violin works which memorialized his first wife.   The only evidence cited is that Bach's title,  Sei Solo, etc.  can mean either "Six Solos" or "Be alone". 

BTW, I referenced the Maria Kliegel recording of the Cello Suites a couple of days ago on this thread.  I've listened to it again since then;  this hearing it sounded very labored.  The dance element was there, but it seemed she was working too hard at it; you could almost hear the elbow grease.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Marc on February 08, 2010, 03:57:48 AM
Well, according to whomever it was that wrote the liner notes for the GROC rerelease of Perlman's recording of them, it's the solo violin works which memorialized his first wife.   The only evidence cited is that Bach's title,  Sei Solo, etc.  can mean either "Six Solos" or "Be alone".
;D

To add something very interesting: AFAIK, four children were still living when Maria Barbara died. So: four children + one father + the maid = sei solo persone = six lonely people.
Adding the 'be alone' meaning, and the fact that Bach was mad about arithmetics, this would mean that Perlman's booklet must be spot on!
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Antoine Marchand on February 08, 2010, 04:22:44 AM
In general, I'm not that fond of such romanticized descriptions, like it is some kind of Programma Music.
On the other hand: we have no idea what Bach was 'thinking' during composing these Suites, so each and everyone of us is free to make their own analysis.
I could also say: the Sarabande of the Second Suite is about a lost love. So it must have been composed shortly after the death of Bach's first wife .... who will be there to contradict me? ;)

I probably agree when you speak about these specific pieces, but the program music is not really a Romantic idea. The Baroque was full of program music during two centuries from the simple imitation of animal noises to the musical representation of ideas and feelings. Vivaldi, Biber, Kuhnau and a lot of Baroque composers demonstrate it.  :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Marc on February 08, 2010, 04:59:47 AM
I probably agree when you speak about these specific pieces, but the program music is not really a Romantic idea. The Baroque was full of program music during two centuries from the simple imitation of animal noises to the musical representation of ideas and feelings. Vivaldi, Biber, Kuhnau and a lot of Baroque composers demonstrate it.  :)
True.
Le quattro stagioni!
All part of the Imitatio thing.
Very popular during the ages.
IMO, almost all music is imitatio. :)

I was more thinking about f.i. Beethoven, Bruckner and Mahler symphonies, who were 'explained' as Program Music, both by the composers and by listeners. Like: the beginning of Beethoven's 5th symphony is Fate Knocking On The Door. The 3rd movement of Bruckner's 9th is Abschied vom Leben. No wonder Bruckner wasn't able to finish the Finale! ;)
Mahler was overly programmatic and emotional about his work being his life and blood.
Tchaikovsky is another good example, in explaining his works in a very personal way to mrs. Von Meck.

But these are all notions that in most cases don't apply to Bach's music, IMHO. To him, music composing making was nothing more (AND nothing less!) than a very serious and joyful handcraft in the honour of God, who created earth, man and instruments.
And we do know almost nothing about his personal life and character. Which, as I said before, leaves a lot of freedom to all of us to interprete or overinterprete his work. Just because we are all influenced by the 19th century, where these kinds of interpretations became far more important than almost any other analysis.

Again: speaking of matters like this, BWV 244a could be a very interesting work when 'Bach analysis' is concerned.

Just one example: the aria "Kom, süßes Kreuz, so will ich sagen", with its heavy rhythm and going to underline the Calvary idea. What about this specific Via Dolorosa idea in the aria "Laß, Leopold, dich nicht begraben"?
An aria of a secular Mourning Cantata BWV 244a (1728) for Leopold of Köthen, 'composed' one year after the Matthäus-Passion (1727), with a lot of music of the SMP used again.
Or was the SMP really 'composed' in 1729? Then what about the 'no doubt about it' interpretations and Calvary analysis of the music of "Kom, süßes Kreuz, so will ich sagen"?  ???

Again: this could be very interesting, IMHO.

The first version of "Kom, süßes Kreuz" was with lute obbligato. The second version (1736) was for viola da gamba. With a gamba, the heavy Via Dolorosa idea was much better realized. So, was the original lute version maybe originally composed for BWV 244a? With not a single notion about Jesus and his Cross? Or was the Cross version the first one, and (according to Bach) with a lute obbligato very well situated in the Mourning Cantata, too?

I know, this is rather off-topic, but I just mention this example to illustrate that all those interpretations, even used for vocal music (with lyrics to support the interpretation), still could remain questionable. So, analysing the instrumental Cello Suites in a way Isserlis does, will remain questionable, too. Even though it's interesting thinking by him, I certainly agree with that. But until we find a letter by Bach in which he confirms Isserlis' interpretations, we can only wonder .... and just enjoy the music. :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Antoine Marchand on February 08, 2010, 06:23:27 AM
True.
Le quattro stagioni!
All part of the Imitatio thing.
Very popular during the ages.
IMO, almost all music is imitatio. :)

I was more thinking about f.i. Beethoven, Bruckner and Mahler symphonies, who were 'explained' as Program Music, both by the composers and by listeners. Like: the beginning of Beethoven's 5th symphony is Fate Knocking On The Door. The 3rd movement of Bruckner's 9th is Abschied vom Leben. No wonder Bruckner wasn't able to finish the Finale! ;)
Mahler was overly programmatic and emotional about his work being his life and blood.
Tchaikovsky is another good example, in explaining his works in a very personal way to mrs. Von Meck.

Well, all this matter is very deep and I would need to elaborate a suitable reply.

However, I have this idea: we have talked here about the Baroque music as a speech.

If we accept that Baroque composers –Bach included- understood their music as a speech to illustrate certain ideas or beliefs -in God, for example-, that idea wouldn't be so far from a general concept about music like a kind of “program”.

Even more: An interesting field to research is the connection between Baroque music and Rhetoric. I have read, for example, about Elizabeth Farr’s papers where she analyses bar for bar the rhetorical forms and devices used by Bach in the Italian Concerto (so was said by her classmate at Michigan Brad Lehmann)… and Rhetoric is an art intended to persuade in some way. Therefore, it could be concluded that music and spoken word had a more intimate connection in the Baroque mind than in later ages.

Now: Can we understand correctly that speech? Do we know the rules to "decode" that discourse? I think it's a different issue.  :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Marc on February 08, 2010, 06:29:28 AM
[.....]
Now: Can we understand correctly that speech? Do we know the rules to "decode" that discourse? I think it's a different issue.  :)
Yes, it is different, and it is difficult, too.
Especially for laymen.
But it's worth investigating.
And it's done on a wide scale for ages, at universities et al.
Like medieval studies (I had my share of that long time ago). One thing I learned there: it's useless to read medieval texts with one's 20th century spectacles on, or with romantized glasses. One has at least to give it a try to understand medieval thinking, like memento mori or Courtly Love.
So, don't get me wrong: I certainly value attemps like Isserling's. But this doesn't mean that I have to agree with his conclusions. Or take them for granted.
It's the same actually with the 4 Duetti of Bach's Third Clavier-Übung. Why are they there? People have been written books about it. The Four Gospels? The Four Elements? The Four .... Who Knows?
In such cases, I admit that I tend to be a very down-to-earth-person: maybe they were only meant to be Four Duetti, nothing more, nothing less. :)
So, in the end, my postings about these matters are .... rather subjective, which of course is quite a surprise. ;D

Add this:
the idea Music as speech (Harnoncourt) as a Baroque idea is maybe not entirely supported by all (baroque) musicians AND historians.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Luke on February 08, 2010, 06:56:30 AM
.....not something I have thought deeply about, but my initial response to Isserlis's reading of the 'meanings' of the 6 suites is that they are not totally fanciful, especially because there is no need to imagine that e.g. the 5th suite either had to directly '=' the crucifixion in Bach's mind or that it had to be entirely program-free - it doesn't have to be an either-or issue. More to the point is that so much Baroque music, Bach's certainly and clearly no exception, is absolutely laden with symbolism, symbolism of key, of notation, of interval (Ich will den Kreuzstab' - Kreuz marked with a # sign, and thus, also, 'painfully' augmentin the interval between B flat and C #), or gesture, of tuning. In the Rosary sonatas of Biber, for instance, scordatura has both a technical and a symbolic application; I'm pretty certain Bach must have been immersed in that same symbolic world, and whether he used it consciously or not, it may well affect his music. Is it a coincidence that the scordatura suite is also the most tortured, the most chromatic? That the open string suites are the simplest, but with the 5-string D major like a transfiguration of the 4-string G major? What I'm saying is that whether there is a strict program or not - I rather doubt it, in fact - the general shape of a light-to-dark-through-reflection-and-pain-to-blazing-light program can be discerned in the suite. 
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Luke on February 08, 2010, 07:00:45 AM
BTW, the most ridicuously unHIP reading of the suites I've ever heard is that of Alexander Kniazev. He stretches to 3 CDs, because he draws out the 6th suite to such absurd lengths that it won't fit on a disc with numbers 4 and 5. Incredibly, the Allemande of this suite, which is normally a matter of 7 or 8 minutes, Kniazev clocks in at an amazing 16 minutes...

The bizarre thing, though, is that I absolutely adore his playing, and return to it frequently - it's 'wrong', but it is so so right! If you're going to indulge in a romanticised reading of the suites, why not go the whole hog?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Marc on February 08, 2010, 07:06:52 AM
What I'm saying is that whether there is a strict program or not - I rather doubt it, in fact - the general shape of a light-to-dark-through-reflection-and-pain-to-blazing-light program can be discerned in the suite.

Agreement with that!
And, who knows, with Bach's Lutheran and symbolic background, maybe Isserlis is spot on!
But I certainly prefer your more general description.
Like the also more general descriptions by Mattheson, where he writes about the meaning of the various keys.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Scarpia on February 08, 2010, 08:17:33 AM
With all this mention of Isserlis, I checked.  Hyperion wants $46 for a 2CD set recorded by a single performer and no one is offering much of a discount.  To bad, I'm not going to pay it with so many other alternatives.  I've also not heard the Ibragimova on Hyperion for the same reason.     Clearly they can charge whatever they want, but I'm not going to subsidize their business model, which involves getting large margin on small sales.   I'll wait until it is remaindered on Berkshire Record Outlet, or until they go bankrupt and Naxos reissues their catalog.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: DavidRoss on February 08, 2010, 09:12:23 AM
The bizarre thing, though, is that I absolutely adore his playing, and return to it frequently - it's 'wrong', but it is so so right! If you're going to indulge in a romanticised reading of the suites, why not go the whole hog?
Speaking of which: at times I very much enjoy Yo-Yo Ma's second recording of the suites.

One of the attributes of great music which distinguishes it from the merely good is that it is amenable to a wide variety of interpretive approaches, each of which informs and expands our constantly expanding appreciation for the music itself and for the soul of its composer.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: kishnevi on February 08, 2010, 05:23:08 PM
With all this mention of Isserlis, I checked.  Hyperion wants $46 for a 2CD set recorded by a single performer and no one is offering much of a discount.  To bad, I'm not going to pay it with so many other alternatives.  I've also not heard the Ibragimova on Hyperion for the same reason.     Clearly they can charge whatever they want, but I'm not going to subsidize their business model, which involves getting large margin on small sales.   I'll wait until it is remaindered on Berkshire Record Outlet, or until they go bankrupt and Naxos reissues their catalog.

I bought the Ibragimova at Borders with one of their 30% coupons.  (It's worth joining their membership program for the sake of those coupons: this past week was the first week in a long time they didn't offer at least 20% or 25% off on everything including CDs ; and if the order amount doesn't get you free shipping, you can have it sent to a Borders store to avoid the S&H charge.)   I haven't heard it through enough times to make specific comments, but  my general feeling so far is that it's fairly mainstream, and if you don't have a special liking for the solo violin works like me,  you're probably not missing all that much if you don't buy it.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Bulldog on February 08, 2010, 05:30:10 PM
Speaking of which: at times I very much enjoy Yo-Yo Ma's second recording of the suites.

Same here, and I also enjoy Ma's 1st as well, although my general preference is for a baroque cello.  I find that Ma doesn't go over the top like Maisky and Rostropovich.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: kishnevi on February 09, 2010, 09:34:07 PM
Reporting back:
I sprang for the Zuill Bailey recording I asked about a few days ago (on the Purchases Being Considered thread, I think).    I think it's quite well done; he is definitely a member of  the "these are dances, dammit!" group.   It's been a while since I played most of my other recordings of the Suites (Casals, Ma, Kirschbaum, and Kleigel--the latter is definitely the worst of the lot), so I can't compare it directly to them, but I am definitely glad I bought this one (and at 17.99 USD before discounts, it's certainly cheaper than the Isserlis).  (He plays, btw, a  late 17th century cello equipped with modern strings and bow.)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 10, 2010, 06:48:23 AM
Reporting back:
I sprang for the Zuill Bailey recording I asked about a few days ago (on the Purchases Being Considered thread, I think).    I think it's quite well done.......................

Not sure if I may have been responding about Bailey in the other thread, but he was excellent in concert when I saw him a while back, and his Beethoven Cello Works w/ Dinnerstein is quite good (excellent review by Jerry Dubins quoted HERE (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=230923)).

For those still questioning a new or additional version of the Cello Suites, BRO is still offering the much lauded Queyras set, described in the attachment - mine is 'in the mail'!  :D
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Guido on February 10, 2010, 05:57:13 PM
BTW, the most ridicuously unHIP reading of the suites I've ever heard is that of Alexander Kniazev. He stretches to 3 CDs, because he draws out the 6th suite to such absurd lengths that it won't fit on a disc with numbers 4 and 5. Incredibly, the Allemande of this suite, which is normally a matter of 7 or 8 minutes, Kniazev clocks in at an amazing 16 minutes...

The bizarre thing, though, is that I absolutely adore his playing, and return to it frequently - it's 'wrong', but it is so so right! If you're going to indulge in a romanticised reading of the suites, why not go the whole hog?

Never even heard of that guy!


My favourite recording is still Rsotropovich's as I'm sure I said earlier on this thread.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Luke on February 11, 2010, 05:46:54 AM
Never even heard of that guy!


Big long-haired broodingly good-looking blood-and-thunder young Russian cellist  :D His Chopin/Rachmaninov disc with Nicolai Lugansky really pulls out all the stops, I'm rather impressed.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/414WVB7ADYL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41TYH7PCMEL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Franco on February 11, 2010, 06:57:00 AM
He brings to my mind those cavemen guys from the Geico commercials.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: karlhenning on February 11, 2010, 07:02:50 AM
I knew I'd seen him in an airport somewhere . . . .
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Drasko on February 11, 2010, 07:25:43 AM
Kniazev plays often in trio with Berezovsky and Makhtin, not bad trio, as can be seen in this classic:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZG931XPV5VU
or maybe bit more in this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxMS6S4k69k
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: DavidRoss on February 11, 2010, 07:27:36 AM
I knew I'd seen him in an airport somewhere . . . .
Wearing saffron robes and chanting?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Guido on February 11, 2010, 03:32:49 PM
Just listened to Kniazev myself on Spotify - too much for me! It's all a bit predictable - so many tracks are over the 5 minute mark... I don't think the music survives. Rostropovich takes 10 minutes on that last Courante (one of the most profoundly beautiful movements in all of the suites) but the result is actually the otherwordly, heilig-gesang that this guy is clearly aiming at.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: George on February 17, 2010, 04:01:05 AM
He brings to my mind those cavemen guys from the Geico commercials.

I thought it was Slash.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: karlhenning on February 18, 2010, 05:56:17 AM
For those still questioning a new or additional version of the Cello Suites, BRO is still offering the much lauded Queyras set, described in the attachment - mine is 'in the mail'!  :D

Well, I snoozed and I lost.  (Strictly speaking not a snooze, just temporary non-capacity for trigger-pulling.)

That's all right; there will be other fabulous recordings!
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: stingo on March 12, 2010, 09:55:00 AM
Any thoughts on Bruno Cocset's version on Alpha?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on March 12, 2010, 11:57:29 PM
Any thoughts on Bruno Cocset's version on Alpha?

Se reply 12 in this very thread.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Que on March 13, 2010, 12:21:47 AM
Se reply 12 in this very thread.

And reply 61 (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,3719.msg102263.html#msg102263). 8)

Q
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: stingo on March 13, 2010, 08:02:37 AM
Gotcha!

Sorry, can't help there.  :-\

S'ok - to bring this back to topic, I'd been thinking about the Cocset version for a while, but was unsure, even after listening to the samples at the Alpha Productions website. I'd seen the review cited from Amazon n the earlier post, but was unsure about the recording. Samples are one thing but I didn't know if I'd want to listen to the whole thing. Guess the only way to find out is to get it.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: George on March 13, 2010, 08:34:52 AM
S'ok - to bring this back to topic, I'd been thinking about the Cocset version for a while, but was unsure, even after listening to the samples at the Alpha Productions website. I'd seen the review cited from Amazon n the earlier post, but was unsure about the recording. Samples are one thing but I didn't know if I'd want to listen to the whole thing. Guess the only way to find out is to get it.

Have you tried Wispelwey on Channel Classics? That one is my current favorite. It's a beautifully introspective reading.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Moldyoldie on March 13, 2010, 08:52:24 AM
Schiff and Kirschbaum are the two I have -- nicely contrasting and can be recommended.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Peregrine on March 18, 2010, 02:16:55 PM
Anyone mentioned Shafran? Suites 2 - 5 are available in a Brilliant box set. Big boned, romantic readings that won't be to everyone's tastes, but I think they are rather fab...

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Antoine Marchand on March 27, 2010, 07:40:10 AM
Maybe somebody could be interested in THIS (http://www.cello.org/Newsletter/Articles/wispelwey/wispelwey.htm) deep and intelligent interview to Pieter Wispelwey about his teachers, his approach to Bach's Cello Suites, gut strings v/s steel strings, Anner Bylsma, Gustav Leonhardt, etc.  :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: George on March 27, 2010, 07:48:08 AM
Maybe somebody could be interested in THIS (http://www.cello.org/Newsletter/Articles/wispelwey/wispelwey.htm) deep and intelligent interview to Pieter Wispelwey about his teachers, his approach to Bach's Cello Suites, gut strings v/s steel strings, Anner Bylsma, Gustav Leonhardt, etc.  :)

Thanks for that!

I am a big fan of his Cello Suites, the one on the Channel label. haven't heard the other one.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Antoine Marchand on March 27, 2010, 08:05:45 AM
Thanks for that!

My pleasure!  :)

I am a big fan of his Cello Suites, the one on the Channel label. haven't heard the other one.

IIRC, you have Wispelwey's second recording; the first one dates from the 80s, also on Channel Classics. I found this interview today, while I was listening to his break-necking performance of Haydn's Cello Concerto in C, accompanied by the Florilegium Ensemble (Channel too).

 

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: George on March 27, 2010, 08:07:02 AM
IIRC, you have Wispelwey's second recording;

That's correct.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: DavidRoss on March 27, 2010, 08:15:27 AM
Maybe somebody could be interested in THIS (http://www.cello.org/Newsletter/Articles/wispelwey/wispelwey.htm) deep and intelligent interview to Pieter Wispelwey about his teachers, his approach to Bach's Cello Suites, gut strings v/s steel strings, Anner Bylsma, Gustav Leonhardt, etc.  :)

Yes, thank you.  I do not know Wispelwey's first recording of the Suites for Channel Classics, but the second is an old favorite.  Id like to hear the aluminum-wrapped gut strings he speaks of.  His comments on the Schumann concerto were interesting:
Quote
Schumann's own metronome marking is a good clue: 130 beats per minute. I've heard it played as slowly as 88 beats per minute, which makes quite a difference. I'm certainly not the first to feel this way. I believe there is a new Bärenreiter edition that quotes Clara Schumann as describing the piece as "radiant and outgoing," which isn't exactly what cellists are being taught generally. The Schumann is still often played with Pablo Casals' brand of yawning profundity.
Perhaps the Schumann's better than it sounds (with a tip of the hat to Mark Twain)...?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Antoine Marchand on March 27, 2010, 08:40:06 AM
There are several insightful ideas there, also some funny comments:

"In addition to solidifying my cello technique, I have her to thank for my obsession with gut strings. Even as a child I used them -- pure gut A and D -- and I continued to use them throughout my conservatory years and during the first few years of my professional career. This became problematic when I began performing pieces like the Britten Suites and the Dutilleux and Shostakovich concerti, so I eventually switched to steel strings, which ironically, in the case of the pieces I just mentioned, was a sort of "period-string" authenticity, since they were all written for Rostropovich, who of course plays on steel".   :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Scarpia on March 27, 2010, 09:59:17 AM
(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/CCS1090.jpg)(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/CCS12298.jpg)

Which is which?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Opus106 on March 27, 2010, 10:08:59 AM
'90 on the left; '98 on the right (http://www.channelclassics.com/catalogsearch/result/index/?q=wispelwey+bach+cello+suites&x=0&y=0&cat=27).
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: karlhenning on April 21, 2010, 04:46:27 AM

Quote from: Dave
For those still questioning a new or additional version of the Cello Suites, BRO is still offering the much lauded Queyras set, described in the attachment - mine is 'in the mail'!  :D

Well, I snoozed and I lost.  (Strictly speaking not a snooze, just temporary non-capacity for trigger-pulling.)

That's all right; there will be other fabulous recordings!


Well, I am lucky, and no mistake:  BRO has the Queyras back in stock.
 
And, yes, I done pulled the trigger.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: DavidRoss on April 21, 2010, 06:32:57 AM
Well, I snoozed and I lost.  (Strictly speaking not a snooze, just temporary non-capacity for trigger-pulling.)

That's all right; there will be other fabulous recordings!


 
Well, I am lucky, and no mistake:  BRO has the Queyras back in stock.
 
And, yes, I done pulled the trigger.
Fabulous? No.  But lovely?  Yes.  Thoughtful?  Yes.  More "thoughtful" than "dancing," I would say.  And in very good sound in a rich but not terribly reverberant acoustic.  An especially good value at BRO's prices, and a fine addition (for me) to Tortelier, Fournier, Casals, and others. 

I think I'll put it on now.  and I hope you enjoy it as much as I.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: MN Dave on April 21, 2010, 06:34:30 AM
Yes, it's a nice addition to my Casal and Schiff. Must listen to it more.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Grazioso on April 22, 2010, 04:22:23 AM

Well, I am lucky, and no mistake:  BRO has the Queyras back in stock.
 
And, yes, I done pulled the trigger.

I started listening to his traversal recently, and man is it wonderful! I think I may have a new favorite. Nice that the set comes with a bonus DVD, too.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Peregrine on April 22, 2010, 08:38:23 PM
For those interested, someone has posted a recent live performance of Queyras playing all of the Bach Cello Suites over at symphonyshare:

http://bit.ly/cTvoAO
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Maciek on April 23, 2010, 02:21:47 PM
You can also listen to Queyras' Bach on France Musique (for another 2 weeks, roughly) here (http://sites.radiofrance.fr/francemusique/em/concert-soir/emission.php?e_id=80000056&d_id=400001020) (click on the headphones icon). With a few cantatas tucked in between.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: james66 on May 18, 2010, 12:15:57 AM

Jaap ter Linden has recorded the Cello Suites twice, first for Harmonia Mundi and then Brilliant Classics. Which would be the better recording to acquire?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Bulldog on May 18, 2010, 08:59:26 AM
Jaap ter Linden has recorded the Cello Suites twice, first for Harmonia Mundi and then Brilliant Classics. Which would be the better recording to acquire?

Very interesting.  I assumed that the set on Brilliant was the same as on Harmonia Mundi; I was way off on that one.  Will have to check it out - thanks for the heads-up.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Antoine Marchand on May 18, 2010, 11:53:07 AM
Jaap ter Linden has recorded the Cello Suites twice, first for Harmonia Mundi and then Brilliant Classics. Which would be the better recording to acquire?

I have both of them and Brilliant Classics is clearly prefereable for sound quality reasons. The HM version is beautiful, but notoriously damaged for its over-reverberant sound.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: james66 on May 18, 2010, 06:01:31 PM

Your welcome, Don. I believe you gave a favourable review of the first set, look forward to reading your views on the second.

Antoine, after trying samples from jpc and amazon, I readily agree with you about the sound quality of both recordings. How do you find interpretation though? Are they similar or are there marked differences? From what I heard, they seem quite similar, introspective and almost meditative. But even from the samples the cello on the Brilliant Classics recording sounds absolutely gorgeous.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Antoine Marchand on May 18, 2010, 07:21:18 PM
Antoine, after trying samples from jpc and amazon, I readily agree with you about the sound quality of both recordings. How do you find interpretation though? Are they similar or are there marked differences? From what I heard, they seem quite similar, introspective and almost meditative. But even from the samples the cello on the Brilliant Classics recording sounds absolutely gorgeous.

IMO you are totally right, James.

Both interpretations are quite similar, but the sound quality is a decisive aspect in favour of the Brilliant set. Besides, the 1703 Giovanni Grancino used there sounds gorgeous (different cellos are used in the HM set).

Jaap ter Linden is generally a sober, meditative artist and his performances in these works are full of what I would call certain beautiful autumnal spirit.  :)   
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: james66 on May 19, 2010, 05:34:33 PM

Thanks, Antoine, will be getting Linden's Brilliant Classics recording. So far, I have three sets (all on modern cellos), Ralph Kirshbaum (beautiful singing interpretation, although occasionaly a bit romanitized), Paul Tortelier (1961, which I find more spontaneous and enjoyable than his 1983 recording) and Heinrich Schiff (sprightly and vigorous in nature). The next sets will hopefully feature baroque cellos, and besides Linden, I also have my eye on Paolo Beschi, Ophelie Gaillard and Bruno Cocset.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Antoine Marchand on May 19, 2010, 06:05:29 PM
The next sets will hopefully feature baroque cellos, and besides Linden, I also have my eye on Paolo Beschi, Ophelie Gaillard and Bruno Cocset.

... and currently the violoncello da spalla is also an option on period instruments:

(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/Large/23/1063723.jpg)

(http://www.wosu.org/blogs/classical/wp-content/uploads/sigiswald1.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Que on May 19, 2010, 09:43:49 PM
And there is an option on viola da gamba. :)

Though your eye on Beschi, Gaillard and Cocset seem to be right on target IMO. :)

(http://pixhost.ws/avaxhome/2008-06-08/BachCelloSuitesCover_orig.jpg)

Q

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: karlhenning on May 20, 2010, 03:03:37 AM
Even though I had pulled the trigger on the Queyras as soon as BRO had notified me they had it back in . . . they were out of it when time came to prepare my shipment.

Who knows? They may get it back in next month.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Antoine Marchand on May 20, 2010, 04:45:18 AM
And there is an option on viola da gamba. :)

Yes, but that is a transcription for viola da gamba.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Coopmv on May 20, 2010, 05:58:24 PM
And there is an option on viola da gamba. :)

Though your eye on Beschi, Gaillard and Cocset seem to be right on target IMO. :)

(http://pixhost.ws/avaxhome/2008-06-08/BachCelloSuitesCover_orig.jpg)

Q

I have this twofer and thought the performance was quite refreshing on my first and only listen.  I will have to find time to relisten.  How do you like this set, Q?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Scarpia on May 20, 2010, 10:22:34 PM
Even though I had pulled the trigger on the Queyras as soon as BRO had notified me they had it back in . . . they were out of it when time came to prepare my shipment.

Who knows? They may get it back in next month.


You do know you can get it any time you want for less than 13 quid at MDT?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: karlhenning on May 21, 2010, 04:33:54 AM
Thanks for the suggestion!
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Scarpia on May 21, 2010, 04:52:13 AM
Thanks for the suggestion!

Plus shipping.   :'(
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: karlhenning on May 21, 2010, 05:01:13 AM
Well, my curiosity for the Queyras set easily extends to the $12 that BRO listed it at.  I don't think it quite runs to £13 plus shipping.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Josquin des Prez on May 21, 2010, 06:58:07 AM
Sometimes the boring choices are the best:

(http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/88/8e/cc0db220dca07b2850206010.L.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: karlhenning on May 21, 2010, 07:08:51 AM
Sometimes the boring choices are among the best

Emended.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: GKC on May 21, 2010, 07:24:42 AM
Anybody heard this one?  I am considering buying it, but would like to know folks' opinion:

http://sa-cd.net/showtitle/4230

And is it P.I.P.?

Thanks
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Bulldog on May 21, 2010, 07:53:54 AM
Anybody heard this one?  I am considering buying it, but would like to know folks' opinion:

http://sa-cd.net/showtitle/4230

And is it P.I.P.?

Thanks

Defintely not a period instrument performance - rather romantic/big-boned in conception and highly individualistic.  However, I do like the interpretations that I've heard on the Naxos Music Library.  Sound is up-front.  Although I generally prefer this music on baroque cello, Lipkind is a keeper.  The negative consideration is that it's a very pricey 3 disc set.

If I remember correctly, Jens reviewed this set either for MusicWeb International or on the WETA site.  Perhaps he will chime in with his assessment.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: jlaurson on May 26, 2010, 03:44:24 AM


Busy listening to the Cello Suites:


Bach Suites Shouldered (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=2040)

http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=2040 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=2040)

Bach Cello Suites (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/05/bach-cello-suites.html)
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/05/bach-cello-suites.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/05/bach-cello-suites.html)


In 1713, the viola pomposa was what all the cool kids played...
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: DavidRoss on May 26, 2010, 08:44:10 AM
FWIW, my taste jives with Jens:  Fournier, Wispelwey, Queyras...though I like Tortelier, too, and have enjoyed Beschi nearly as much...and must admit to Ma's indulgent second recording as a guilty pleasure!  Haven't heard Lipkind, and the price is a deterrent, but if both Jens and Don like him then he's doubtless worth checking out.  ;D
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: jlaurson on May 26, 2010, 08:58:37 AM
Defintely not a period instrument performance - rather romantic/big-boned in conception and highly individualistic.  However, I do like the interpretations that I've heard on the Naxos Music Library.  Sound is up-front.  Although I generally prefer this music on baroque cello, Lipkind is a keeper.  The negative consideration is that it's a very pricey 3 disc set.

If I remember correctly, Jens reviewed this set either for MusicWeb International or on the WETA site.  Perhaps he will chime in with his assessment.

There are snippets all over; Fanfare, MWeb, ionarts, WETA... I think this summarizes best: http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=260 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=260)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 26, 2010, 03:14:01 PM
FWIW, my taste jives with Jens:  Fournier, Wispelwey, Queyras...though I like Tortelier, too, and have enjoyed Beschi nearly as much...and must admit to Ma's indulgent second recording as a guilty pleasure!  Haven't heard Lipkind, and the price is a deterrent, but if both Jens and Don like him then he's doubtless worth checking out.  ;D

Well, Lipkind appears to be a MAJOR contender in this crowded arena - but at $50 on the Amazon Marketplace for 3 CDs -  :o  Will put on my 'wish list' and hope for a price reduction!   ;D
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Bogey on June 05, 2010, 07:18:05 AM
Featured on NPR:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127479657
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: jlaurson on June 05, 2010, 07:22:25 AM
Featured on NPR:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127479657

Oh Gawd, yes... CD Pick of the Week at my (NPR affiliated) station, too.
So we decided to add a slightly critical comment on those recordings... because being critical is not the job of NPR (or anything on the air):

N E W   R E L E A S E S:  C D S
CD Pick of the Week & Recent Releases
http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=2028 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=2028)
Quote
Another Telarc artist in that line is Zuill Bailey,
a cellist of 40 years who is marketed as a young
Fabio of the cello (if with less flamboyance than
organist “Cameron”). Every glamour-shot—and
there are plenty to be found in the notes of his
recent releases and on his website—tries hard
to suggest, or underline, the irresistible masculine
charisma of his chiseled chin.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Scarpia on June 05, 2010, 07:24:09 AM
Featured on NPR:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127479657

How can I go on reading this when it starts with such an inane claim, that this recording is "unique" because it was performed on a cello made during Bach's lifetime.  Don't those dimwits know that a significant fraction of instruments used by soloists were made in Bach's time or earlier?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Brahmsian on October 08, 2010, 08:31:54 AM

Maurice Gendron (Philips) give us noble and balanced interpretations, which already are a little oldfashioned but still impressive.

Hello, can anyone else comment if they have the Gendron set on Philips?  It's available at my local Bricks & Mortar store for $9.99

In particular, how is the sound?  And, how is the Sarabande of the 5th Cello Suite, my own personal litmus test for the Cello Suites.  ;D :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: jlaurson on October 08, 2010, 08:51:55 AM
How can I go on reading this when it starts with such an inane claim, that this recording is "unique" because it was performed on a cello made during Bach's lifetime.  Don't those dimwits know that a significant fraction of instruments used by soloists were made in Bach's time or earlier?

That's why you should read my off-color review, not the standard NPR fare.  ;D
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on October 09, 2010, 06:25:52 AM
Hello, can anyone else comment if they have the Gendron set on Philips?  It's available at my local Bricks & Mortar store for $9.99

In particular, how is the sound?  And, how is the Sarabande of the 5th Cello Suite, my own personal litmus test for the Cello Suites.  ;D :)


Gendron´s playing is very clear and eloquent, expressive but not romantic  like e.g. Tortellier.
Neither is Gendron interpretation "regal" like Fournier´s on his Archiv version, but much more human.You may at first listening find his Sarabande of the 5th suite a bit fast, but I find it refreshing. The sound is excellent. All in all I tend to prefer Gendron to Fournier within a close margin.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Brahmsian on October 09, 2010, 06:49:20 AM


Gendron´s playing is very clear and eloquent, expressive but not romantic  like e.g. Tortellier.
Neither is Gendron "regal" like Fournier on his Archiv version, but much more human.You may at first listening find his Sarabande of the 5th suite a bit fast, but I find it refreshing. The sound is excellent. All in all I tend to prefer Gendron to Fournier within a close margin.

Thanks!  I was eager, and went ahead and bought the Gendron.  The price was right.  2-fer $9.99
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Marc on October 09, 2010, 01:46:07 PM
Thanks!  I was eager, and went ahead and bought the Gendron.  The price was right.  2-fer $9.99
Good man!
(I agree with Premont's description of Gendron's Bach, although I dunno Fournier & Tortelier.)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Scarpia on October 09, 2010, 02:56:58 PM
Gendron´s playing is very clear and eloquent, expressive but not romantic  like e.g. Tortellier.
Neither is Gendron "regal" like Fournier on his Archiv version, but much more human.You may at first listening find his Sarabande of the 5th suite a bit fast, but I find it refreshing. The sound is excellent. All in all I tend to prefer Gendron to Fournier within a close margin.

Again, Grendron is more "human" than Fournier?  I've seen photos of Fournier and I didn't notice any gills, or signs of non-human DNA.   ;D
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on October 09, 2010, 03:02:25 PM
Again, Grendron is more "human" than Fournier?  I've seen photos of Fournier and I didn't notice any gills, or signs of non-human DNA.   ;D

Of course not, I am referring to his playing and not to his physique.

But thanks so much for your kind correction.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: jlaurson on October 09, 2010, 03:05:12 PM
Of course not, I am referring to his playing and not to his physique.

And I believe Scarpia is making a point about errant adjectives, not special confusion.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Antoine Marchand on October 09, 2010, 03:12:07 PM
And I believe Scarpia is making a point about errant adjectives, not special confusion.

No, Jens, Scarpia was making a joke and we –Bachians- are deadly serious guys.  ;)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on October 09, 2010, 03:27:44 PM
And I believe Scarpia is making a point about errant adjectives, not special confusion.

He certainly did, but his "point" was besides my point and irrelevant for that matter..
 
And may I remind you of the fact, that English isn´t my first tongue.

Yes, I am deadly serious.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Scarpia on October 09, 2010, 04:57:04 PM
He certainly did, but his "point" was besides my point and irrelevant for that matter..
 
And may I remind you of the fact, that English isn´t my first tongue.

Yes, I am deadly serious.

My point certainly is not irrelevant.  The point is that a statement that a performance is "human" says nothing to me, other than you like it better.  If it is expressive, exciting, graceful, elegant, sensitive, fast, soft, loud, then I have some idea what the performance is like.  That Grendon is more "human" than Fournier, what could that possibly mean? 
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on October 09, 2010, 05:04:01 PM
My point certainly is not irrelevant.  The point is that a statement that a performance is "human" says nothing to me, other than you like it better.  If it is expressive, exciting, graceful, elegant, sensitive, fast, soft, loud, then I have some idea what the performance is like.  That Grendon is more "human" than Fournier, what could that possibly mean?

Normally "more human" means in my vocabulary more expressive and spontaneous, as opposed to more formally "perfect" playing.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Scarpia on October 09, 2010, 06:05:25 PM
Normally "more human" means in my vocabulary more expressive and spontaneous, as opposed to more formally "perfect" playing.

Now expressive and spontaneous I understand.  If I had to put a word to Fournier it would not be perfect, it would be noble, which is no less a human attribute than expressiveness. 
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on October 09, 2010, 10:58:02 PM
If I had to put a word to Fournier it would not be perfect, it would be noble, which is no less a human attribute than expressiveness.

Well, I wrote "regal" above - read "superhuman" if you want.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: jlaurson on October 09, 2010, 11:05:33 PM
Normally "more human" means in my vocabulary more expressive and spontaneous, as opposed to more formally "perfect" playing.

"English isn't my first language" really doesn't pull much weight around here, I'm afraid.  ;)

"expressive and spontaneous" *is* a better description (whether it's more appropriate is a different matter; Grendon's recording being among the few I don't actually have.

'Formally perfect', however, is far from what I'd call Fournier. That might suggest 'coldness', and Fournier's acount maybe many things (I suggest, akin to Scarpia's 'nobility', the word 'patrician'. 'Regal' does get there, too... but 'superhuman'??? There's tons of poise, but also real warmth to his playing.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Maciek on October 11, 2010, 03:47:07 AM
Don't worry, premont, I for one had no problem understanding what you meant the first time round.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: springrite on October 14, 2010, 05:06:17 AM
Ordered the Queyras which should arrive in early November. Can't wait! I haven't had a new one for well over a decade. I do love the ones I have -- Fournier (2 versions), Starker and Ma. Wait, I gave the Ma away a few years ago. I assume Queyras is a more than adequate replacement or even an upgrade?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: karlhenning on October 14, 2010, 05:19:34 AM
I cannot imagine regrets for having given Ma away ; )
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: springrite on October 14, 2010, 05:31:07 AM
I cannot imagine regrets for having given Ma away ; )

If someone who know nothing about classical music read this, I wonder what the reaction would be.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: jlaurson on October 14, 2010, 09:14:05 AM
Ordered the Queyras which should arrive in early November. Can't wait! I haven't had a new one for well over a decade. I do love the ones I have -- Fournier (2 versions), Starker and Ma. Wait, I gave the Ma away a few years ago. I assume Queyras is a more than adequate replacement or even an upgrade?

Queyras is the Fournier-recording for the 21st century. Terrrrrrrrrrrrrrific!
http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=260 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=260)

(and http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/05/bach-cello-suites.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2010/05/bach-cello-suites.html))
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Que on November 20, 2010, 12:37:30 AM
Recently received, first listen:

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b45/advocatus_diaboli/bachbadiarov.jpg)

This is a stunning recording. The sound of the violoncello da spalla is rich and intense, and Badiarov's playing is technically assured and intensely musical.  Most highly recommended!

And will seriously consider this, don't have a version on violincello da spalla yet. I belive there are now three choices: Kuijken, Badiarov and Terakado?

Q
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Antoine Marchand on November 20, 2010, 03:49:44 AM
And will seriously consider this, don't have a version on violincello da spalla yet. I belive there are now three choices: Kuijken, Badiarov and Terakado?

I totally agree with Pére Malfait (here and about Kuijken's Brandenburgs): Badiarov's set is a must-have.

The only problem: Kuijken's and Terakado's, too.  ;D

Seriously, all those recordings are fantastically performed (quite different approaches, anyway), which is also probably an argument in favor of the cello da spalla.

For some reason, I think Badiarov could be the best option for you.  :) 
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: SonicMan46 on November 20, 2010, 05:52:18 AM

And will seriously consider this, don't have a version on violincello da spalla yet. I belive there are now three choices: Kuijken, Badiarov and Terakado?


For those who may be interested in the shoulder cello, check out the posts in the Old Instuments Thread HERE (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,11638.msg311374.html#msg311374) - I own the Kuijken recording, and wonder how the performances might compare to others?   :D
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on November 20, 2010, 11:25:42 AM
Not Don, but...

Sigiswald Kuijken on Accent (cello da spalla).

Sergei Istomin (Analekta).

Some people will say Bruno Cocset on Alpha, but it's not my cup of tea.

BTW, I like Gastinel, but I am a man in love.  ;D

I marginally prefer Dmitri Badiarov to Sigiswald Kuijken, but ideally one should have both as well as Terakado.

Concerning recordings on floor cello my preferred versions are still Heinrich Schiff, Morten Zeuthen and Ralph Kirchbaum, but at the moment I am going through all the sets I own, many of which I do not yet know at all (recent aquisitions), and I have already heard several surprisingly substantial sets from lesser known cellists, so my preferences may change in the future.

I agree partially with - I think it was Scarpia - who recently wrote something like: The difference between baroque cello and "modern" cello is of lesser importance in these works. At least it is true when it is about historically informed cellists born after ca 1950 IMO.

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Antoine Marchand on November 20, 2010, 12:02:26 PM
I marginally prefer Dmitri Badiarov to Sigiswald Kuijken, but ideally one should have both as well as Terakado.

Concerning recordings on floor cello my preferred versions are still Heinrich Schiff, Morten Zeuthen and Ralph Kirchbaum, but at the moment I am going through all the sets I own, many of which I do not yet know at all (recent aquisitions), and I have already heard several surprisingly substantial sets from lesser known cellists, so my preferences may change in the future.

Hi, Premont. I just mentioned Kuijken because Badiarov and Terakado are not available on NML, which was Brian's question (I mean fine cello suites available on NML). That's the reason why I included Istomin, not one of my "finalists", but an excellent interpreter. That's also the reason because I spoke about Cocset, also available on NML.   

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: jlaurson on November 21, 2010, 05:33:43 AM
And will seriously consider this, don't have a version on violincello da spalla yet. I belive there are now three choices: Kuijken, Badiarov and Terakado?

Q

That's crazy. Three versions of the Bach Suites on Viola Pomposa already? Classical Music Industry "dead", anyone? Wow. We're spoiled for choice.

Review of the Kuijken, the only one I've heard so far, here: http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=2040 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=2040)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Antoine Marchand on November 21, 2010, 06:34:31 AM
For people interested in the research involved in the rediscovering of the violoncello da spalla, probably the best way is to read an stimulating article by Dmitry Badiarov titled "The Violoncello, Viola da Spalla and Viola Pomposa in Theory and Practice", originally published by the Galpin Society Journal. I got a copy some years ago, as a gift when I suscribed Badirov's blog.

http://www.mediafire.com/?wmsie30ixb0nizi

 8)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on November 21, 2010, 10:51:10 AM
Thanks, Antoine, quite a treatise. :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on November 21, 2010, 10:55:34 AM
That's crazy. Three versions of the Bach Suites on Viola Pomposa already? 
We're spoiled for choice.

Not at all.  We have been in serious need of these recordings for many years.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: DavidW on November 21, 2010, 12:28:24 PM
Looking back on this thread I saw that I had considered Paolo Beschi's recording, and at least what is on youtube still sounds marvelous, not like that old stodgy Fournier recording. >:D

Anyway but perhaps I need to consider one of the violincello da spalla recordings instead.  Hmm... decisions, decisions.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: SonicMan46 on November 21, 2010, 03:22:47 PM
......Anyway but perhaps I need to consider one of the violincello da spalla recordings instead.  Hmm... decisions, decisions.

Yep David - I have the Kuijken recording, as mentioned previously w/ a link to a thread discussing the instrument posted earlier in this thread; just finished reading Antoine's link - the history of these instruments is indeed confusing -  ::)

First, I'd probably suggest that if you like these works, then a set w/ this instrument would be of historic interest (as I do) - and second, I would likely recommend the one that you can obtain at a good price since so far the performances may be similar?  However, these instruments were in a state of evolution and the ones used in recent releases may sound differently and of course the suites would likely be performed w/ different personal interpretations - I'd actually enjoy obtaining the other recording, if the price were right - but there's the rub, I guess -  :)  Dave
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Brian on November 21, 2010, 03:33:29 PM
DavidW, Kuijken's set is on NML, where I have been enjoying it over the last few days. :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: DavidW on November 21, 2010, 03:35:18 PM
Thanks Brian!  That makes it easy for me... I'll give it a listen.  Think I'll go and save it to a playlist before I forget... :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: PaulSC on December 29, 2010, 02:28:43 AM
I've been considering getting the Kuijken or Badiarov Suites but am still undecided. Kuijken, on NML, is easier to preview. For Badiarov I've just got 30-second samples of each track (at amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Cello-Suites-J-S-Bach/dp/B003SSIL7A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1293617117&sr=1-1)). Badiarov's warmer tone attracted me more, initially, but Kuijken's playing seems livelier and more stylish now that I've spent more time with it. I can't quite convince myself I would spend money on either recording if the novelty factor of the violoncello da spalla weren't in play. Both are quite good, but it's a crowded field with more than 80 complete recordings on baroque and modern cello readily available.

I'll bide my time, see if I can sample Badiarov at greater length, and make some decisions about other potential purchases (chiefly Isserlis and the rarely-mentioned Suren Bagratuni <iTunes (http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/bach-cello-suites-2-cds/id151290053)> on modern instruments, and Wispelwey 1998 and Jaap ter Linden on baroque). Maybe I'll manage to sample Terakado; maybe additional choices featuring da spalla will appear.

Here's a puzzle. Based on all the pictures I've seen, Badiarov plays an instrument with five strings, Kuijken one with four. Does this mean Kuijken recorded the 6th Suite on a four-string instrument?

EDIT - I may have solved my own puzzle. The instrument pictured with Kuijken has four strings but five tuning pegs. So I suspect it can easily be fitted with a fifth string when needed.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: jlaurson on December 29, 2010, 02:41:06 AM
I've been considering getting ...yaddayadda... make some decisions about other potential purchases (chiefly Isserlis ...

What I don't quite understand: if you're ready to waste your money on Isserlis (from a choice of 80+, as you say), why fuss so much about which of two versions on the pomposa to get?

Quote
Here's a puzzle. Based on all the pictures I've seen, Badiarov plays an instrument with five strings, Kuijken one with four. Does this mean Kuijken recorded the 6th Suite on a four-string instrument?

Peg-counting is easier than string-counting.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: PaulSC on December 29, 2010, 02:51:04 AM
To supply the obvious answer to a probably rhetorical question: Because I think the Isserlis is superior to the Badiarov and the Kuijken.

Edit: Still I hope our different tastes in this matter won't put you off sampling the Bagratuni (if you don't know it already).
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: jlaurson on December 29, 2010, 02:59:15 AM
To supply the obvious answer to a probably rhetorical question: Because I think the Isserlis is superior to the Badiarov and the Kuijken.

Edit: Still I hope our different tastes in this matter won't put you off sampling the Bagratuni (if you don't know it already).

But I thought you had just ascertained that they're two completely different categories of performances, and thus not really in competition?
No one, except a hardy few, would ever argue for a da spalla version as your primary go-to. Even Kuijken doesn't. It's a curiosity for, well, the curious. (I only know the Kuijken; I quite like it both: as a disc of the Cello Suites and as an curiosity-item. http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=2040 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=2040)

So Isserlis would rather have to be better than Queyras or Fournier or Klinger or Lipkind etc.etc.. And that's not considering HIP recordings. For example Wispelwey, HIP or not, would blow Isserlis out of the water any time.

Suren Bagratuni seems rather an out-of-the-way choice. What in particular do you find fascinating about him in the iTunes samples?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: PaulSC on December 29, 2010, 03:10:40 AM
But I thought you had just ascertained that they're two completely different categories of performances, and thus not really in competition?
No one, except a hardy few, would ever argue for a da spalla version as your primary go-to. Even Kuijken doesn't. It's a curiosity for, well, the curious. (I only know the Kuijken; I quite like it both: as a disc of the Cello Suites and as an curiosity-item. http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=2040 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=2040)

So Isserlis would rather have to be better than Queyras or Fournier or Klinger or Lipkind etc.etc.. And that's not considering HIP recordings. For example Wispelwey, HIP or not, would blow Isserlis out of the water any time.

Oh, I understand all that. I'm not trying to choose a best one out of the versions that I mentioned (or that you mentioned). I'm just trying to decide in each case whether I do or don't like it enough to buy it (although I do consider, among other things, whether a candidate brings something new alongside what I already own). In the case of Queyras and Lipkind, the answer is no. In the case of Klinger, the answer is yes -- I own it.

In other cases, I haven't decided. Neither Wispelwey nor Isserlis blows the other out of the water.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: PaulSC on December 29, 2010, 03:57:23 AM
Suren Bagratuni seems rather an out-of-the-way choice. What in particular do you find fascinating about him in the iTunes samples?

Overall, I admire Bagratuni's warm-but-focused timbre (although the recorded sound is a bit distant ) and his precise intonation and graceful ornamentation.

He plays with excellent momentum/directionality but uses inflections of both tone and time to good effect -- he projects both the architecture and the rhetoric of the music. I like his singing approach to the Sarabandes, with well-integrated chords, and I like the excitement he generates in the faster dances.

I also feel he projects a convincing character in each movement. His D minor suite seems strongest in this respect. The prelude is tragic and intense, and I love how he handles the filigree gesture that extends the first cadence on the dominant in the Allemande. The Sarabande is filled with longing; he uses/witholds vibrato in all the right places. The minuets are genuinely dance-like, yet they have a dark quality (compare the relatively sunny treatment of the Minuets in the first suite or the Bourees in the third).

I also think he acquits himself well throughout the (samples of the) sixth suite, which I find is the one that most often defeats performers on a four-string (four-peg!) instrument. In the prelude of that suite, he uses echo effects for some of the repeated figures without seeming gimmicky. Other nuances are similarly well judged.

Is that useful (as a guide to my idiosyncratic tastes, if nothing else)?

EDIT: At least, I seem to have talked myself into buying it.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Bulldog on December 29, 2010, 09:48:44 AM
So Isserlis would rather have to be better than Queyras or Fournier or Klinger or Lipkind etc.etc.. And that's not considering HIP recordings. For example Wispelwey, HIP or not, would blow Isserlis out of the water any time.

Not being a fan of Wispelwey's Bach, I don't feel he blows any cellist out of the water.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Antoine Marchand on December 29, 2010, 10:15:52 AM
Not being a fan of Wispelwey's Bach, I don't feel he blows any cellist out of the water.

I wonder if you have listened to his two (AFAIK) recordings, Don. I think his first try was less "Romantic" than the second one.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Bulldog on December 29, 2010, 10:47:15 AM
I wonder if you have listened to his two (AFAIK) recordings, Don. I think his first try was less "Romantic" than the second one.

I have his second recording from 1998 and often found the playing under-projected and just plain weak. 
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: PaulSC on December 30, 2010, 03:32:23 PM
I do find Wispelwey compelling, and I don't mind his often soft-spoken delivery -- it's a concept of cello timbre that works okay for me on a baroque instrument, although it would bother me more in an otherwise romantic-tradition context.

But I've auditioned enough to notice one thing in Wispelwey's playing that I find really bothersome. He has a tendency to play isolated notes much louder or softer than expected, almost as if this were a substitute for ornamentation (which he applies only sparingly). Listen for instance to his Courante from the first suite. At the cadence that rounds off the repeat of the first half, the leading tone at the end of m. 17 is vanishingly soft. And during the second time through the second half, low E in m. 28 is subito fortissimo, which is like a bad joke; this detail alone makes it a performance I won't enjoy revisiting.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Leon on January 07, 2011, 08:10:39 AM
Interesting discussion for me since just last night I was thinking of these very same performances, well not all of them, just the da spalla versions and the Lipkind.

I can't get the Kuijken to play on NML for me, an error message comes up.

I did listen to the first suite from Lipkind and liked his tone/take, but am not sure I am  100% sold on the indulgent style, don't know if that will wear well.

So for now, Fournier will continue to rule my cello suite roost, until I decide to drop some $$$ on one of the da spalla recordings.

I am interested - very interested - but I don't need that many recordings of these works; I've already three, Fournier and Casals and Rosti (and only ever listen to Fournier) - so a recording of more recent vintage would be nice to have, but not more than two more, I think - one da spalla and maybe, Lipkind, or someone else entirely. 

There seem to be a bunch of new recordings to choose from.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: SonicMan46 on January 07, 2011, 08:25:36 AM
Just added the Dmitry Badiarov set to my 'small' collection of these works - have not done any comparisons w/ my Kuijken set but either is certainly a nice addition for a different instrument -  :)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BachCelloBadiarov/1148102880_g7Sib-O.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Bulldog on January 07, 2011, 08:40:08 AM
I can't get the Kuijken to play on NML for me, an error message comes up.

I hope you keep trying.  I just finished listening to the Kuijken on NML - didn't have any problems.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Leon on January 07, 2011, 08:44:44 AM
I hope you keep trying.  I just finished listening to the Kuijken on NML - didn't have any problems.

Well, neither did I just now - weird that last night I got the error.  It is reasurring that it was temporary since the same message appeared for several other items.

Thanks for the heads-up.

 :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Bulldog on January 07, 2011, 10:57:06 AM
Well, neither did I just now - weird that last night I got the error.  It is reasurring that it was temporary since the same message appeared for several other items.

Thanks for the heads-up.

 :)

No problem.  Temporary errors are not unusual on NML.  Sometimes when I click on "next page", the error thing shows up.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: PaulSC on January 08, 2011, 03:51:15 AM
Here is a list of 108 recordings of the Bach Cello Suites, with an indication of which ones can be auditioned in full at NML or previewed in excerpts at iTunes or Amazon USA. (Items in the NML are normally previewable at classicsonline.)

Bach Cello Suites (https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=0Al_ETqHHe2hJdGxKam96N0JTTEFzd2RHWnNLTlVJT1E&hl=en&output=html)

The notes column includes sporadic subjective assessments that may be of no interest to anyone but me. (I suppose the same could be said of the rest of the document!) At any rate these notes are too selective/sparse to be taken as value judgments across the field -- I have a slightly amorphous top-20, but you'd never be able to deduce it from this document...

Criteria for inclusion:
- previewable online
- performances on baroque and modern(ized) cello only
- complete cycles only (with a few exceptions, e.g. one suite missing, or one volume in a set I trust is soon to be completed)

Determining label and year of release is tricky for items that have been issued multiple times. I didn't dig deep for info when it wasn't readily available.

Things I learned:

The search string "bach cello" casts a wide net, but you also need "bach violoncello," especially for French recordings. "Bach 1007" is useful as well.

There are many very good recordings of this music, several in the great-to-transcendent range, and a few downright wretched ones. These don't always map intuitively to the obscurity/celebrity of the performer. (Often, yes, but not always.)

There are more transcriptions than you'd imagine -- viola, lute, bass, guitar, and violin of course, but also: gamba, electric guitar, harp, several marimba recordings (some rather nice), harp (disappointing), tuba, french horn, trumpet, flute, recorder, recorder ensemble, bassoon, banjo (true!), and arpegina (a novel addition to the violin-family), plus arrangements for piano by Godowsky that stray further from the source.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Taneyev on January 08, 2011, 03:55:50 AM
Well, what can you expect from that damn little Lithuanian Godowsky?. He respect nothing and nobody. He had a compulsion to arrange and transcribe the most difficult way possible with the only purpose of torture his fellow pianists.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: PaulSC on January 08, 2011, 04:08:34 AM
Dragging myself off to bed now, but not before I ask if any recordings exist of the Suites with Schumann's piano accompaniments. I've yet to spot any. Just curious...
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on January 08, 2011, 05:44:03 AM
Here is a list of 108 recordings of the Bach Cello Suites, Bach Cello Suites (https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=0Al_ETqHHe2hJdGxKam96N0JTTEFzd2RHWnNLTlVJT1E&hl=en&output=html)

Thanks for this useful list of which I own 59 recordings, but even many others which were not included in the list. Still the list contains a number of recordings I never have heard (of).
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Brian on January 08, 2011, 05:48:03 AM
Here is a list of 108 recordings of the Bach Cello Suites, with an indication of which ones can be auditioned in full at NML or previewed in excerpts at iTunes or Amazon USA. (Items in the NML are normally previewable at classicsonline.)

Bach Cello Suites (https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=0Al_ETqHHe2hJdGxKam96N0JTTEFzd2RHWnNLTlVJT1E&hl=en&output=html)

The notes column includes sporadic subjective assessments that may be of no interest to anyone but me. (I suppose the same could be said of the rest of the document!) At any rate these notes are too selective/sparse to be taken as value judgments across the field -- I have a slightly amorphous top-20, but you'd never be able to deduce it from this document...


Care to explain this?
"George Neikrug - Garyn - 2008 - full on!!!"
 ;D
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: SonicMan46 on January 08, 2011, 07:24:41 AM
Here is a list of 108 recordings of the Bach Cello Suites, with an indication of which ones can be auditioned in full at NML or previewed in excerpts at iTunes or Amazon USA. (Items in the NML are normally previewable at classicsonline.)

Bach Cello Suites (https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=0Al_ETqHHe2hJdGxKam96N0JTTEFzd2RHWnNLTlVJT1E&hl=en&output=html) .....................


Thanks Paul for this effort - I'm sure w/ Premont's additions, the list will grow!  Now I own some transcriptions of the Goldberg Variations (guitar & harp), but not the suites - curious from those who actually have heard and/or own some transcriptions, which ones (and on which instruments) might be worth exploring?   :D
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: jlaurson on January 08, 2011, 07:28:15 AM
Thanks Paul for this effort - I'm sure w/ Premont's additions, the list will grow!  Now I own some transcriptions of the Goldberg Variations (guitar & harp), but not the suites - curious from those who actually have heard and/or own some transcriptions, which ones (on on which instruments) might be worth exploring?   :D

I think Paul was looking for a 'realization' along the lines of the Schumann 'realization' of the Sonatas & Partitas. I know neither if such a re-touching exists, and if it does, I know of no recording.

As far as transcriptions are concerned: I have the Suites on harp and marimba; the harp version is awful and the marimba version mildly interesting.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Leon on January 08, 2011, 05:11:16 PM
Here is a list of 108 recordings of the Bach Cello Suites, with an indication of which ones can be auditioned in full at NML or previewed in excerpts at iTunes or Amazon USA. (Items in the NML are normally previewable at classicsonline.)

Bach Cello Suites (https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=0Al_ETqHHe2hJdGxKam96N0JTTEFzd2RHWnNLTlVJT1E&hl=en&output=html)


Thanks!
 :)

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: PaulSC on January 08, 2011, 09:03:44 PM
Care to explain this?
"George Neikrug - Garyn - 2008 - full on!!!"
 ;D
Ah yes, the Neikrug recording. Well, he plays with very heavy bow pressure and takes the most aggressive interpretative approach I've ever heard to this music. Not a performance I particularly enjoy, but see for yourself -- http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/j-s-bach-six-cello-suites/id281873830


I think Paul was looking for a 'realization' along the lines of the Schumann 'realization' of the Sonatas & Partitas. I know neither if such a re-touching exists, and if it does, I know of no recording.

As far as transcriptions are concerned: I have the Suites on harp and marimba; the harp version is awful and the marimba version mildly interesting.
Yes, that's what I had in mind. Like Jens, I'm unsure if they exist -- they're mentioned in the Wikipedia entry on the cello suites, but one shouldn't rely on Wikipedia in general without confirmation from another source...
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: PaulSC on January 08, 2011, 09:10:37 PM
Thanks for this useful list of which I own 59 recordings, but even many others which were not included in the list. Still the list contains a number of recordings I never have heard (of).
I would love to see that list, Premont! I tried to focus on recordings that could easily be auditioned in part or full online. As for what I own, only 9 full sets (and scattered individual suites). But that number's bound to increase -- is there any other repertoire that more rewards comparative listening?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on January 09, 2011, 09:25:02 AM
I would love to see that list, Premont! I tried to focus on recordings that could easily be auditioned in part or full online. As for what I own, only 9 full sets (and scattered individual suites). But that number's bound to increase -- is there any other repertoire that more rewards comparative listening?

Recordings I know /own in casual order, which are not included on the list you posted above (only complete sets):


Pierre Fournier (Accord) recorded for Swiss radio 1959

André Navarra (Calliope)

Antonio Janigro (MCA)

Tatjana Vassiljeva (Mirare)

Janos Starker´s second recording (EMI)

Götz Teutsch (IPPNW-concerts)

Kirstin Feltz (RAM)

Wieland Kuijken (Arcana - including gamba/harpsichord sonatas)

Roel Dieltiens´ second recording (EtCetera)

Hidemi Suzuki´s first recording (DHM)

Hidemi Suzuki´s second recording (DHM)

Martin Rummel (Paladino Music)

Matthias Michael Beckmann (seems to be his own label MMB - using five-stringed cello throughout)

Rainer Zipperling (Flora)

Henri Demarquette (Collection Etoiles)

Ryo Terakado (Denon) on violoncello da spalla

A collective set made by Berliner Philharmonic soloists, live (IPPNW-concerts)
Georg Faust, Ludwig Quandt, Martin Löhr and Olaf Maninger.


And four more on their way to me
Mario Brunello (Egea), Iagoba Fanlo (Arsis), Balazs Maté (Hungaroton) and Gerda Angermann (Ganser). The three first are missing on your list.


The recording on your list by Sara Sant´ Ambrogio (the cellist of the Erotica-trio, as Sarge certainly knows) includes only the suites 1, 3 and 5.


As a general rule I am rarely making comparative listening any more. Instead I try to concentrate upon the music and the world of the interpretation I listen to. I find that comparative listening (recalling in between other interpretations than the one I listen to) actually tends to detract from the musical experience.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Brian on January 10, 2011, 07:22:08 AM
Dragging myself off to bed now, but not before I ask if any recordings exist of the Suites with Schumann's piano accompaniments. I've yet to spot any. Just curious...

Bach/Schumann Suite No 3 is on Hanssler Classics with Peter Bruns and a pianist whose name I've forgotten. :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on January 10, 2011, 12:51:09 PM
Bach/Schumann Suite No 3 is on Hanssler Classics with Peter Bruns and a pianist whose name I've forgotten. :)

Roglit Ishay, how could you forget her?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: PaulSC on January 10, 2011, 01:47:08 PM
Bach/Schumann Suite No 3 is on Hanssler Classics with Peter Bruns and a pianist whose name I've forgotten. :)
Thank you Brian! So they do exist! And Bruns is a cellist I like.

Roglit Ishay, how could you forget her?
Thanks Premont, that name will help me to search.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: PaulSC on January 10, 2011, 02:00:29 PM
Found it (http://www.classicsonline.com/catalogue/product.aspx?pid=8322) -- also on NML.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on September 30, 2011, 11:39:17 PM
A couple of questions which some of the people here may be able to answer.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51nUIu892vL._AA115_.jpg)

Perenyi takes the Allemandes and  Courantes at a similar tempo -- after the preludes you have a faily long period of moderately fast music before the Sarabande. How authentic is that?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41EthNecPLL._AA160_.jpg)

One striking thing about Kniazev is the way he uses dynamic variation to contour the music. Same question -- how authentic is that?

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on October 01, 2011, 05:10:40 AM
Perenyi takes the Allemandes and  Courantes at a similar tempo -- after the preludes you have a fairly long period of moderately fast music before the Sarabande. How authentic is that?
The allemande was relative slow, while the courante was faster. So the standard Froberger suite sequence (allemande, courante,sarabande,gigue) meant slow, fast, slow,fast.

Quote from: Mandryka
l
One striking thing about Kniazev is the way he uses dynamic variation to contour the music. Same question -- how authentic is that?
Probably not very authentic if it is overdone. BTW I  do not have the Kniazev that present as to say if I think it is overdone, but I do not remember that I thought so when I listened to his Bach suites maybe a year ago.  But you have to distiniguish keyboard music from cello music. On a cello some dynamic variation is possible (and was possible in Bach´s time), which is not posible on an organ or a harpsichord.

I think the word "authentic" should be avoided. It is often misinterpreted.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 01, 2011, 05:18:49 AM
Great, some new activity here!  :D

Well, will add another new-old option, i.e. Pablo Casals from the 1930s - redone on the Pristine label by Andrew Rose; now I own about a half dozen sets of these works (several on the shoulder cello), and use to have Casals on LP years ago, but was reluctant to purchase any CD transfers because of the sound reprocessing comments (just did not feel that I'd be happy w/ the results).

This newest attempt is suppose to be the BEST ever - check out the Pristine Website (http://www.pristineclassical.com/LargeWorks/Chamber/PACM074.php) for pricing (many download & CD-R choices but rather pricey!) and comments from Rose; also a short recent Fanfare review is attached.

Now, I've not made a purchase yet - even the MP3 download price is a little steep, and the actual discs w/ notes (along w/ shipping to me across the pond) would be expensive - I'll await some comments from our illustrious Bach experts!  :)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-dwCfkjN/0/M/BachCasalsArt-M.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Antoine Marchand on October 01, 2011, 05:47:32 AM
... now I own about a half dozen sets of these works (several on the shoulder cello)...

Several played on cello da spalla, Dave?

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: jlaurson on October 01, 2011, 08:03:00 AM

This newest attempt is suppose to be the BEST ever - check out the Pristine Website (http://www.pristineclassical.com/LargeWorks/Chamber/PACM074.php) for pricing (many download & CD-R choices but rather pricey!) and comments from Rose; also a short recent Fanfare review is attached.

I would take any Fanfare review of Pristine recordings with more than a grain of salt. Just sayin'...
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 01, 2011, 01:20:21 PM
Several played on cello da spalla, Dave?

Hi Antoine - yes, we've had some discussion of that instrument in the 'Old Musical Instruments' thread HERE (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,11638.msg311374.html#msg311374) - own the two recordings w/ Sigiswald Kuijken & Dmitry Badiarov - plenty of discussion in that thread for those interested in the 'shoulder cello' - :)

I would take any Fanfare review of Pristine recordings with more than a grain of salt. Just sayin'...

Jens - I take that as a cautionary suggestion, and not a recommendation?  But I'll be curious to hear the thoughts of those who might hear this 'new' recording vs. some of the older ones out there of Casals?  Dave
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on October 01, 2011, 10:03:14 PM
I don't know the Pristine transfer (of Casals studio suites) but I do know the EMI and  the transfer on Opera Kura. The Opera Kura  showed how poor a transfer the EMI is, and I would urge anyone who just has the EMI to explore alternatives  -- I've appreciated Casals  more since I dumped the EMI.

I think Casals is very good at articulating long and complicated fugues. And I think at the level of affect he's wonderful in all the preludes and Sarabandes in fact. Probably he's my first choice in this music. Maybe someone here can recommend better -- a cellist who can be both noble and lively, a cellist who can intelligently present the more complicated movements.

There are, by the way, some Casals live performances  well worth catching -- in some ways as interesting than his studio. A 3rd from Prades, for example.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: DieNacht on October 01, 2011, 10:29:11 PM
Lots of expertise here - I only own a modest two versions, Casals and Zeuthen, and like them both a lot.

But may I ask: if you were only to choose 4 versions to illustrate the scope of the works and sample the best of various individual playing styles - what would those be, even on a sketchy level ?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: jlaurson on October 02, 2011, 12:57:30 AM
Lots of expetise here - I only own a modest two versions, Casals and Zeuthen, and like them both a lot.

But may I ask: if you were only to choose 4 versions to illustrate the scope of the works and sample the best of various individual playing styles - what would those be, even of a sketchy level ?




#1 Fournier, DG


(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000001GRZ.01.L.jpg)
Bach, Cello Suites
Pierre Fournier, Archiv
(http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000001GRZ/goodmusicguide-20)

Regal, patrician... the account against I must measure all others.
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/01/dip-your-ears-no-25.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/01/dip-your-ears-no-25.html)
#2 Wispelwey, Channel Classics


(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00000C2B4.01.L.jpg)
Bach, Cello Suites
Peter Wispelwey, Channel Classics
(http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00000C2B4/goodmusicguide-20)

HIP, lean, second choice unrelated to HIP-ness
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2004/07/dip-your-ears-no-4.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2004/07/dip-your-ears-no-4.html)
#3 Lipkind, edel


(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000ICM2Q0.01.L.jpg)
Bach, Cello Suites
Gavriel Lipkind, edel
(http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000ICM2Q0/goodmusicguide-20)

Romantic, individual, strange, tantalizing...
http://www.weta.org/oldfmblog/?p=260 (http://www.weta.org/oldfmblog/?p=260)
#4 Kuijken, Accent


(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B001RKWIFC.01.L.jpg)
Bach, Cello Suites (Viola Pomposa)
Sigiswald Kuijken, Accent
(http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001RKWIFC/goodmusicguide-20)

Not just different, but very good. Occupies the second 'HIP' spot, thereby keeping Paolo Beschi (Winter & Winter) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00000F1S4/goodmusicguide-20) out of this list.
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/10/bach-suites-shouldered.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/10/bach-suites-shouldered.html)

#5 Queyras, Harmonia Mundi


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51yl2Z1YFzL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)
Bach, Cello Suites
Jean Guihen Queyras, Harmonia Mundi
(http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000T2OMX0/goodmusicguide-20)

My favorite modern version. If it's not in the Top 4 for THIS purpose,
then only because it's basically the 21st century version of the Fournier...
and I cannot not include Fournier.

http://www.weta.org/oldfmblog/?p=1653 (http://www.weta.org/oldfmblog/?p=1653)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on October 02, 2011, 03:54:00 AM
Lots of expetise here - I only own a modest two versions, Casals and Zeuthen, and like them both a lot.

But may I ask: if you were only to choose 4 versions to illustrate the scope of the works and sample the best of various individual playing styles - what would those be, even of a sketchy level ?

My choices to day would be:


Dmitri Badiarov (Ramée) noble and dancing

Ralph Kirshbaum (Virgin) unbelievably beautiful

Morten Zeuthen (Danish Classico) spirited and dancing


No. four would be more difficult to choose, I tend to say: 

Ophelie Gaillard (Aparte - her second and recent recording) or Henri Demarquette (FAE)


Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on October 02, 2011, 04:35:49 AM
Ah yes, the Neikrug recording. Well, he plays with very heavy bow pressure and takes the most aggressive interpretative approach I've ever heard to this music. Not a performance I particularly enjoy..

Recently I acquired vol. one of the Neikrug set. It is a live recording and this may be the reason why the playing is rather laboured and agressive, as if he had past his prime at the time of recording. I do not intend to acquire vol.two.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Opus106 on October 02, 2011, 05:22:44 AM
My choices to day would be:

Dmitri Badiarov (Ramée) noble and dancing

Morten Zeuthen (Danish Classico) spirited and dancing

Dancing, you say? I will have to check those out. It has taken me, a Bach fanatic, all of 5.5 years to get to grips with the cello suites. Only a couple of weeks back, when I listened to one or two each morning, did I start appreciating them. All this time, and to some extent even now, it doesn't feel that I'm listening to Bach at all :-\ (so much so that I occasionally tend to take sides with that Australian musicologist who claims that these were written by AMB :D). The only recording I have (Fournier) didn't help, and sampling HIP versions -- which I assumed would do the trick, because I thought adopting a more 'agile' playing style akin the solo violins works would appeal to me -- only shocked me!  I think the main reason why I like them now is because of my exposure to the keyboard partitas and further exposure to baroque suites in general. I can listen to the dance rhythms now in suites as well. :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on October 02, 2011, 05:42:44 AM
My choices to day would be:


Dmitri Badiarov (Ramée) noble and dancing



Ah right -- I'd better try that one! I know Kirshbaum's and I like it. It's beautiful and it's inspired and spontaneous. And I thought he made a good job of articulating the big complicated movements.  Morten Zeuthen's is on spotify so that's easy to get hold of.

I very much like the way Kirshbaum plays the 6th -- the crazy raga-style the prelude. That's one of the things about Casals that I like the most.

The high points for me  are Casals in the prelude to 6,  and the prelude and sarabande in 2. And Starker (Mercury) in 5. Which is your favourite 5?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on October 02, 2011, 05:54:30 AM
5.5 years

That's not so long really
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Opus106 on October 02, 2011, 05:59:20 AM
That's not so long really

Even for a singular set of works out of tens? It stood out larger and redder than a sore thumb. ;D
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: DavidRoss on October 02, 2011, 06:42:29 AM
(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000001GRZ.01.L.jpg)(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00000C2B4.01.L.jpg)(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000ICM2Q0.01.L.jpg)(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B001RKWIFC.01.L.jpg)(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51yl2Z1YFzL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)
I agree wholeheartedly with Fournier, Wispelwey, & Queyras.  Saw your review of Lipkind some time ago and was intrigued but haven't heard it.  How does he compare with Gastineau?  And I like Beschi but haven't heard Kuijken.

Others I would not want to be without include Tortelier (back in print, last I knew) and (gasp!) YoYo Ma's second recording, taking more interpretive liberties and with broader tempos than the first.

And one of those that gets the most play around here is an oddity and incomplete: Edgar Meyer's selection of suites transcribed for double bass.

It's hard to imagine taking any time at all to "come to grips" with these suites.  I loved them from the first.  It's also hard to imagine them not sounding like Bach to someone, as they seem as quintessentially Bachian to me as the violin sonatas & partitas or the Goldbergs or ... well, you name it.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 02, 2011, 06:47:55 AM
My choices to day would be:

Dmitri Badiarov (Ramée) noble and dancing

Ralph Kirshbaum (Virgin) unbelievably beautiful

Morten Zeuthen (Danish Classico) spirited and dancing

No. four would be more difficult to choose, I tend to say: 

Ophelie Gaillard (Aparte - her second and recent recording) or Henri Demarquette (FAE)

Hi Premont - thanks for the listing; now I have 6 sets of these works (modest I guess for some -  :D) - but I do not have a lady cellist - I see that Ophelie Gaillard recorded these works in 2000 & 2011 - you're recommending the newer recording (of course, the other may be OOP or overpriced?) - have you heard both of her performances and prefer the second one?  Just asking - Dave :)

For those interested in Badiarov, he plays a cello da spalla - below is a post that I left earlier this year in the 'Listening Thread' - having at least one of these 'shoulder cello' sets in your collection of these works is certainly a consideration -  :D

P.S. - again look in the 'Old Instrument Thread' for discussion of this interesting instrument - link given a page or so back!


Quote
Bach, JS - Cello Suites w/ Dmitry Badiarov on a 'violoncello da spalla' made by him - an amazing character, both instrument maker & performer - informative booklet notes which concentrate on evolution of the instrument from Bach's times and the various strings used, i.e. a nice supplement to other CD liner notes of these works which discuss the individual suites; plus, dedication to Sigiswald Kuijken, one of his teachers.  :D


(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BachCelloBadiarov/1148102880_g7Sib-O.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BadiarovWeb/1148729243_T6aFp-O.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: jlaurson on October 02, 2011, 07:00:29 AM
I agree wholeheartedly with Fournier, Wispelwey, & Queyras.  Saw your review of Lipkind some time ago and was intrigued but haven't heard it.  How does he compare with Gastineau?  And I like Beschi but haven't heard Kuijken.

Gastineau is very, very different from Lipkind... dour, almost... straight, unsmiling, but not ever not good. (Except that that's not enough, given the many other recordings available.)

Quote
Gastinel’s account on naïve, the latest of the batch, offers a forward, comparatively lean cello sound; not as happily booming as Schiff / EMI, not as resonant as Lipkind and Queyras, yet in a more subtly reverberant acoustic, with more air around her cello and at a greater distance to the listener. She sounds busier than those two, without actually being faster. She uses less ornamentation than her male colleagues and is, especially compared to Lipkind, less free-wheeling. In the Sarabande of Suite 4 she doesn’t slur through most of the opening. Like Harnoncourt, she taps the first double stop, but doesn’t ‘hold’ it all the way to the next.

She can’t be said to be un-involving, but she is more matter-of-fact (something that is put into perspective when compared to the truly somber Isserlis). Details are very audible in this combination of clean playing and clean sound, but so is – unfortunately – her very pointed inhaling. It is notable to the point where I can detect her recording out of all the others within seconds, just on the account of those breaths. Less impressive than her male colleagues at first, Gastinel becomes dearer and dearer upon second and third hearing. The extraneous noises, though, might be enough to turn me off for good. Unlike the other reviewed recordings (except Rostropovich), Gastinel’s Suites are not arranged in order but, to fit them on two CDs, include Suites 1, 4, and 5 on disc one, Suites 2, 3, and 6 on disc two.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: DavidRoss on October 02, 2011, 08:01:51 AM
Gastineau is very, very different from Lipkind... dour, almost... straight, unsmiling, but not ever not good. (Except that that's not enough, given the many other recordings available.)
I see I can hear some of Lipkind on youtube.  Thanks for the recommendation, Jens! 

OT question: as the US election circus revs up, do you ever miss DC?  ;)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on October 02, 2011, 09:29:20 AM
Hi Premont - thanks for the listing; now I have 6 sets of these works (modest I guess for some -  :D) - but I do not have a lady cellist - I see that Ophelie Gaillard recorded these works in 2000 & 2011 - you're recommending the newer recording (of course, the other may be OOP or overpriced?) - have you heard both of her performances and prefer the second one?  Just asking - Dave :)

I am very much impressed by Ophelia Gaillard´s second recording 2011. As to her first recording 2000 it is OOP, but I have been fortunate to get hold of one of the two CDs. Have not listened to it yet (too much else to listen to). In the week to come I shall listen to it to be able to answer your question.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on October 02, 2011, 09:36:15 AM
Dancing, you say? I will have to check those out. It has taken me, a Bach fanatic, all of 5.5 years to get to grips with the cello suites. Only a couple of weeks back, when I listened to one or two each morning, did I start appreciating them. All this time, and to some extent even now, it doesn't feel that I'm listening to Bach at all :-\ (so much so that I occasionally tend to take sides with that Australian musicologist who claims that these were written by AMB :D). The only recording I have (Fournier) didn't help, and sampling HIP versions -- which I assumed would do the trick, because I thought adopting a more 'agile' playing style akin the solo violins works would appeal to me -- only shocked me!  I think the main reason why I like them now is because of my exposure to the keyboard partitas and further exposure to baroque suites in general. I can listen to the dance rhythms now in suites as well. :)

It also took me some time to grip the cello suites, but now I can not live without them. In a way I find Fournier outdated despite his regal approach (sorry, Jens). Of the great "old" French cellist´s recordings I much prefer the visionary Gendron´s. If you - like me - put much emphasis on the dancing character of Bach´s music, Zeuthen and Heinrich Schiff (EMI double) might be to your taste.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 02, 2011, 09:45:07 AM
It also took me some time to grip the cello suites, but now I can not live without them. In a way I find Fournier outdated despite his regal approach (sorry, Jens). Of the great French cellist´s recordings I much prefer the visionary Gendron´s. If you - like me - put much emphasis on the dancing character of Bach´s music, Zeuthen and Heinrich Schiff (EMI double) might be to your taste.

Same w/ me concerning some of these older recordings, i.e. I had Fournier but replaced his performances w/ Gendron; all of my other sets date from the early 90s (Bylsma) to later including some of the others mentioned in previous posts, along w/ the two performances on the shoulder cello.  :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Opus106 on October 02, 2011, 09:51:43 AM
It also took me some time to grip the cello suites, but now I can not live without them. In a way I find Fournier outdated despite his regal approach (sorry, Jens). Of the great French cellist´s recordings I much prefer the visionary Gendron´s. If you - like me - put much emphasis on the dancing character of Bach´s music, Zeuthen and Heinrich Schiff (EMI double) might be to your taste.

Those suggestions are much appreciated. The Fournier was one of the earliest discs I bought, simply because it had music by Bach and it was cheaper than 2-disc sets usually are here. :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Marc on October 02, 2011, 10:27:12 AM
It's been some time since I last listened to the cello suites, but I agree with Premont concerning Zeuthen, Kirshbaum and Badiarov (the latter has more 'Schwung' than Kuijken).
And I've always enjoyed Maurice Gendron and Anner Bylsma (1979 recording).

About Wispelwey: compared to his first recording, I find his latter (mentioned by Jens) a bit too shallow.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on October 02, 2011, 10:30:25 AM
Lipkind is an interesting suggestion. I sampled parts of 5 and 6 on spotify and it is absolutely clear that he thinks he has new stuff to say in this music -- he sounds like no one else I have heard. If you don't believe me then listen to the Allamade of 6 where he does indescribable things -- a sort of air-raid siren effect. Very striking. The tempo is slow -- does he tell enough of a story to stop the music falling apart?  I'm not sure he does.

The prelude to 6 was a bit less wild and free and spontaneously unchained than I like. You don't feel as though you're falling off the edge of a cliff like you do with Casals and  there's not the sense same of relief and resolution  at the end. And there were some annoying over-emphatic echo effects at the start.

In the prelude to 5 his articulation made the fugue sound slightly trivial compared with my beloved Janos Straker, or even Casals or Bylsma or Kirshbaum. But that is setting a high standard.

The cello is on the fat, round, baritonal side in the low notes. I prefer a leaner, tighter, wiry sound myself -- Perenyi is my ideal cellist sonically. But that's maybe not so important.

I'll certainly listen to more of it -- it would be fun if anyone else was exploring it so we could compare reactions.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on October 02, 2011, 10:33:57 AM
Anner Bylsma (1979 recording).
.

IS that the first one? If so then yes -- very special. It's been a gruff old friend now for over 20 years.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on October 02, 2011, 02:26:05 PM
Which is your favourite 5?

No. 5 is my favorite among the suites and the first suite I listen to when I get hold of a new recording. But again you put me an impossible question when asking me which one is my favorite no. 5,  since I have 120 sets to choose from. Well because I am kind of completist in this matter, but also because I think that all aspects of the music can not be displayed in one performance. Variety within sensible limits is IMO a rewarding thing, and there are only a few of these 120 sets which are more or less unlistenable first and foremost because of insufficient technical powers, e.g. Cassado(Vox) or Navarra (Calliope). But I very much appreciate the timeless style of Starker and the passionate Casals.

Lipkind is one of the few I have avoided other than Maisky, having read many times, that their approach is unashamed romantic. Add to this that Lipkind is very expensive, and I can not find out if it is hybrid or exclusively SACD.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Antoine Marchand on October 02, 2011, 04:09:15 PM
... I am kind of completist in this matter...

I think the definition of your completism falls a bit short.  :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 02, 2011, 07:17:14 PM
I am very much impressed by Ophelia Gaillard´s second recording 2011. As to her first recording 2000 it is OOP, but I have been fortunate to get hold of one of the two CDs. Have not listened to it yet (too much else to listen to). In the week to come I shall listen to it to be able to answer your question.

I haven't heard Gaillard's second recording of the suites but I've had her first recording for years and have always found her interpretations striking. She's extremely dextrous up and down the range with much flexibility so that the 'swing' in the music is much to the fore (the dance).

She's also wonderfully attuned to the melancholic elements in the music, which serves to enrich the overall mood. I don't know how she does it but she takes this mixture of hers and produces great beauty.





Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Bogey on October 02, 2011, 07:22:02 PM
I haven't heard Gaillard's second recording of the suites but I've had her first recording for years and have always found her interpretations striking. She's extremely dextrous up and down the range with much flexibility so that the 'swing' in the music is much to the fore (the dance).

She's also wonderfully attuned to the melancholic elements in the music, which serves to enrich the overall mood. I don't know how she does it but she takes this mixture of hers and produces great beauty.




And from Arkiv:

Ten years later she revisits Bach, performing on a cello made in 1737 by Bach's contemporary, Matteo Goffriller.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 02, 2011, 07:28:35 PM
Just out of curiosity, has the opinion of Beschi's set (on Winter & Winter) changed? It used to be a prime recommendation but now seems to get no mentions at all.

It's another set I enjoy but is nothing like Gaillard. Beschi digs into the music more, with an eye towards the exploratory, but without the swinging musical line of Gaillard. 

Still there's much to admire.


Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 02, 2011, 08:12:12 PM
And from Arkiv:

Ten years later she revisits Bach, performing on a cello made in 1737 by Bach's contemporary, Matteo Goffriller.

Thanks, Bill. Interesting about that choice of cello.

I'm not all that versed in period instrument lore, so what differences there'd be between this cello and the one Gaillard used for her first set (which is listed as anonymous 18th c. French) I wouldn't know. But could be pretty illuminating. :) (Wonder if premont might be persuaded to give comparisons?)


 
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on October 02, 2011, 09:09:21 PM
No. 5 is my favorite among the suites and the first suite I listen to when I get hold of a new recording. But again you put me an impossible question when asking me which one is my favorite no. 5,  since I have 120 sets to choose from. Well because I am kind of completist in this matter, but also because I think that all aspects of the music can not be displayed in one performance. Variety within sensible limits is IMO a rewarding thing, and there are only a few of these 120 sets which are more or less unlistenable first and foremost because of insufficient technical powers, e.g. Cassado(Vox) or Navarra (Calliope). But I very much appreciate the timeless style of Starker and the passionate Casals.

Lipkind is one of the few I have avoided other than Maisky, having read many times, that their approach is unashamed romantic. Add to this that Lipkind is very expensive, and I can not find out if it is hybrid or exclusively SACD.

Lipkin is very personal and that's why I was interested in playing it through spotify. In fact after making that post yesterday I tried again with 6,   but couldn't get all the way to the end. I stopped at the Gigue. He's better in the fast dances. When the Courante arrives you feel a wonderful sense of relief that the Allemande is over -- but then all too quickly the slow Sarabande pops up. I felt on the second listening that he really wasn't a good enough story teller to stop the music disintegrating in the allemande , and that he really didn't have enough to say to make his similar treatment of sarabande and allemende justified.

I recommend spotify, just because you can very easily check out things like this. Gaillard is there, for example, and of course Lipkin. Not Badiarov unfortunately.


Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: jlaurson on October 02, 2011, 09:46:30 PM

Lipkind is one of the few I have avoided other than Maisky, having read many times, that their approach is unashamed romantic. Add to this that Lipkind is very expensive, and I can not find out if it is hybrid or exclusively SACD.

Yes, the approach if rather unashamed... and also romantic. But it's no longer crazy expensive.
As per SACD (it is Hybrid), you only had needed to ask or read.

Quote
From WETA:

Lipkind’s recording on the edel classics is very special even before you’ve heard a single note. A more lavishly packaged set can scarcely be imagined. In a protective sleeve awaits a thick leathery box (it is made of very thick paper specially treated to imitate leather) with gold lettering and braille dots that unfolds a bit like the Isenheim Altar. In it are three hybrid-SACDs, a ‘map’ to Lipkind’s performance and ideas about the Suites, and extensive, erudite liner notes. Since the set is made by “Lipkind Productions in cooperation with edel classics”, apparently the first volume in a series called “Single Voice Polyphony”, the suspicion arose that this is a very, very fancy vanity production.

Maybe – probably – it is. But whether Lipkind or his father or kind private sponsors paid for this production, or a record company, is insubstantial given the contents. Certainly Gavriel Lipkind, of whom I had never heard before, hasn’t recorded the set of Bach Suites to please all, but precisely in not trying to please everyone he has achieved something that, for the time being, has toppled my Cello Suite hierarchy.

The recorded sound is impressive (which also means: unsubtle), a wee bit less detailed than ideal, but incredibly natural, warm, and breathing. It’s recorded at a nearly ideal distance to the cello: you don’t hear every finger sliding over the strings, nor every breath, and it’s not too distant, either. Occasionally things buzz a little, but then again, so does a real cello. The richness in the tone of the Fifth Suite’s Gavotte might be thought slightly muddy compared to the airy Gastinel – but elsewhere the cello’s sound is among the most beautiful of the eight reviewed, even in regular CD mode.

He plays in a very individual style, varied and elastic, with accents and dynamic variations in abundance. You’d think that Lipkind would need more time than the clear Gastinel with this emotive and liberal style. He doesn’t: sometimes unnoticeably, sometimes flamboyantly, he makes up for time lost with incredibly fleet and light playing, to the point of superficiality in the Gavotte II of Suite No.5, but more often to dazzling effect. Romantic might be a suitable description and with lots of personality. His playing reminds me a little of Christophe Rousset’s style on the harpsichord. Even if you don’t quite follow the elaborate and near-mystical ‘analysis’ of the Suites (interesting though it is) and their interrelation, this is a most tempting offering for all who needn’t have their Bach entirely straight-laced.

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on October 02, 2011, 10:08:29 PM
Mandryka and Jens

Thanks for your informations. BTW I think I opt for the acquisition of the Lipkind, if it can be purchased from an Europaean website for a reasonable cost.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on October 02, 2011, 10:10:14 PM
I think the definition of your completism falls a bit short.  :)

Well, maybe I should have written "completist in this and in a number of other matters".  ;)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 03, 2011, 07:15:29 AM
I haven't heard Gaillard's second recording of the suites but I've had her first recording for years and have always found her interpretations striking. She's extremely dextrous up and down the range with much flexibility so that the 'swing' in the music is much to the fore (the dance).

She's also wonderfully attuned to the melancholic elements in the music, which serves to enrich the overall mood. I don't know how she does it but she takes this mixture of hers and produces great beauty.


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51WWZu2nqJL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41aqMF3xmjL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

For those interested in some 'comparison' comments between her different performances (and interpretations), Giordano Bruno (http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Cello-Suites-Ophelie-Gaillard/dp/B004NWHV6W/ref=sr_1_19?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1317654225&sr=1-19) (one of the handful of Amazon reviewers that I do read w/ interest) provides some insight - from his statements and knowing how my ears enjoy these works, I probably would prefer the newer recording - I would like to know more about her cello on the second recording, i.e. gut strung, bow used, and bowing technique?  Dave :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Marc on October 03, 2011, 09:36:58 AM
[....] Anner Bylsma (1979 recording).
[....]

IS that the first one? If so then yes -- very special. It's been a gruff old friend now for over 20 years.

I think so. I only know of 2 Bylsma recordings (1979 and 1992). I specifically mentioned the year of recording, because I don't know the 2nd one.

But who knows, a certain Danish completist might be able to tell us more about the differences between the two. ;)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: DavidRoss on October 03, 2011, 03:14:06 PM
And from Arkiv:

Ten years later she revisits Bach, performing on a cello made in 1737 by Bach's contemporary, Matteo Goffriller.
Has she learned to keep time in the interim?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 03, 2011, 04:28:25 PM
Has she learned to keep time in the interim?

David - explanation please -  ;) ;D  I'd loved to have a 'lady' playing these works in my collections and am really considering her 'second' recording - have you heard that one?  Just curious - Dave :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 03, 2011, 05:11:20 PM
For those interested in some 'comparison' comments between her different performances (and interpretations), Giordano Bruno (http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Cello-Suites-Ophelie-Gaillard/dp/B004NWHV6W/ref=sr_1_19?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1317654225&sr=1-19) (one of the handful of Amazon reviewers that I do read w/ interest) provides some insight - from his statements and knowing how my ears enjoy these works, I probably would prefer the newer recording - I would like to know more about her cello on the second recording, i.e. gut strung, bow used, and bowing technique?  Dave :)

Thanks for the link, Dave. Interesting read.

That's a pretty serious revision in her approach to the suites. It would be interesting indeed to make comparisons.

I find Mr. Bruno's characterization of Gaillard's first recording to be pretty accurate, although I take slight issue with the phrase "deliberately fierce" in reference to her bowing. Not that that's necessarily meant to be in the pejorative, especially in the context of his subsequent comments regarding her playing (spirited, rambunctious). But overall I find her touch dextrous and dance-like, with much feeling.

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 03, 2011, 05:14:56 PM
Has she learned to keep time in the interim?

Can you please explain?


Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: DavidRoss on October 03, 2011, 06:37:01 PM
David - explanation please -  ;) ;D  I'd loved to have a 'lady' playing these works in my collections and am really considering her 'second' recording - have you heard that one?  Just curious - Dave :)
Have not heard the new one.  I would like to. 

Can you please explain?
She's all over the place rhythmically.  I don't mean lots of rubato and fluid tempo changes, but frequent inability to find the beat within phrases...like a "racist" stereotype about "white" people unable to keep rhythm:

1..2..3...4..1..2...3.4..1...2..3.anda.4..1.2..and.3..4.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 03, 2011, 07:04:51 PM
She's all over the place rhythmically.

Hardly.

Quote
I don't mean lots of rubato and fluid tempo changes, but frequent inability to find the beat within phrases...like a "racist" stereotype about "white" people unable to keep rhythm:

1..2..3...4..1..2...3.4..1...2..3.anda.4..1.2..and.3..4.

Her neatest trick is in finding the dance rhythms inherent in the music. It's unmistakable and gives her interpretations the verve I mentioned above. If what you're saying is true this feeling of dance wouldn't be audible (tangible) in the least. I mean, you make it sound as if she were attempting to drive with a blindfold on! It'd be nothing but a demolition derby.

Nothing could be further from the truth. 


Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Bogey on October 03, 2011, 07:38:23 PM
Here she be on youtube....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poCw2CCrfzA

and then there is Ma, my favorite (about the only place I put him at the tip-top....even over Casals):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIM1qT0sqKM&feature=related
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Bogey on October 03, 2011, 07:46:30 PM
I would like to know more about her cello on the second recording, i.e. gut strung, bow used, and bowing technique?  Dave :)

Some discussion here, Dave. :)

http://cellofun.yuku.com/topic/9096/The-Ideal-Sound
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 04, 2011, 06:24:22 AM
Thanks Guys for the comments - getting more intrigued by this gal's second recording of these works, especially after reading the link provided by Bill, i.e. different cello w/ gut strings - I dislike listening to short snippets in trying to decide on the purchase of a CD, so will await comments of our Bach experts! :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on December 28, 2011, 12:43:56 AM
My choices to day would be:


Dmitri Badiarov (Ramée) noble and dancing

Ralph Kirshbaum (Virgin) unbelievably beautiful

Morten Zeuthen (Danish Classico) spirited and dancing


No. four would be more difficult to choose, I tend to say: 

Ophelie Gaillard (Aparte - her second and recent recording) or Henri Demarquette (FAE)

It's such a shame that Badiarov isn't as  "spirited" (good word) as Lipkind in the faster dances. In the courante to 2 or the first gavotte in 5,   for example, Lipkind is very spontaneous; and the way he ornaments the minuet in 2 is wonderfully light and free. Badiarov doesn't play like that!

In the slower music and the preludes Badiarov's articulation is really revealing for me -- with a sense of long line and legato, and the  play between the musical phrases is very clearly expressed, without ever giving the impression of being didactic. That sense of phrase interrelationships is something that I've come to really value in this music -- something I look for in a performance.

And the varied tones of the cello Badiarov uses really seems to me to transform the music poetically -- a clear example of how important texture is in musical expression. Because of
Badirev's performance  it's become really clear to me that the choice of instrument can have important poetic consequences in this music: as much if not more so here as with keyboard music.

Jlaurson's comments about Lipkind make me tempted to buy the CDs just to read the notes -- I'm listening to it on spotify right now. I like ideas, though maybe not neo-platonic ones. The sound may be better too on the CDs: it's excellent on spotify nonetheless.

While posting this I checked and noticed that Zeuthen's CD has appeared on spotify now, so I can easily give that an airing. Same for Ophelie Gaillard's. Henri Demarquette isn't represented in Baroque music yet.

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Marc on December 28, 2011, 10:38:29 AM
Btw: I only have the Viersen cellosuites, and I thought they were disappointing. Smooth, slick and neat playing, yet with nothing more or something special to offer.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on December 28, 2011, 10:41:51 AM
Btw: I only have the Viersen cellosuites, and I thought they were disappointing. Smooth, slick and neat playing, yet with nothing more or something special to offer.

But in this field I am an uncompromising completist, so ...
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Marc on December 28, 2011, 10:51:07 AM
But in this field I am an uncompromising completist, so ...

Really?? ;D

Well, have good fun and satisfaction when the discs arrive ....
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on December 28, 2011, 11:05:03 AM
It's such a shame that Badiarov isn't as  "spirited" (good word) as Lipkind in the faster dances. In the courante to 2 or the first gavotte in 5,   for example, Lipkind is very spontaneous; and the way he ornaments the minuet in 2 is wonderfully light and free. Badiarov doesn't play like that!

In the slower music and the preludes Badiarov's articulation is really revealing for me -- with a sense of long line and legato, and the  play between the musical phrases is very clearly expressed, without ever giving the impression of being doctrinaire. That sense of phrase interrelationships is something that I've come to really value in this music -- something I look for in a performance.

And the varied tones of the cello Badiarov uses really seems to me to transform the music poetically -- a clear example of how important texture is in musical expression. Because of
Badirev's performance  it's become really clear to me that the choice of instrument can have important poetic consequences in this music: as much if not more so here as with keyboard music.

Jlaurson's comments about Lipkind make me tempted to buy the CDs just to read the notes -- I'm listening to it on spotify right now. I like ideas, though maybe not neo-platonic ones. The sound may be better too on the CDs: it's excellent on spotify nonetheless.

While posting this I checked and noticed that Zeuthen's CD has appeared on spotify now, so I can easily give that an airing. Same for Ophelie Gaillard's. Henri Demarquette isn't represented in Baroque music yet.

I do not know Lipkind´s recording - since I have kept back from acquiring it, as it is very expensive, and because I have got the feeling, that it is too romantic to my taste. May of course be wrong.

I agree with your description of Badiarov´s recording. BTW it does not hurt me, that it is relative calm and a tad understated. But of course I also listen to many other recordings of these works.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: PaulSC on December 28, 2011, 11:15:33 AM
Btw: I only have the Viersen cellosuites, and I thought they were disappointing. Smooth, slick and neat playing, yet with nothing more or something special to offer.
But in this field I am an uncompromising completist, so ...

I can't really argue with “smooth, slick and neat,” but I would add the more positive descriptor “warm,” and I like her sense of tempo and her rhythmic and dynamic approach quite a lot. The prelude of the fourth suite displays these virtues nicely. At the very least, I predict this is a case in which premont won't regret is completism.

By the way, premont, do you know Andrej Bauer's recording of the cello suites? I knew him previously as a contemporary-music specialist (with a fine recording of the Lutoslawski concerto to his credit). I don't think it's a brand-new recording, but I only noticed it for sale as a download in the last few months. I don't know if it's currently available in other formats, either. Anyway, Bauer is a bit further from HIP practice and has a few idiosyncrasies (such as very slow trills when playing in a slower tempo), but he plays each movement with great character and makes effective (but never disruptive) embellishments in the repeats.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41fZwiDWCTL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Antoine Marchand on December 28, 2011, 11:42:30 AM
Btw: I only have the Viersen cellosuites, and I thought they were disappointing. Smooth, slick and neat playing, yet with nothing more or something special to offer.

Really? I haven't heard anything of her cello suites, but I was listening to some other works (not Baroque music, anyway) and she sounded impassioned and technically perfect. Additionally, I loved her intelligent face:



 :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Marc on December 28, 2011, 02:48:51 PM
Btw: I only have the Viersen cellosuites, and I thought they were disappointing. Smooth, slick and neat playing, yet with nothing more or something special to offer.

Really? I haven't heard anything of her cello suites, but I was listening to some other works (not Baroque music, anyway) and she sounded impassioned and technically perfect. Additionally, I loved her intelligent face:

(http://i40.tinypic.com/o60byp.jpg)

:)

Yes, agreed.  :)
And she's a very intelligent musician, too.

I can't really argue with “smooth, slick and neat,” but I would add the more positive descriptor “warm,” and I like her sense of tempo and her rhythmic and dynamic approach quite a lot. The prelude of the fourth suite displays these virtues nicely. At the very least, I predict this is a case in which premont won't regret is completism.

The sound quality of this recording is beautiful .... and warm indeed. But Viersen's mostly intelligent interpretation left me rather cold, I'm sorry to say. Despite that, I agree that it's not 'thrown-away money'. Bach's music can stand an intelligent approach.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: bumtz on December 28, 2011, 03:18:23 PM
I enjoy a lot Maurice Gendron's 1964 recordings on Philips. Light and elegant.



Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: George on December 28, 2011, 07:04:44 PM
Now, I've not made a purchase yet - even the MP3 download price is a little steep, and the actual discs w/ notes (along w/ shipping to me across the pond) would be expensive - I'll await some comments from our illustrious Bach experts!  :)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-dwCfkjN/0/M/BachCasalsArt-M.jpg)

I avoid Pristine releases like I avoid the really drunk girl at the party.  :D Their work (I've sampled many different transfers they have done) always sounds processed and unnatural to me.

The best transfer I have heard of the Casals suites (I've compared the Pearl, Naxos and Opus Kura) is the Opus Kura:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31nXKfn29DL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Cello-Suites-Nos-1-6/dp/B0000DI4TE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325127837&sr=8-1
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: George on December 28, 2011, 07:07:07 PM
#2 Wispelwey, Channel Classics


(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00000C2B4.01.L.jpg)
Bach, Cello Suites
Peter Wispelwey, Channel Classics
(http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00000C2B4/goodmusicguide-20)

HIP, lean, second choice unrelated to HIP-ness
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2004/07/dip-your-ears-no-4.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2004/07/dip-your-ears-no-4.html)

A man after my own heart. I love his playing and the sound is excellent.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on December 29, 2011, 03:19:22 PM
I can't really argue with “smooth, slick and neat,” but I would add the more positive descriptor “warm,” and I like her sense of tempo and her rhythmic and dynamic approach quite a lot. The prelude of the fourth suite displays these virtues nicely. At the very least, I predict this is a case in which premont won't regret his completism.
I suppose you are right. :)

Quote from: PaulSC
By the way, premont, do you know Andrej Bauer's recording of the cello suites? I knew him previously as a contemporary-music specialist (with a fine recording of the Lutoslawski concerto to his credit). I don't think it's a brand-new recording, but I only noticed it for sale as a download in the last few months. I don't know if it's currently available in other formats, either. Anyway, Bauer is a bit further from HIP practice and has a few idiosyncrasies (such as very slow trills when playing in a slower tempo), but he plays each movement with great character and makes effective (but never disruptive) embellishments in the repeats.
No, I never heard about it , until you mentioned it a short time ago. Sounds interesting. Can you provide a link. Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on December 29, 2011, 03:26:59 PM
The sound quality of this recording is beautiful .... and warm indeed. But Viersen's mostly intelligent interpretation left me rather cold, I'm sorry to say. Despite that, I agree that it's not 'thrown-away money'. Bach's music can stand an intelligent approach.
Given the choice I prefer an intelligent approach without emotion to an overly emotional approach without intelligence. But neither are ( of course) ideal.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: PaulSC on December 29, 2011, 04:22:29 PM
I suppose you are right. :)
No, I never heard about it , until you mentioned it a short time ago. Sounds interesting. Can you provide a link. Thanks in advance.
Here is info and links. Note the corrected spelling of the artist's name.

Bach Cello Suites
Andrzej Bauer, cello
CD Accord 032 (1999)

MP3s at Amazon (http://amzn.com/B0062IL7GA) (A source of short audio previews, even if you have no interest in purchasing this format)

The physical CD turns out to date from earlier than I originally thought; it seems to be scarce and maybe out of print.

Here is a listing at the record label website: A. Bauer: Bach Cello Suites (http://www.cdaccord.com.pl/album.en.html?acd=032)
And finally, the CD Accord label is sold through the musicweb-international website, and ACD 032 is listed as “back in stock” on this page: ACD 032 at musicweb-international (http://www.musicweb-international.com/CDACCORD/CDACCORD_Catalogue.htm)

One more note on the recording itself: Bauer is recorded in a highly reverberant space. There's enough dry sound up front to allow good clarity, but there is a significant halo of reverb in the background.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: milk on December 31, 2011, 02:08:53 AM
I'm curious what folks think of this recording. I'm enjoying it.
(http://www.northstarconsult.nl/content/img/shop/1315394181-.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: jlaurson on December 31, 2011, 02:32:04 AM
I'm curious what folks think of this recording. I'm enjoying it.
(http://www.northstarconsult.nl/content/img/shop/1315394181-.jpg)

Much discussed in these pages, and as far as I remember positively throughout.


http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/10/bach-suites-shouldered.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/10/bach-suites-shouldered.html)

Summarizing my review:  "With this recording Kuijken offers something genuinely different, genuinely interesting, and wholly charming: not at all just a curiosity but a keeper."
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: milk on December 31, 2011, 02:37:32 AM
Much discussed in these pages, and as far as I remember positively throughout.


http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/10/bach-suites-shouldered.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/10/bach-suites-shouldered.html)

Summarizing my review:  "With this recording Kuijken offers something genuinely different, genuinely interesting, and wholly charming: not at all just a curiosity but a keeper."
Thanks!
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Leo K. on December 31, 2011, 06:57:18 AM
I've gone back to listen to Lynn Harrell's account of the suites:

(http://store.universal-music.co.uk/content/ebiz/universalmusic/invt/e./D./t./0028946625323d/0028946625323d_medium.jpg)

I'm still very attracted this recording, as it holds memories of first discovering these works some years ago. I remember buying it at a used store in order to have another to compare to Yo Yo Ma's second set on Sony.

But yesterday I was able to buy Ophelie Gaillard's first account (on iTunes) and listening today I am transfixed! This is so stunning. I've got to hear more Baroque cello!

This is a wonderful thread to hear what is out there. Wow, I am really happy with aquiring the Ophelie Gaillard.


 8)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: SonicMan46 on December 31, 2011, 09:17:26 AM
I'm curious what folks think of this recording. I'm enjoying it.
(http://www.northstarconsult.nl/content/img/shop/1315394181-.jpg)  (http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-wnkh22S/0/O/BachCelloBadiarov.jpg)

Excellent - have owned that set for a couple of years, along w/ an alternate take on the instrument performed by Dmitry Badiarov - some information HERE (http://dmitrybadiarov.com/Dmitry_Badiarov/Biography_Dmitry-Badiarov.html) - he studied w/ Kuijken and is an instrument builder, too!

Also, check out the Old Musical Instruments (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,11638.msg311374.html#msg311374) thread for some more discussion on this fascinating 'shoulder cello' - :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Leo K. on January 03, 2012, 11:05:32 AM
I'm curious what folks think of this recording. I'm enjoying it.
(http://www.northstarconsult.nl/content/img/shop/1315394181-.jpg)

I just heard the Suite in G from this account (for the first time) and I'm amazed. WOW. This is looking to be my dream recording of this work, and what I was seeking!
 8)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Marc on January 03, 2012, 12:07:37 PM
I enjoy a lot Maurice Gendron's 1964 recordings on Philips. Light and elegant.



One of my faves in the non-HIP league. Very good sound quality, too.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Leo K. on January 03, 2012, 12:54:58 PM
One of my faves in the non-HIP league. Very good sound quality, too.

I agree wholeheartedly.

 ;D
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: PaulSC on January 31, 2012, 01:06:40 PM
A new recording of the Suites played by Richard Tunnicliffe, probably best known as principal cellist of the Avison Ensemble, is due out in mid-March on Linn Records. The previews sound enticing to me…

http://www.linnrecords.com/recording-j-s--bach-cello-suites.aspx

http://amzn.com/B0072X056C
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/518z0BodyDL._SS500_.jpg)

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Leo K. on February 25, 2012, 11:46:54 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/418fzqVUx7L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Incredible! After the playing the first disk (first time) I am hooked.

 8)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: jlaurson on February 25, 2012, 12:17:12 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/418fzqVUx7L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Incredible! After the playing the first disk (first time) I am hooked.

 8)

Ah!  :) Welcome to the mother of Cello Suites.

Can't say it's the best, but it certainly is the one that has done most to form my tastes and it's the one I inevitably compare others to. Musicality, patrician... gorgeous. And great sound for its time.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Kontrapunctus on February 26, 2012, 08:43:23 AM
For those who like no-nonsense, straightforward interpretations, I can recommend Martin Ostertag, particularly if you want an SACD version. He is much less mannered than Gavriel Lipkind, but at times I prefer the latter's more dramatic readings.  I suppose the covers might symbolize their differing approaches!

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41ddtGKkOLL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51fry%2BLcZEL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: DieNacht on February 27, 2012, 03:12:32 AM
Got the melodiya 3LP Bach suites with Daniel Shafran yesterday (price 0,8 Euro  8)).
 
Heard the 1st Suite but was disappointed - very slow and dignified tempi, which can be all-right, but not any feeling of tension, build-up or relief through livelier moods. Any pros as regards his recording ?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Scion7 on February 27, 2012, 06:54:42 AM
I have Truls Mork on CD, but I always seem to come back to:

(http://s12.postimage.org/g0h5kkykd/Bach_Cello_Suites_Ma_vinyl_box.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on February 27, 2012, 12:34:28 PM
Got the melodiya 3LP Bach suites with Daniel Shafran yesterday (price 0,8 Euro  8)).
 
Heard the 1st Suite but was disappointed - very slow and dignified tempi, which can be all-right, but not any feeling of tension, build-up or relief through livelier moods. Any pros as regards his recording ?

I only know a live recording by him of the suites 1,2,3,4 & 5 IIRC. I was disappointed by his slow and laboured playing and his unashamed romantic style and lack of formal awareness.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on February 27, 2012, 12:46:30 PM
For those who like no-nonsense, straightforward interpretations, I can recommend Martin Ostertag, particularly if you want an SACD version. He is much less mannered than Gavriel Lipkind, but at times I prefer the latter's more dramatic readings.  I suppose the covers might symbolize their differing approaches!

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41ddtGKkOLL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51fry%2BLcZEL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

I feel like needing another set of the cello suites, and now that Lipkind´s recording has been rereleased and is affordable, I think I will acquire it just for the interest, even if I may not like it. I would rather acquire Mørk´s recording and Ma´s first recording which Scon7 mentiones above or even Ostertag´s recording, but that would be silly, as I own them already.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: John Copeland on February 27, 2012, 12:48:37 PM
I bought this on offer for only £3 about three years ago.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51vk2GRQecL._SS500_.jpg)

It is quite bold, the Cello is weighted, deep and resonant playing.  Does anyone have any thoughts on it?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: PaulSC on April 08, 2012, 01:33:19 PM
A new recording of the Suites played by Richard Tunnicliffe, probably best known as principal cellist of the Avison Ensemble, is due out in mid-March on Linn Records. The previews sound enticing to me…

Previews notwithstanding, this has turned out to be a bit of a disappointment — not bad, but unremarkable. The performances seem careful and a bit uninvolved. RT takes all of the repeats, nearly always without any ornamentation or other appropriate variation, although the repeats of the D major Sarabande take the form of elaborate “doubles.” The five-string cello piccolo on which this six suite is performed has an unusually thin (but not unpleasant) voice.

All in all, this doesn't add much for those who have already accumulated multiple recordings of the suites, and I certainly wouldn't recommend it as a first purchase for this repertoire.

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 09, 2012, 02:16:40 AM
Thanks for the word, Paul
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on April 09, 2012, 01:20:03 PM
Previews notwithstanding, this has turned out to be a bit of a disappointment — not bad, but unremarkable. The performances seem careful and a bit uninvolved. RT takes all of the repeats, nearly always without any ornamentation or other appropriate variation, although the repeats of the D major Sarabande take the form of elaborate “doubles.” The five-string cello piccolo on which this six suite is performed has an unusually thin (but not unpleasant) voice.

All in all, this doesn't add much for those who have already accumulated multiple recordings of the suites, and I certainly wouldn't recommend it as a first purchase for this repertoire.

Thanks for the warning. Maybe I can play down my completistic tendencies. Actually I regretted the purchase of another recent Linn recording (Pavlo Beznosiuk´s Bach sonatas and partitas), so who knows?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Kontrapunctus on April 10, 2012, 08:19:51 AM
Actually I regretted the purchase of another recent Linn recording (Pavlo Beznosiuk´s Bach sonatas and partitas), so who knows?

I made the same mistake! I'd like to think that violinists back in the day played with a bit more feeling than Pavlo does!
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Brian on November 26, 2012, 10:37:59 AM
I'm a big fan of the suites as played on viola, and noticed this new release:

(http://cdn.naxosmusiclibrary.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/hires/V5300.jpg)

Based on two or three minutes of listening before I head off to grab lunch, Antoine Tamestit's sonority is lighter and sprightlier than Maxim Rysanov's on BIS. Track timings are similar, but Tamestit is playing a Stradivarius viola with a baroque bow (or rather, a modern replica), which explains the fuller-bodied and consequently more romantic sound from Rysanov. Both rank among our best violists. I look forward to hearing more of the album.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on November 26, 2012, 04:29:38 PM
Looks interesting.
I'm new to this thread but I have the McCarty set on viola and it's one of my 2 or 3 favourites for the Cello Suites.

My 'safe' recommendable set would be Mork.
If I could only have one set it would probably be Zelenka - very good recording, vivacious playing.
However the one I usually turn to is Angela East - definitely wayward not to say weird - but never dull.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Que on November 26, 2012, 10:34:54 PM
Has anyone heard Wispelwey's third take yet? :)



Q
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Sammy on November 26, 2012, 10:47:28 PM
Looks interesting.
I'm new to this thread but I have the McCarty set on viola and it's one of my 2 or 3 favourites for the Cello Suites.

I wasn't aware that anyone else had the McCarty viola set.  If I remember right, it's on a label named Ashmont; whether it's still in print I don't know.  Anyways, it is a romantically inclined set that's very fine.  The only other viola set I have is from Barbara Westphal on the Bridge label; also very fine and with more "edge" than McCarty's version.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on November 27, 2012, 01:57:26 AM
... the McCarty viola set.  If I remember right, it's on a label named Ashmont; whether it's still in print I don't know. 

"Currently unavailable" at Amazon UK but they do still offer it as downloads.  I got a used CD when it popped up there.  The 2nd suite is particularly good I think.  As you suggest, creamy-smooth and a complete contrast to the 'wrestling with a bear' approach typified by Angela East.  I like both.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: liuzerus87 on November 27, 2012, 03:14:22 AM
I'm a big fan of the suites as played on viola, and noticed this new release:

(http://cdn.naxosmusiclibrary.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/hires/V5300.jpg)

Based on two or three minutes of listening before I head off to grab lunch, Antoine Tamestit's sonority is lighter and sprightlier than Maxim Rysanov's on BIS. Track timings are similar, but Tamestit is playing a Stradivarius viola with a baroque bow (or rather, a modern replica), which explains the fuller-bodied and consequently more romantic sound from Rysanov. Both rank among our best violists. I look forward to hearing more of the album.

If you like the suites played on viola, have you heard Lillian Fuchs? Definitely old-school interpretation, committed and musical. My second favorite set of the suites after Casals (on cello of course!)

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: George on November 27, 2012, 05:14:07 AM
Has anyone heard Wispelwey's third take yet? :)

I haven't, but I love his second one so much, I won't likely bother.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Brian on November 27, 2012, 05:55:58 AM
Thanks for that recommendation, liuzerus. I'll absolutely find that recording if I can: I haven't heard Lillian Fuchs play, but I've heard her compositions on Naxos and found them most enjoyable.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Sammy on November 27, 2012, 10:25:12 AM
I haven't, but I love his second one so much, I won't likely bother.

I also won't likely bother with Wispelwey's  third take because my reaction to his second one was unfavorable. 
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Wakefield on November 27, 2012, 10:47:18 AM
I also won't likely bother with Wispelwey's  third take because my reaction to his second one was unfavorable.

Do you like his first recording? It's quite more "Baroque" than the second one.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Sammy on November 27, 2012, 03:13:20 PM
Do you like his first recording? It's quite more "Baroque" than the second one.

I never heard Wispelwey's first version.  Is it more assertive than his second.  Frankly, I found the second version quite subdued and irritating.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Wakefield on November 27, 2012, 06:25:09 PM
I never heard Wispelwey's first version.  Is it more assertive than his second.

Yes, it is and better articulated, too.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: milk on February 10, 2013, 08:23:23 AM
I'm not sure I'm in the right thread for this, but I believe these are new. I only found the image for the second CD. These are the cello suites.
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61gQ1870WhL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 10, 2013, 08:37:33 AM
As right a thread as any.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: milk on February 10, 2013, 09:09:21 AM
As right a thread as any.
Thanks! I often have the feeling that I'm in the wrong place.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: jlaurson on February 10, 2013, 09:16:00 AM
I'm not sure I'm in the right thread for this, but I believe these are new. I only found the image for the second CD. These are the cello suites.
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61gQ1870WhL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)

Really? Could well be, of course... but it might be worth checking if they aren't just re-releases of his earlier set on the same label.


So they are... huh. Interesting labeling job on their part... one might almost be confused.
Well... here are the previous Luth releases anyway, now that I've typed them up...

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P//B0000DETAM.01.L.jpg)
J.S. Bach
Sonatas & Partitas BWV 1001-1006
Hopkinson Smith

naïve  (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN//B0000DETAM/goodmusicguide-20)
German link (http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN//B0000DETAM/goodmusicguide-21) - UK link (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN//B0000DETAM/goodmusicguide-21)


(http://images.amazon.com/images/P//B002NVLXC8.01.L.jpg)
J.S. Bach
Works for Luth
BWV 995 - 1000
+ BWV 1006a
Hopkinson Smith

naïve  (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN//B002NVLXC8/goodmusicguide-20)
German link (http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN//B002NVLXC8/goodmusicguide-21) - UK link (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN//B002NVLXC8/goodmusicguide-21)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P//B000067FG3.01.L.jpg)
J.S. Bach
Works for Luth
BWV 995 - 1000
+ BWV 1006a
Hopkinson Smith

naïve  (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN//B000067FG3/goodmusicguide-20)
German link (http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN//B000067FG3/goodmusicguide-21) - UK link (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN//B000067FG3/goodmusicguide-21)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P//B008R5OK9C.01.L.jpg)
J.S. Bach
Suites BWV 1007 - 1009
Hopkinson Smith

naïve  (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN//B008R5OK9C/goodmusicguide-20)
German link (http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN//B008R5OK9C/goodmusicguide-21) - UK link (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN//B008R5OK9C/goodmusicguide-21)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Wakefield on February 10, 2013, 10:57:44 AM
Great news, milk!

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0822186089378.jpg)

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0822186089385.jpg)

It's curious: Naïve will release both discs at the same date, but separately, not as a 2-CD set.

The different concept of the artwork, it's also eye-catching.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Wakefield on February 10, 2013, 11:05:05 AM
Really? Could well be, of course... but it might be worth checking if they aren't just re-releases of his earlier set on the same label.


So they are... huh. Interesting labeling job on their part... one might almost be confused.
Well... here are the previous Luth releases anyway, now that I've typed them up...

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P//B0000DETAM.01.L.jpg)
J.S. Bach
Sonatas & Partitas BWV 1001-1006
Hopkinson Smith

naïve  (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN//B0000DETAM/goodmusicguide-20)
German link (http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN//B0000DETAM/goodmusicguide-21) - UK link (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN//B0000DETAM/goodmusicguide-21)


(http://images.amazon.com/images/P//B002NVLXC8.01.L.jpg)
J.S. Bach
Sonatas & Partitas BWV 1001-1006
Hopkinson Smith

naïve  (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN//B002NVLXC8/goodmusicguide-20)
German link (http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN//B002NVLXC8/goodmusicguide-21) - UK link (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN//B002NVLXC8/goodmusicguide-21)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P//B000067FG3.01.L.jpg)
J.S. Bach
Sonatas & Partitas BWV 1001-1006
Hopkinson Smith

naïve  (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN//B000067FG3/goodmusicguide-20)
German link (http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN//B000067FG3/goodmusicguide-21) - UK link (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN//B000067FG3/goodmusicguide-21)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P//B008R5OK9C.01.L.jpg)
J.S. Bach
Sonatas & Partitas BWV 1001-1003
Hopkinson Smith

naïve  (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN//B008R5OK9C/goodmusicguide-20)
German link (http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN//B008R5OK9C/goodmusicguide-21) - UK link (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN//B008R5OK9C/goodmusicguide-21)

I think just the first set listed by you contains the integral transcriptions of the violin sonatas & partitas.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: jlaurson on February 10, 2013, 11:20:10 AM
I think just the first set listed by you contains the integral transcriptions of the violin sonatas & partitas.
True! I was triply wrong.  Amended:

Quote
(http://images.amazon.com/images/P//B0000DETAM.01.L.jpg)
J.S. Bach
Sonatas & Partitas BWV 1001-1006
Hopkinson Smith

naïve  (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN//B0000DETAM/goodmusicguide-20)
German link (http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN//B0000DETAM/goodmusicguide-21) - UK link (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN//B0000DETAM/goodmusicguide-21)


(http://images.amazon.com/images/P//B002NVLXC8.01.L.jpg)
J.S. Bach
Works for Luth
BWV 995 - 1000
+ BWV 1006a
Hopkinson Smith

naïve  (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN//B002NVLXC8/goodmusicguide-20)
German link (http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN//B002NVLXC8/goodmusicguide-21) - UK link (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN//B002NVLXC8/goodmusicguide-21)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P//B000067FG3.01.L.jpg)
J.S. Bach
Works for Luth
BWV 995 - 1000
+ BWV 1006a
Hopkinson Smith

naïve  (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN//B000067FG3/goodmusicguide-20)
German link (http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN//B000067FG3/goodmusicguide-21) - UK link (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN//B000067FG3/goodmusicguide-21)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P//B008R5OK9C.01.L.jpg)
J.S. Bach
Suites BWV 1007 - 1009
Hopkinson Smith

naïve  (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN//B008R5OK9C/goodmusicguide-20)
German link (http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN//B008R5OK9C/goodmusicguide-21) - UK link (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN//B008R5OK9C/goodmusicguide-21)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on May 23, 2013, 09:49:14 AM
Anner Bylsma wrote a book on the cello suites called Bach, the Fencing Master. You can buy it from his website and I'd like to read it because I've become pretty fascinated by his first recording. But it's quite pricey.

Has anyone read it? Was it interesting for someone who's never actually going to play the music himeself? It's about whether Bach's music is sensual and beautiful or not, isn't it? That sounds very interesting. Is it in English? Is there a way I can see it without paying so much money?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on May 23, 2013, 12:06:27 PM
Great news, milk!

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0822186089385.jpg)

It's curious: Naïve will release both discs at the same date, but separately, not as a 2-CD set.

I have acquired this. It is a rerelease of recordings from 1981 and 1992.

I have never been a devoted lute-lover, and maybe it is me, but these recordings made me almost fall asleep.
Thinking about it: Nor was I that happy with his recorded transcription of the S & P´s.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on May 23, 2013, 12:09:49 PM
Anner Bylsma wrote a book on the cello suites called Bach, the Fencing Master. You can buy it from his website and I'd like to read it because I've become pretty fascinated by his first recording. But it's quite pricey.

Have not read it. Much too expensive, and I would even have to pay at least 25 Euro´s in tax et.c.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Pat B on May 23, 2013, 12:16:21 PM
Anner Bylsma wrote a book on the cello suites called Bach, the Fencing Master. You can buy it from his website and I'd like to read it because I've become pretty fascinated by his first recording. But it's quite pricey.

Has anyone read it? Was it interesting for someone who's never actually going to play the music himeself? It's about whether Bach's music is sensual and beautiful or not, isn't it? That sounds very interesting. Is it in English? Is there a way I can see it without paying so much money?

I had similar questions but went ahead and bought it a couple months ago. I haven't read through it yet but my initial impression was that it is really targeted towards performers (e.g. discussions of bowing). Sometime in the next few days I'll take another look while listening.

Have you read this interview (http://www.cello.org/newsletter/articles/bylsma.htm)?

ETA: feel free to give me a gentle reminder if I forget to follow up. :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Marc on May 23, 2013, 06:58:43 PM
I had similar questions but went ahead and bought it a couple months ago. I haven't read through it yet but my initial impression was that it is really targeted towards performers (e.g. discussions of bowing). Sometime in the next few days I'll take another look while listening.

Have you read this interview (http://www.cello.org/newsletter/articles/bylsma.htm)?

ETA: feel free to give me a gentle reminder if I forget to follow up. :)

True. But it's also interesting for Bach lovers.
I once saw a (dutch) documentary on (dutch) telly (in the late 90s) about Bylsma and his book.
In this Bylsma is defending the phrasing signs, slurs, dots et al in the Anna Magdalena manuscript. They were always neglected, because they 'felt' completely wrong. He decided to try to play the suites in Magdalena's manner and was convinced they were completely right. And yes, most modern people would not find that 'beautiful', but in his view baroque definitions of 'beauty' might be different. I recall him being asked "what would your friend Slava [Rostropovitch] think of your book?" and he smiled and said "Slava would think 'Anner has gone mad'" (or someting like that).

Mind you: Bylsma has never recorded the suites in the Magdalena matter, though.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Que on May 23, 2013, 09:10:22 PM
I have acquired this. It is a rerelease of recordings from 1981 and 1992.

I have never been a devoted lute-lover, and maybe it is me, but these recordings made me almost fall asleep.
Thinking about it: Nor was I that happy with his recorded transcription of the S & P´s.

I think that Nigel North's set with transcriptions of the solo violin & cello pieces is very successful:



Q
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on May 23, 2013, 10:02:08 PM
True. But it's also interesting for Bach lovers.
I once saw a (dutch) documentary on (dutch) telly (in the late 90s) about Bylsma and his book.
In this Bylsma is defending the phrasing signs, slurs, dots et al in the Anna Magdalena manuscript. They were always neglected, because they 'felt' completely wrong. He decided to try to play the suites in Magdalena's manner and was convinced they were completely right. And yes, most modern people would not find that 'beautiful', but in his view baroque definitions of 'beauty' might be different. I recall him being asked "what would your friend Slava [Rostropovitch] think of your book?" and he smiled and said "Slava would think 'Anner has gone mad'" (or someting like that).

Mind you: Bylsma has never recorded the suites in the Magdalena matter, though.

Thanks Marc, that's really interesting.

Are there any records of the suites with the Magdalena phrasing?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on May 24, 2013, 05:59:42 AM
I think that Nigel North's set with transcriptions of the solo violin & cello pieces is very successful:



Q

Yes, I much prefer him.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on May 24, 2013, 06:16:02 AM
Thanks Marc, that's really interesting.

Are there any records of the suites with the Magalena phrasing?

Not as far as I know. Many performers mention the Anna Magdalena manuscript in their comments in the booklet, but in the end they construct their own version based upon all existing manuscripts.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Wakefield on May 24, 2013, 07:29:15 AM
I have acquired this. It is a rerelease of recordings from 1981 and 1992.
Incredible! JPC, usually very accurate in this kind of information, indicates 2012 as date of production.

I consider that Hopkinson Smith is a true master, but maybe I need a new listen one of these days.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Pat B on May 24, 2013, 07:35:45 AM
I recall him being asked "what would your friend Slava [Rostropovitch] think of your book?" and he smiled and said "Slava would think 'Anner has gone mad'" (or someting like that).

Mind you: Bylsma has never recorded the suites in the Magdalena matter, though.

Interesting indeed. The interview I linked gave me the impression he used Magdalena in '92 -- but now that you mention it, I notice the interview was several years later. Regardless, I chose his '79 over his '92 based on tone.

As for Rostropovich -- this has probably already been discussed but I haven't read the whole thread -- I bought his EMI set when it came out. That, more than any other recording, cost Penguin Guide a lot of credibility with me.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on May 24, 2013, 08:11:54 AM
Yes, that interview is pretty frank and probing. And some of what he says about authenticity is kind of what I've been starting  to think myself. I was interested in what he says about counterpoint and phrasing, I just wish he would have fleshed it out a bit more.

I must say it is extremely irritating not to be able to hear him play these suites in the Magdalena style, given that he's so passionate about it all.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on June 05, 2013, 11:23:42 PM
Looks interesting.
I'm new to this thread but I have the McCarty set on viola and it's one of my 2 or 3 favourites for the Cello Suites.

My 'safe' recommendable set would be Mork.
If I could only have one set it would probably be Zelenka - very good recording, vivacious playing.
However the one I usually turn to is Angela East - definitely wayward not to say weird - but never dull.

Well, Angela East's recording is very interesting I think. She uses the Magdalena Phrasing that Bylsma loves so much, but hasn't recorded. And what do we find? Short speech like cells. It's quite extraordinary.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Marc on June 06, 2013, 07:44:59 AM
[....]
However the one I usually turn to is Angela East - definitely wayward not to say weird - but never dull.

Well, Angela East's recording is very interesting I think. She uses the Magdalena Phrasing that Bylsma loves so much, but hasn't recorded. And what do we find? Short speech like cells. It's quite extraordinary.

Thanks both.
I ordered East (a 'safe' one at the library) and I'm looking (listening ;)) forward to it.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on June 07, 2013, 01:28:12 AM
'Interesting' is certainly a good word for the Angela East renditions.  Great stuff, at what I think of as the 'wrestling with a bear' end of the interpretive spectrum - I dunno what the sleeve picture is all about though  :-\

I recently got the latest Wispelwey recording (I haven't heard his earlier ones) and that has become a new favourite - often a very intimate, introspective sound, just brushing the strings so lightly.

I'm surprised not to see any mention here (or in the violin Partitas thread) of Vito Paternoster.   According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vito_Paternoster)
"Paternoster is the first cellist to record the complete Bach Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Cello (orig. violin), after locating an anonymous transcription, from Bach's time, next to Bach's own manuscript of the violin masterpieces."
This recording of the Sonatas and Partitas can be downloaded for free as low-ish quality mp3 from Magnatune.com (http://magnatune.com/artists/paternoster) or you can subscribe to get high quality and ad-free downloads.  [edited to add - also available from Amazon.]  I've only got the free version (each movement is interspersed with 'nag' ads which can be edited out) but even so it's a pretty good listen, especially the faster movements where the roughness of the mp3 is not too evident.  The cellist is obviously stretching his technique to the limit in these pieces and the famous Chaconne played on cello rolls along like a thunderstorm.
(NB Bylsma has also recorded two of these - Sonata 2 and Partita 3)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on June 11, 2013, 08:41:31 AM
I too have been dipping into the latest Wispelwey. Though it's years since I listened I remember enjoying those Vito Paternoster performances too.

My main interest in this music right now is to do with counterpoint. Ii'm looking for a recording where there's a real sense of interaction and tension between the voices. I've been listening a lot to Guido Schieffen's and Marc Coppey's. I've also been enjoying Caussé's, for other reasons.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: George on June 11, 2013, 09:34:29 AM
I recently got the latest Wispelwey recording (I haven't heard his earlier ones) and that has become a new favourite - often a very intimate, introspective sound, just brushing the strings so lightly.

Has anyone heard Wispelwey's newest and his 1998 (second) recording? I'd love to read a bit about how they compare. 
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Octave on December 12, 2013, 10:41:40 PM
Just a bump because I'm interested in George's Wispelwey question (immediately above), in case anyone has a perspective.  I only know the 1998 recording.

Also, it seems that the upcoming Anner Bylsma "Plays Cello Suites and Sonatas" set from Sony will include two (=both?) recordings of the suites ["Suiten BWV 1007-1012 für Cello solo (2 Einspielungen)"], so I am assuming those are the 1979 and 1992 sets.  Just an FYI esp. for those who have neither.

Brief contents from JPC:
http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Anner-Bylsma-plays-Cello-Suites-and-Sonatas/hnum/3787274 (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Anner-Bylsma-plays-Cello-Suites-and-Sonatas/hnum/3787274)
ASIN: B00GH1X1AM  (listed at UK but not USA)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/71Xvh%2Bf4fYL._SL1200_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: jlaurson on December 13, 2013, 09:44:22 AM

As for Rostropovich -- this has probably already been discussed but I haven't read the whole thread -- I bought his EMI set when it came out. That, more than any other recording, cost Penguin Guide a lot of credibility with me.

 ;D

What a beastly dud in his discography, indeed. Too reverent (or whatever else the problem was) and a complete bore.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on December 13, 2013, 09:56:09 AM
;D

What a beastly dud in his discography, indeed. Too reverent (or whatever else the problem was) and a complete bore.

I completely agree with this, but has anyone heard the live recording he made in 1955?

http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/Supraphon/SU40442
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: George on December 13, 2013, 10:18:48 AM
I completely agree with this, but has anyone heard the live recording he made in 1955?

http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/Supraphon/SU40442

I haven't but I have heard his studio recordings of the second and fifth suite from a year later:

http://www.allmusic.com/album/release/rostropovich-plays-bach-mr0002074434
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on December 13, 2013, 10:34:03 AM
I completely agree with this, but has anyone heard the live recording he made in 1955?

http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/Supraphon/SU40442

Yes I have. There's a religious spiritual feeling, he milks the music for every last drop of sentiment.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on December 13, 2013, 11:43:10 AM
I haven't but I have heard his studio recordings of the second and fifth suite from a year later:

http://www.allmusic.com/album/release/rostropovich-plays-bach-mr0002074434

Thanke George, his playing reeks of sentimentality I am afraid.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 13, 2013, 11:44:54 AM
Hm, that verb reeks isn't exactly . . . disinterested, is it?   ;D    0:)    8)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on December 13, 2013, 11:46:10 AM
,,he milks the music for every last drop of sentiment.

Well, his Bach never was my cup of tea.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on December 13, 2013, 11:53:15 AM
Hm, that verb reeks isn't exactly . . . disinterested, is it?   ;D    0:)    8)

Maybe I should have written sucks or stinks?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on December 13, 2013, 12:05:24 PM
Maybe I should have written sucks or stinks?
Reeks and stinks are for bad smells. Reeks, for me, is just for very strong, very bad smells. Sucks is american (teenager?) slang meaning "is rubbish"  -- not really British English. Using the verb to suck, you can't say "it sucks of sentimentality" or "it sucks sentimentality" as far as I know, certainly not in British English.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on December 13, 2013, 12:34:34 PM
Reeks and stinks are for bad smells. Reeks, for me, is just for very strong, very bad smells. Sucks is american (teenager?) slang meaning "is rubbish"  -- not really British English. Using the verb to suck, you can't say "it sucks of sentimentality" or "it sucks sentimentality" as far as I know, certainly not in British English.

Thanks for the explanation Mandryka. It seems as if "reeks" was what I meant (the bad smell of sentimentality).
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: xochitl on January 24, 2014, 12:01:34 AM
i was wondering, which cellists have the fastest preludes and gigues? ive been spending months going thru a bunch of recordings but somehow [esp. the preludes] feel more natural to me the faster theyre played

ive heard:
casals
bailey
yo-yo ma [both]
slava
wang
starker I
wispelwey III
kuijken
badiarov
thedeen
zeuthen
angela east
cocset
ostertag
zelenka
mork
schiff
bylsma [both]
fournier
queyras
harnoncourt
kirshbaum

any others i should know about?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: North Star on January 24, 2014, 12:23:08 AM
i was wondering, which cellists have the fastest preludes and gigues? ive been spending months going thru a bunch of recordings but somehow [esp. the preludes] feel more natural to me the faster theyre played

any others i should know about?
Paolo Beschi!
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: xochitl on January 24, 2014, 01:49:13 AM
 :o thank you! fastest preludes in the west!  :o

now i can really dance to my bach
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: OrchestralNut on June 30, 2014, 10:27:02 AM
Any recommendations for the darkest, deepest recording of Bach's Cello Suite No. 5 Sarabande movement, specifically?

Other than Casals (not interested) or Gendron (have already and love).

Merci!  :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: OrchestralNut on June 30, 2014, 10:32:54 AM
Any recommendations for the darkest, deepest recording of Bach's Cello Suite No. 5 Sarabande movement, specifically?

Other than Casals (not interested) or Gendron (have already and love).

Merci!  :)

And, I'm open to 'period instrument' suggestions too (viola da gamba, or whatever the hell you call it)  :D
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: North Star on June 30, 2014, 10:48:06 AM
And, I'm open to 'period instrument' suggestions too (viola da gamba, or whatever the hell you call it)  :D
Viola da Gamba is a totally different instrument of course. :)

Bruno Cocset's PI cello recording is a good one for sure (http://www.allmusic.com/album/johann-sebastian-bach-6-suites-a-violoncello-solo-senza-basso-mw0001379786) although it's a while since I've heard it.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on June 30, 2014, 11:33:53 AM
Any recommendations for the darkest, deepest recording of Bach's Cello Suite No. 5 Sarabande movement, specifically?

Other than Casals (not interested) or Gendron (have already and love).

Merci!  :)

Check Janos Starker on the Mercury Living Presence recording. I think the whole 5th suite there is particularly special.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: jlaurson on July 01, 2014, 12:45:09 AM
And, I'm open to 'period instrument' suggestions too (viola da gamba, or whatever the hell you call it)  :D

like the viola pomposa?? http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/10/bach-suites-shouldered.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/10/bach-suites-shouldered.html)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on July 01, 2014, 01:09:44 AM
Kniazev does dark and deep to excess. His is the slowest 5/Sarabande of 20-odd versions that I have.  Lipkind is a bit less extreme and a much safer recommendation overall I think. 
East lies in between these two for duration (in the Suite 5 Sarabande specifically) but I wouldn't call it 'dark', and she is generally quirky.  In a good way.  The recorded tone of Pandolfo's viola da gamba is just wonderful, unearthly in this and all the suites.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on July 01, 2014, 01:18:33 AM
Kniazev does dark and deep to excess. His is the slowest 5/Sarabande of 20-odd versions that I have.  Lipkind is a bit less extreme and a much safer recommendation overall I think. 
East lies in between these two for duration (in the Suite 5 Sarabande specifically) but I wouldn't call it 'dark', and she is generally quirky.  In a good way.  The recorded tone of Pandolfo's viola da gamba is just wonderful, unearthly in this and all the suites.

Agree about Kniazev.

Lipkind however is often rather idiosyncratic elsewhere, and is not at all a safe general rcommendation.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on July 01, 2014, 01:27:21 AM
True - I agree - not a 'safe' recommendation - just 'safer', and leaning in the same general direction as Kniazev.

My idea of 'safe' would probably start with Mork.  His recordings re-ignited my interest in these Suites and led me to explore a lot of diverse approaches and I don't regret a minute of it.  I haven't listened to them since of course!
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Moonfish on July 01, 2014, 01:46:29 AM
Any recommendations for the darkest, deepest recording of Bach's Cello Suite No. 5 Sarabande movement, specifically?

Other than Casals (not interested) or Gendron (have already and love).

Merci!  :)

I very much enjoy Daniel Shafran in Bach's Cello Suites. He has a tendency to dwell on the dark spots in the 5th. Perhaps it is the "darkness" you are looking for? It is in the Russian Legends/Historical release from Brilliant.



Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: amw on July 01, 2014, 01:52:36 AM
I've heard the suites live many times, including two different occasions on which all six were played (Martin Rummel on a modern cello, Carter Brey on a baroque one), but I only seem to have one recording of them, by Ophélie Gaillard on Ambroisie. I quite like it, and am not particularly tempted to seek out another one, but I am sort of curious if I'm missing anything. Damn these threads.

(not an answer to ChamberNut's question, though 5 is my favourite of the six; there's very little angst in Ophélie's interpretations that I've been able to locate)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on July 01, 2014, 07:33:52 AM
To return to the sarbande from the fifth, apart from Janos Starker I would say Badiarov is very moving in that movement, and so is Ralph Kirschbaum - Kirschbaum is my favourite at a slow tempo.



Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Sammy on July 01, 2014, 09:01:51 AM
For the Sarabande from the 5th Suite, I tend to favor Rostropovich.  I'm not a big fan of his Bach because of his exaggerated romanticism.  However, he reins it in for the Sarabande and delivers a very profound and tense reading. 
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on July 01, 2014, 11:30:42 AM
I've heard the suites live many times, including two different occasions on which all six were played (Martin Rummel on a modern cello, Carter Brey on a baroque one), but I only seem to have one recording of them, by Ophélie Gaillard on Ambroisie. I quite like it, and am not particularly tempted to seek out another one, but I am sort of curious if I'm missing anything.

I have Gaillard's recording on Ambroise, too. It's extremely fine. Another one I have is Beschi. The two couldn't be more different. Beschi has a husky tone and he really digs into his instrument. In contrast Gaillard is much more fluid, with a bounce to her approach reminiscent of the dance.

Neither has a leg up over the other but they certainly aren't the same. I like having both but could probably do just as well with Gaillard's alone (or the converse).


Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: OrchestralNut on July 03, 2014, 10:13:57 AM
Many thanks to all of you for those recommendations.  You've given me a lot to consider!  :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on January 10, 2015, 05:06:17 AM
Just to say I'm really enjoying this set by Isang Enders.
Technically well on top of his craft, stabby staccato bowing, and to my ears somewhat close to Lipkind, but without any of his rather alarming excesses.
[edited to add - I forgot what I really wanted to say - a continuous light 'breathing' rubato - like a Chopin piano performance (though not so marked as that obviously)

Close and unusually dry recording, but without fingerboard (East) or heavy breathing (Zelenka).
Right up there with my current favourites, which include Beschi, Queyras and East.


Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: mc ukrneal on January 10, 2015, 06:13:16 AM
Just to say I'm really enjoying this set by Isang Enders.
Technically well on top of his craft, stabby staccato bowing, and to my ears somewhat close to Lipkind, but without any of his rather alarming excesses.
Close and unusually dry recording, but without fingerboard (East) or heavy breathing (Zelenka).
Right up there with my current favourites, which include Beschi, Queyras and East.

(sorry, not sure if I've got the hang of this Amazon linky thing)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51XGwWPoR2L._SS280.jpg)         



You have to use the ISIN for the physical cd version, not the mp3 version. That's all. In any case, if you click on yours, it will still get you there (it just won't show until then).
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on January 10, 2015, 07:16:49 AM
Thanks for that - fixed my link now, and I also added another comment to my, er, comments.

I might say I've also listened to a bit from another very recent addition to the catalogue, Arnau Tomàs, but found that unremarkable in a rather old-school middle-of-the-road sort of way.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on March 15, 2015, 10:51:39 AM
I haven't, but I love his second one so much, I won't likely bother.

Two and a half years years after the event, I can report that you should bother. Partly for the extraordinary tone, dark tone of the cello in the first 5 suites. And second for his way of introducing silence, which is like nothing else I know. It's a completely different kettle of fish from the second, and I find it captures my imagination more than the second. Only 6 is disappointing.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on April 29, 2015, 11:24:30 PM
Badiarov was a finalist and scored a very good 4th place (out of 30) in the recent Cello Suites blind comparison.
http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?topic=23936.220 (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?topic=23936.220)

Queyras came 3rd,
Lipkind came 2nd
(these two were quite close, joint 2nd really, all things considered - in the final round, which was the 5th Suite, Lipkind scored better, but over all 4 rounds Queyras averaged better)

I wrote in January:
I might say I've also listened to a bit from another very recent addition to the catalogue, Arnau Tomàs, but found that unremarkable in a rather old-school middle-of-the-road sort of way.

 :-[
Arnau Tomàs was a clear 1st.

(http://www.aukadia.net/pix/tomas.jpg)   (http://www.aukadia.net/pix/tomas2.jpg)

 :-\  Of course a pool of 'only' 30 contenders was bound to leave out several very good recordings - I've listened to a few more since starting that comparison and I can certainly say now I'm sorry I didn't include Kirschbaum, who I think would have fitted right in to the top 10 at least.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: jlaurson on May 03, 2015, 07:09:17 AM
I wrote in January:
 :-[
Arnau Tomàs was a clear 1st.

(http://www.aukadia.net/pix/tomas.jpg)   (http://www.aukadia.net/pix/tomas2.jpg)

I just listened to that over the weekend, after the label was kind enough to send a copy on over (they are not distributed outside Germany and the UK yet, it seems).
It really IS quite special. There's a lot I enjoy tremendously... maybe even more than the bit in the final. More anon.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on June 19, 2015, 10:58:18 AM
Anyone developed a view of Thomas Arnau's Bach yet?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Peter Power Pop on June 19, 2015, 10:06:21 PM
Anyone developed a view of Thomas Arnau's Bach yet?

Thanks to Spotify, I'm listening to it now:

https://play.spotify.com/album/0t9UoKs0S1X8SXZcjog8qS (https://play.spotify.com/album/0t9UoKs0S1X8SXZcjog8qS)

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CFnddUkWgAAlFtW.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Cello-Suiten/dp/B00P08LCEA)

I'm not enjoying the way he drags out notes. It's all in the name of "expression" I suppose, but the note-lengthening sounds a little haphazard to me, as if he's doing it at random. The intonation is excellent, and the playing is awfully good, but the way he's playing doesn't make me say, "Wow, that's great."

I'm also not enjoying the acoustic of the recording very much. It sounds a bit too cavernous for me. Because the Cello Suites are chamber music, I prefer to hear them as if they were recorded in a room rather than in a church, which is what it sounds like here. (It makes me wonder how many cellists think to themselves, "I'm in the mood to play Bach's Cello Suites today. Now, where's a church I can play in?")

Overall, I prefer the Bach Cello Suites to be a lot peppier than what I've heard so far from Mr. Tomàs. (So far I've heard the first two Suites.)

My favourite version of the Suites is by Heinrich Schiff. That's also available on Spotify:

https://play.spotify.com/album/33g2FUrWEN7ArOyp3fOAfw (https://play.spotify.com/album/33g2FUrWEN7ArOyp3fOAfw)

(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal-BIG/Schiff-H-S01-2a[EMI-2CD].jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Cello-Suites-Heinrich-Schiff/dp/B0007RO57A)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on October 13, 2015, 08:16:14 AM
(http://d250ptlkmugbjz.cloudfront.net/images/covers/60/55/0827949055560_600.jpg)

The above is a new recording by Matt Haimovitz. Does anyone know what its relation is, exactly, to the Anna Magdalena phrasing? Is it more true to that manuscript than others like Bylsma II or Wispelwey III?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on October 13, 2015, 08:18:39 AM
I just listened to that over the weekend, after the label was kind enough to send a copy on over (they are not distributed outside Germany and the UK yet, it seems).
It really IS quite special. There's a lot I enjoy tremendously... maybe even more than the bit in the final. More anon.

How've you got on with this? I listened to 2 last night - it's too lyrical and lightweight for me, like Bach cello suites for the cocktail bar.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on October 13, 2015, 01:08:06 PM
A scathing comment but yes, I can agree with that.  Apart from anything else, the acoustic sounds a bit synthetic to me.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: king ubu on October 14, 2015, 06:10:55 AM
(http://d250ptlkmugbjz.cloudfront.net/images/covers/60/55/0827949055560_600.jpg)

The above is a new recording by Matt Haimovitz. Does anyone know what its relation is, exactly, to the Anna Magdalena phrasing? Is it more true to that manuscript than others like Bylsma II or Wispelwey III?

Well, she composed them, didn't you know?  :D
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: El Chupacabra on October 14, 2015, 07:37:33 AM
(http://d250ptlkmugbjz.cloudfront.net/images/covers/60/55/0827949055560_600.jpg)

Does anyone know what its relation is, exactly, to the Anna Magdalena phrasing? Is it more true to that manuscript than others like Bylsma II or Wispelwey III?
There is no original manuscript of the 6 cello suites. The first copy is Anna's. Anna Magdalena served as copyist to his husband longer than most, occasionally copying a vocal or instrumental cantata-part, or a section of it. Her copies include chamber and keyboard music, either complete sets (the violin and cello suites) or possibly once-complete (organ sonatas, WTC I), sometimes with JS (WTC II) and family members (this in the two albums).  Some copies she assisted remain incomplete and  she particularly copied chamber music. Why however, her copying so often included only the notes of the music while JS wrote in the headings, dynamics etc. is open to conjecture to this day. Some say he was supervising her and some find deficiencies in the placement of slurs and other articulation in her copy( fair copy) of the cello suites. The claimed number of errors of her copy is around 70 but the remaining two other copies of that time, Kellner and Westphal's, are open to debate as they are erroneous, too, which led to the 100(almost) editions we have of the suites today...which lets Bylsma and/or Wispelwey's imagination to be utilized.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on October 14, 2015, 10:22:04 AM
some find deficiencies in the placement of slurs and other articulation in her copy( fair copy) of the cello suites. The claimed number of errors of her copy is around 70

Can someone explain to me what the deficiencies are supposed to be please?

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: El Chupacabra on October 14, 2015, 10:34:20 AM
Can someone explain to me what the deficiencies are supposed to be please?
Pick one of the suites and I'll give you an example. Can you read score?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on October 14, 2015, 12:41:17 PM
Pick one of the suites and I'll give you an example. Can you read score?

That's very kind of you. Yes I can read a score. The second is the one I'm most interested in at the moment. And I like the 5th and 6th.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on October 14, 2015, 01:19:04 PM
Pick one of the suites and I'll give you an example. Can you read score?

Very interesting.

I admit, that I have refrained from studying the articulation indications in A-M Bach's copy in detail, because of the many errors. Actually I think, it is possible to achieve a sustainable idea of Bach´s principles of articulation by studying his indications in the instrumental parts of the cantatas and some of the instrumental music e.g. the sonatas for harpsichord and violin. And I think, this is how most of the leading HIP musicians of to day handle this subject.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: El Chupacabra on October 14, 2015, 01:51:16 PM
That's very kind of you. Yes I can read a score. The second is the one I'm most interested in at the moment. And I like the 5th and 6th.

Second it is.

This is Courante Bar27 anna:
(http://i60.tinypic.com/j5h1js.jpg)
This is Courante Bar27 keller:
(http://i62.tinypic.com/20iuuir.jpg)

This is Menuet 1 Bars6-8 anna:
(http://i62.tinypic.com/fvjmg1.jpg)
This is Menuet 1 Bars6-8 keller:
(http://i58.tinypic.com/wv25wl.jpg)

and one for an obvious pitch:
This is Gigue mm27-28 common:
(http://i61.tinypic.com/2hnn7gw.jpg)
the Keller copy, the Westphal copy, the Traeg copy all indicate the last note of 28 is E (moving D-E-F to the next bar) but Anna happens to scribe a natural B....which is the final note of the previous two bars

By the way, while checking the books now I saw that Bylsma is a solid supporter of A.M. copy.


Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: kishnevi on October 14, 2015, 05:16:58 PM
The Menuet differences are substantial enough to suggest Keller represents a revision. I am not knowledgeable about the manuscript history, but is it possible Bach revised the suites at some point after Anna made her copy?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on October 14, 2015, 08:44:40 PM
Second it is.

This is Courante Bar27 anna:
(http://i60.tinypic.com/j5h1js.jpg)
This is Courante Bar27 keller:
(http://i62.tinypic.com/20iuuir.jpg)

This is Menuet 1 Bars6-8 anna:
(http://i62.tinypic.com/fvjmg1.jpg)
This is Menuet 1 Bars6-8 keller:
(http://i58.tinypic.com/wv25wl.jpg)

and one for an obvious pitch:
This is Gigue mm27-28 common:
(http://i61.tinypic.com/2hnn7gw.jpg)
the Keller copy, the Westphal copy, the Traeg copy all indicate the last note of 28 is E (moving D-E-F to the next bar) but Anna happens to scribe a natural B....which is the final note of the previous two bars

By the way, while checking the books now I saw that Bylsma is a solid supporter of A.M. copy.

Thanks, the difference in the minuet is the sort of thing I was expecting through reading. Re Bylsma, I know he is a supporter in theory, what I'm not clear about is how much this support comes out in his recordings.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Pat B on October 14, 2015, 10:08:30 PM
Thanks, the difference in the minuet is the sort of thing I was expecting through reading. Re Bylsma, I know he is a supporter in theory, what I'm not clear about is how much this support comes out in his recordings.

IIRC he went down this path after his second recording.

I'm with Jeffrey: the minuet differences look more like a revision than a transcription error.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: king ubu on October 14, 2015, 11:17:51 PM
Fascinating, thanks so much for sharing!

About bar 27 of the Courante (first example): what's the last note of the second group, D or E? As I'd read it (not being familiar with any of these hands but from these short excerpts) I'd say with Anna it's clearly a D, while with Keller, it's an E again (same as the second note of the group)?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on October 14, 2015, 11:42:27 PM
IIRC he went down this path after his second recording.



That's my impression too but I don't have the booklet to confirm. I'd also be interested if anyone has Wispelwey's III's booklet to see if he is influenced by the Anna Magdalena phrasing there, as I suspect.

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: jlaurson on October 14, 2015, 11:54:11 PM
How've you got on with this? I listened to 2 last night - it's too lyrical and lightweight for me, like Bach cello suites for the cocktail bar.

Fell off the wagon for a bit, but will revive.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: El Chupacabra on October 15, 2015, 01:59:47 AM
The Menuet differences are substantial enough to suggest Keller represents a revision. I am not knowledgeable about the manuscript history, but is it possible Bach revised the suites at some point after Anna made her copy?
As far as my knowledge goes, there is no revision by Bach. The "Cothen Years" are known as "crazy in work tempo" that he left so many pieces incomplete because of lack of time.

what's the last note of the second group, D or E? As I'd read it (not being familiar with any of these hands but from these short excerpts) I'd say with Anna it's clearly a D, while with Keller, it's an E again (same as the second note of the group)?
You are right but there is no way to know.

That's my impression too but I don't have the booklet to confirm. I'd also be interested if anyone has Wispelwey's III's booklet to see if he is influenced by the Anna Magdalena phrasing there, as I suspect.
In general, it says for the III, because of the mystery, he sat down with John Butt of Glasgow University and Laurence Dreyfus of Oxford University and 'found plausible and playable solutions to a number of fascinating performance issues' of Anna's


I'm with Jeffrey: the minuet differences look more like a revision than a transcription error.

It might not be that simple as there are other details. For instance, including Kellner and Anna, the total of manuscripts from that century is four and lately they dated Kellner to 1726 and Anna to 1727. The pitch difference on the last picture is only on Anna's which chronologically makes the last note: E (kellner-bach alive)- natural B (anna- bach alive), E (Westphal-bach dead), E(Traeg item by an anonymous copier 1799-bach dead).

Anyway, when there is no composer-autographed score from 300 years ago you can speculate on everything. We even love to speculate on originals...so...I just wanted to give the gist of difficulties of authenticity.

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on October 15, 2015, 08:31:15 AM
Yes all this is quite fun to read about for me, who never will actually have to play the things.

Anyway the bad news is that I started to listen to the new Haimovitz CD with no pleasure or interest whatsoever. I don't know whether it was my mood or whether he's really as uncharismatic as I felt.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Sammy on October 15, 2015, 05:32:23 PM
Yes all this is quite fun to read about for me, who never will actually have to play the things.

Anyway the bad news is that I started to listen to the new Haimovitz CD with no pleasure or interest whatsoever. I don't know whether it was my mood or whether he's really as uncharismatic as I felt.

I'm of the same mind concerning Haimovitz.  That Prelude from the 1st Suite is about the worst I've ever heard - fast, gruff and choppy; even worse, I got zero feeling of any climax toward the conclusion of the Prelude.  Right after Haimovitz, I listened to the Beschi on Winter & Winter where the Prelude's ending has a great release of energy.

I did go on to listen to the remainder of the 1st Suite and also Suites 2 and 3.  Just seems like more of the same.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: El Chupacabra on October 17, 2015, 06:01:56 AM
Yes all this is quite fun to read about for me, who never will actually have to play the things.

Anyway the bad news is that I started to listen to the new Haimovitz CD with no pleasure or interest whatsoever. I don't know whether it was my mood or whether he's really as uncharismatic as I felt.

Sometimes following a score intimately and following a score makes a huge difference. I guess this youngster is confused by being involved with this music so closely for a large percentage of his life. I call these players 'churn-icians'.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: bob_cart on December 02, 2016, 09:29:30 AM
Hello fellow music worshipers,
I don't know if there is a similar topic already since I've sadly not enough time to enjoy the great vastness of this forum in its entirety, but I'd like to ask all of you; are you familiar with the Bach cello suites? And which is/are your favourite recording/s of the same? I'm a great fan of the suites and have listened to countless recordings  from famous cellist to less famous cellist, even guitarists and violists. My all time favourite is Anner Bylsma and I recommend it to everyone. I think all of the suites played by Bylsma are available on youtube. Also, what is everyone's favourite piece from the suites? I adore the gavotte from the sixth suite, the bourree II from the fourth. I'm also currently playing the third suite on my guitar, which is a rather fun experience. Anyone? :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: SonicMan46 on December 02, 2016, 05:16:27 PM
Hello fellow music worshipers,
I don't know if there is a similar topic already since I've sadly not enough time to enjoy the great vastness of this forum in its entirety, but I'd like to ask all of you; are you familiar with the Bach cello suites? And which is/are your favourite recording/s of the same? I'm a great fan of the suites and have listened to countless recordings  from famous cellist to less famous cellist, even guitarists and violists. My all time favourite is Anner Bylsma and I recommend it to everyone. I think all of the suites played by Bylsma are available on youtube. Also, what is everyone's favourite piece from the suites? I adore the gavotte from the sixth suite, the bourree II from the fourth. I'm also currently playing the third suite on my guitar, which is a rather fun experience. Anyone? :)

Hello - this thread is nearly 10 years old, so hopefully a lot of members here who appreciate and enjoy the Bach Cello Suites - for myself (an amateur & not a performer), I've purchased and culled these performances for years -currently, I own 7 different sets (shown below), two on the 'shoulder cello' - the last one that I listened to was w/ Anner Bylsma, so must be a favorite for me - enjoy the others - the 'shoulder cello' discs are special and worth a listen.  Dave :)

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-gdmGqmj/0/L/Bach_CelloSuites_A-L.png)  (https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/i-zcMccNC/0/L/Bach_CelloSuites_B-L.png)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: George on December 02, 2016, 05:59:43 PM
Hello fellow music worshipers,
I don't know if there is a similar topic already since I've sadly not enough time to enjoy the great vastness of this forum in its entirety, but I'd like to ask all of you; are you familiar with the Bach cello suites? And which is/are your favourite recording/s of the same?

(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal-BIG/Wispelwey-P-S02a[Channel-2CD].jpg)

Love this deep, dark reading of these great works.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Que on December 03, 2016, 01:13:06 AM
Hello fellow music worshipers,
I don't know if there is a similar topic already since I've sadly not enough time to enjoy the great vastness of this forum in its entirety, but I'd like to ask all of you; are you familiar with the Bach cello suites? And which is/are your favourite recording/s of the same? I'm a great fan of the suites and have listened to countless recordings  from famous cellist to less famous cellist, even guitarists and violists. My all time favourite is Anner Bylsma and I recommend it to everyone. I think all of the suites played by Bylsma are available on youtube. Also, what is everyone's favourite piece from the suites? I adore the gavotte from the sixth suite, the bourree II from the fourth. I'm also currently playing the third suite on my guitar, which is a rather fun experience. Anyone? :)

Count me in as another fan of Anner Bijlsma (2nd recording on Sony).  :)

Another I really like is Paolo Beshi  (Winter & Winter):



For those who are very familiar with these pieces the use of different instruments provides another angle:

Bruno Cocset uses various cellos (apperently a recent reissue):



I also have a soft spot for this version on viola da gamba:




@Dave, wich recording on violoncello da spalla do you prefer - Sigiswald Kuijken or Dimitri Badiarov? :)

Q
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aligreto on December 03, 2016, 02:01:04 AM
(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal-BIG/Wispelwey-P-S02a[Channel-2CD].jpg)

Love this deep, dark reading of these great works.

Probably my favourite also  :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aligreto on December 03, 2016, 02:22:28 AM
Hello fellow music worshipers,
I don't know if there is a similar topic already since I've sadly not enough time to enjoy the great vastness of this forum in its entirety, but I'd like to ask all of you; are you familiar with the Bach cello suites? And which is/are your favourite recording/s of the same? I'm a great fan of the suites and have listened to countless recordings  from famous cellist to less famous cellist, even guitarists and violists. My all time favourite is Anner Bylsma and I recommend it to everyone. I think all of the suites played by Bylsma are available on youtube. Also, what is everyone's favourite piece from the suites? I adore the gavotte from the sixth suite, the bourree II from the fourth. I'm also currently playing the third suite on my guitar, which is a rather fun experience. Anyone? :)

As a guitarist, if you have not already done so, you may want to explore the following....


(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81gEWBla02L._SX355_.jpg)   (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51UqdvClH-L._SY355_.jpg)


(https://img.discogs.com/O62KHWMw_OsLMW2Ckcx0taFeUJI=/fit-in/600x529/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-4959580-1380746048-2591.jpeg.jpg)   (http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_500/MI0002/988/MI0002988681.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)


I can recommend both sets  :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on December 03, 2016, 02:56:34 AM
Regarding Bylsma, I prefer his earlier recording which sounds a bit more fleet-footed than his 2nd recording which is the one illustrated above.  The earlier one can be hard to find but look out for it on Sony 'Essential Classics'.
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51KDR6wrxrL._SS500.jpg)

Regarding Wispelwey, I haven't listened to all his three recordings (so far) but I do very much like the one I know, which is his highly introspective 3rd recording.
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51lAy4wM6yL._SY355_.jpg)

I also very much agree with the mentions above for Beschi and Pandolfo - both excellent, and a rather contrasting complementary pair.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on December 03, 2016, 03:35:21 AM
Hello fellow music worshipers,
I don't know if there is a similar topic already since I've sadly not enough time to enjoy the great vastness of this forum in its entirety, but I'd like to ask all of you; are you familiar with the Bach cello suites? And which is/are your favourite recording/s of the same? I'm a great fan of the suites and have listened to countless recordings  from famous cellist to less famous cellist, even guitarists and violists. My all time favourite is Anner Bylsma and I recommend it to everyone. I think all of the suites played by Bylsma are available on youtube. Also, what is everyone's favourite piece from the suites? I adore the gavotte from the sixth suite, the bourree II from the fourth. I'm also currently playing the third suite on my guitar, which is a rather fun experience. Anyone? :)

Which Bylsma recording are you listening to?  (I like the second more than the first, unlike aukhawk, the one on the Stradivarius cello. I like it because he makes the music speak-sing, like a recitative. )

If you're playing the third suite on Guitar, I bet you'll enjoy Pascal Monteilhet's performance, not on guitar but on theorbo. It's a very bold transcription.

My own favourite at the moment is the second suite, especially in performances which make it sound really, really sad, like Badiarov's. I also have a great love for the way Casals plays the prelude for the 6th suite.

In truth, I've gone off these suites a bit, and I've started to favour the violin music, which seems more interesting contrapuntally, and more emotionally varied. I may be wrong about that. I also find myself preferring the higher violin tone.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Spineur on December 03, 2016, 04:16:37 AM
I am also an amateur cellist and have played all suites in the past.  In addition to some of the recordings previously mentioned (Queyras and Wispelway) I can add a few more

Pierre Fournier



Paul Tortelier



who are the heirs of Casals romantic vision of these suites (see video below), i.e. they use plenty of legato with their bow.

Among the recent versions, I like Marc Coppey reading of the suite, who keeps some of this heritage with a more modern bow technique



I attended one of his concerts last yearin Lyon, where he played all six suite in a single concert with just a 15 min break after the 3rd suite.  The whole concert was recorded and broadcasted by arte and is available on youtube.
https://www.youtube.com/v/P9Rv7V413I4

I find it quite instructive to compare some of the modern interpretation with Casals.  This youtube recording of the 1st suite dates from 1954 at the Prades festival.

https://www.youtube.com/v/KX1YtvFZOj0

I have more recordings (Maisky, Isserlis, Rostropovich) but I do not find them as interesting as some of the one mentioned in this and previous posts.

Which do I prefer ?  Actually it depends on the suite, in which the mood I am.  In any event, it is a highly personal thing.  So just listen to all these artists if you can.  All of them did put a great deal of themselves in their recording, and it isnt just Bach you are listening to.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on December 03, 2016, 05:02:37 AM
Qan't go wrong with Queyras!
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aligreto on December 03, 2016, 05:21:39 AM
I am also an amateur cellist and have played all suites in the past.  In addition to some of the recordings previously mentioned (Queyras and Wispelway) I can add a few more

Pierre Fournier



Paul Tortelier



who are the heirs of Casals romantic vision of these suites (see video below), i.e. they use plenty of legato with their bow.

Among the recent versions, I like Marc Coppey reading of the suite, who keeps some of this heritage with a more modern bow technique



I attended one of his concerts last yearin Lyon, where he played all six suite in a single concert with just a 15 min break after the 3rd suite.  The whole concert was recorded and broadcasted by arte and is available on youtube.
https://www.youtube.com/v/P9Rv7V413I4

I find it quite instructive to compare some of the modern interpretation with Casals.  This youtube recording of the 1st suite dates from 1954 at the Prades festival.

https://www.youtube.com/v/KX1YtvFZOj0

I have more recordings (Maisky, Isserlis, Rostropovich) but I do not find them as interesting as some of the one mentioned in this and previous posts.

Which do I prefer ?  Actually it depends on the suite, in which the mood I am.  In any event, it is a highly personal thing.  So just listen to all these artists if you can.  All of them did put a great deal of themselves in their recording, and it isnt just Bach you are listening to.

You are so right that a successful performance of these suites especially depends on how much of themselves the soloist puts into the performance/interpretation.

+1 on the Fournier, a wonderful performance.

Thank you for posting the Coppey video. I really liked what I have heard so far. Is the CD recording a live one or a studio one?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Spineur on December 03, 2016, 07:03:48 AM
You are so right that a successful performance of these suites especially depends on how much of themselves the soloist puts into the performance/interpretation.

+1 on the Fournier, a wonderful performance.

Thank you for posting the Coppey video. I really liked what I have heard so far. Is the CD recording a live one or a studio one?
Its a studio performance which was made 7 to 8 years prior to the live one you are watching.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Marc on December 03, 2016, 07:47:11 AM
[...]
Regarding Wispelwey, I haven't listened to all his three recordings (so far) but I do very much like the one I know, which is his highly introspective 3rd recording.
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51lAy4wM6yL._SY355_.jpg)
[...]

And my favourite Wispelwey is... his first one, which is IMO his most spontaneous recording, with the most catchy dance rhythms.

(http://115.imagebam.com/download/suHzn5Gh4trw0R186T7MjA/51828/518274092/jsb-cs-pw1.jpg)

https://www.amazon.com/Bach-J-S-Suites-Peter-Wispelwey/dp/B000003UXB/?tag=goodmusicguideco
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aligreto on December 03, 2016, 08:18:25 AM
Its a studio performance which was made 7 to 8 years prior to the live one you are watching.

Merci bien.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: SonicMan46 on December 03, 2016, 08:32:10 AM
Count me in as another fan of Anner Bijlsma (2nd recording on Sony).  :)

Another I really like is Paolo Beshi  (Winter & Winter):

@Dave, wich recording on violoncello da spalla do you prefer - Sigiswald Kuijken or Dimitri Badiarov? :)

Hi Que - some discussion throughout the 'Old Musical Instruments' thread HERE (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,11638.40.html); also, Dmitry Badiarov has a BLOG (http://violoncellodaspalla.blogspot.com/2010/08/jsbach-violoncello-da-spalla-suites.html) w/ an excellent article - love the fact that he made and played his own instrument!  Searching the web, not much in the way of reviews - see attached PDF; also, Spotify and/or YouTube might offer some samplings.

BUT, this morning, I re-listened to the first discs of each performer (had been a while) - the timings of the discs are nearly identical.  Both play their instruments well w/ plenty of nuance - however, in one of the reviews in the attachment, mention was made of some echoing & reverb in the Badiarov recording, and I have to agree, i.e. he seems a little more in the background and I always prefer 'up front' sound.  Bottom line - I believe that you would enjoy either one and hopefully some 'sampling' may help.  Dave :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Wakefield on December 03, 2016, 08:46:02 AM
@Dave, wich recording on violoncello da spalla do you prefer - Sigiswald Kuijken or Dimitri Badiarov? :)

Q

Terakado, after all I'm not Sonic.  8) :D
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: SonicMan46 on December 03, 2016, 09:12:57 AM
Terakado, after all I'm not Sonic.  8) :D

Gordo - LOL! :)  Never searched for 'other' performances on the shoulder cello, but yet another one - $56 on Amazon at the moment - are there others out there? 

BTW - for others who have mentioned the Smith theorbo recordings below - only one available currently on Amazon USA - be nice if Naive would put both discs into a nice 'slim' CD case for the price of one - ;)  BUT, these are available on Spotify, so may plug my iPad into the den stereo and take a listen this afternoon - Dave

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81gEWBla02L._SL1429_.jpg)  (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51UqdvClH-L.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on December 03, 2016, 09:20:28 AM
I choose Badiarov because I like the sound of his instrument most, and I like the feeling of the hall in the recording, which seems really realistic. I'd miss Terakado a lot though, who is intense as hell in the last three, and very controlled and expressive, which is something I like. But I do like Badiarov's sound, and the rather aristocratic and inflected style.

I have the Kuijken too but every time I try to hear it I feel it's too empty affectively, but it could be me.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on December 03, 2016, 10:21:56 AM
I find Badiarov manly and Terakado feminine. In this terminology Kuijken feels a tad sexless.
As to preferences I like Badiarov and Terakado equally and Kuijken a little less.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Que on December 03, 2016, 11:10:20 AM
Terakado, after all I'm not Sonic.  8) :D

Ah...gotcha.. a third candidate! 



I guess more choice is kind of an upside to being a slow mover.... :D

Thank you all gentlemen, for your comments! :)

Q
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Wakefield on December 03, 2016, 02:13:57 PM
I choose Badiarov because I like the sound of his instrument most, and I like the feeling of the hall in the recording, which seems really realistic.

Being Badiarov the builder of these violas da spalla, he maybe reserved the best for himself.  ;D
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Wakefield on December 03, 2016, 02:17:35 PM
I find Badiarov manly and Terakado feminine. In this terminology Kuijken feels a tad sexless.
As to preferences I like Badiarov and Terakado equally and Kuijken a little less.

I find your comment oversexed.  :P :D
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on December 09, 2016, 04:09:34 PM
Gordo - LOL! :)  Never searched for 'other' performances on the shoulder cello, but yet another one - $56 on Amazon at the moment - are there others out there? 

BTW - for others who have mentioned the Smith theorbo recordings below - only one available currently on Amazon USA - be nice if Naive would put both discs into a nice 'slim' CD case for the price of one - ;)  BUT, these are available on Spotify, so may plug my iPad into the den stereo and take a listen this afternoon - Dave

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81gEWBla02L._SL1429_.jpg)  (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51UqdvClH-L.jpg)
These are very good! Nigel North's recordings are also worth hearing.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: bob_cart on December 10, 2016, 02:24:56 AM
I thank all of you for commenting! I'll check out the recordings I haven't already. I must say I've underestimated the members of this forum and their knowledge of music, or at least of the cello suites! Cheers!
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on February 06, 2017, 10:27:05 PM
Interesting article on Vogler and Wispelwey here

http://stringsmagazine.com/two-different-approaches-to-bachs-solo-cello-suites/
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on February 19, 2017, 01:05:48 AM
Just a few impressions on this hard-to-find recording, which I posted elsewhere but I thought was worthy to put here:

(http://www.jpophelp.com/cdscans/JPN-BVCD-34028_front.jpg)

Compared to most of my favorites (Beschi, Wispelwey, Bylsma #1 etc.) it sounded quite bland and featureless, even languid and just sans spirit, at my first listen.

But with successive spins, it's "opening up" a lot as I find more nuances and get used to the subtlety, although the playing still doesn't have too many defining characteristics. If I were to describe this performance, I'll say that it is ascetic, humble, and decidedly introverted.

I think Mandryka experienced a similar reaction to this too.
Now if Harmonica Mundi would re-issue it!
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on February 19, 2017, 01:25:44 AM
A little tale about Bylsma #1 (on Seon, not his later recording on a Stradivarius), my absolute favorite set that I've cherished for quite a long time

(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_400/MI0001/140/MI0001140439.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)

I remember that a friend gave me this set. I was already quite familiar with the suites but rather unacquainted with HIP performances (Fournier was the version I had).
So, I listened to the prelude of the 4th suite (used to be my least favorite one) on the drive home, and thought "wow, this reminds me of a 17th century vanitas painting for some reason."

(https://image.slidesharecdn.com/vanitas-140121093817-phpapp01/95/vanitas-3-638.jpg?cb=1390297128)
(Pieter Claesz)

It's quite odd that a recording that I listen to for the first time spontaneously makes me so strongly associate an image with it, but I think something in the music just clicked with me, reminded me of life and mortality and other things that I think of...

Anyways, this recording embodies what I look for in Bach - the immense sense of humility and deceptive simplicity, boundless, but very private sense of joy, even ecstasy, and a tinge (but not too much) of melancholy, or at least stoic resignation. 
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on February 19, 2017, 01:39:23 AM
Between the 2nd (sony, on a Stradivarius cello) and 1st (seon) recordings, the style has definitely matured by the 2nd one, and I guess the playing is more "characteristic" (dynamic accents, agogics) of Bylsma. I think Mandryka mentions that it sounds like a recitative, which I very much agree.

But sometimes it also feels somewhat mannered, over-polished, smooth, even a bit watery, and the far-away, nasal tone of the Servais doesn't really help - that's my main complaint. #1 is more lyrical, more rough-and-ready, more down-to-earth for me (and I like the phrasings better), but I hope that #2 will open up like Suzuki did.

They are, though, very different recordings: I wouldn't have guessed that they were the same performer had I not known Bylsma!
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on February 19, 2017, 02:31:42 AM
I too am very fond of Bylsma 1 which, when I first heard it on the radio, shortly after release, completely bowled me over, back then it was literally my first exposure to anything HIP.  (My only other knowledge of the Cello Suites at that time was Fournier and especially Tortelier.) 
And I was very disappointed when I later bought the Bylsma CDs only to disover too late that this was Bylsma 2, a very different (and relatively uninteresting) kettle of fish.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Marc on February 19, 2017, 02:54:19 AM
It's a pity that Bylsma didn't record the suites for a 3rd time, because it would have been another different one, too. :)

I once saw a (dutch) documentary on (dutch) telly (in the late 90s) about Bylsma and his book [ed. Bach, the fencing master].
In this Bylsma is defending the phrasing signs, slurs, dots et al in the Anna Magdalena manuscript. They were always neglected, because they 'felt' completely wrong. He decided to try to play the suites in Magdalena's manner and was convinced they were completely right. And yes, most modern people would not find that 'beautiful', but in his view baroque definitions of 'beauty' might be different. I recall him being asked "what would your friend Slava [Rostropovitch] think of your book?" and he smiled and said "Slava would think 'Anner has gone mad'" (or someting like that).

Mind you: Bylsma has never recorded the suites in the Magdalena matter, though.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on February 19, 2017, 03:11:49 AM
Bylsma 2 . . . and relatively uninteresting . . .


No just hold on a minute, you may not like it, but he's full of ideas about phrasing in the second recording, new ideas, and interesting ones. And he uses an exceptional cello, which is interesting.

These dark low cellos -- Wispelway III and Bylsma II -- bring something new to the game.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on February 19, 2017, 03:18:55 AM
I'll say that it is . . .  decidedly introverted.



Yes. In truth I've only heard 5 and 6 so far but I'd say both are very sad. I like them.,
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on February 21, 2017, 01:05:25 PM
A little tale about Bylsma #1 (on Seon, not his later recording on a Stradivarius), my absolute favorite set that I've cherished for quite a long time

(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_400/MI0001/140/MI0001140439.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)

I remember that a friend gave me this set. I was already quite familiar with the suites but rather unacquainted with HIP performances (Fournier was the version I had).
So, I listened to the prelude of the 4th suite (used to be my least favorite one) on the drive home, and thought "wow, this reminds me of a 17th century vanitas painting for some reason."

(https://image.slidesharecdn.com/vanitas-140121093817-phpapp01/95/vanitas-3-638.jpg?cb=1390297128)
(Pieter Claesz)

It's quite odd that a recording that I listen to for the first time spontaneously makes me so strongly associate an image with it, but I think something in the music just clicked with me, reminded me of life and mortality and other things that I think of...

Anyways, this recording embodies what I look for in Bach - the immense sense of humility and deceptive simplicity, boundless, but very private sense of joy, even ecstasy, and a tinge (but not too much) of melancholy, or at least stoic resignation.

I agree that that prelude is outstanding.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on February 23, 2017, 01:25:41 AM
I had a listen last night, and I agree that Prelude is very fine, I get a sense of ambiguity in this version due to any bar lines being almost totally erased.  Though in my case the 4th Prelude has always been my favourite among the major-key preludes.

Actually when 'sampling' an unfamiliar version of the Cello Suites I usually dip in to the Courante from Suite 4 first - listening for the bowing on the twiddly bits - old-skule performers usually take this legato, while more recent HIP performers take it staccato, with a rapid chipping action of the bow.  Interestingly, Bylsma in his earlier version (which I generally much prefer) is legato but in the later recording he adopts the chipping approach, though I wouldn't call the way he plays it exactly staccato, not by the standards of such as Angela East anyway.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on February 23, 2017, 02:03:42 AM
How do people think about Leonhardt's transcription of the 4th prelude for the harpsichord? Of course, the writing Bach uses in the prelude sounds rather keyboardistic, but the transcription for the harpsichord seems to lack something(?)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEyywMaHWek
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Spineur on February 23, 2017, 03:52:16 AM
How do people think about Leonhardt's transcription of the 4th prelude for the harpsichord? Of course, the writing Bach uses in the prelude sounds rather keyboardistic, but the transcription for the harpsichord seems to lack something(?)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEyywMaHWek
The fourth prelude is my favorite with its large intervals. With the second hand accompagnement, you lose these large harmonic jumps.  People can make all the transcription they want, it doesnt bother me, but I dont care for this one.
This prelude can be played using a slow or a fast tempo, with different effects.  Both ways actually work.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: San Antone on December 27, 2017, 04:48:21 AM
(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-mxtNG7mt-lk/VCkpJq_eDfI/AAAAAAAAJ70/eIviXP_N7EY/s1600/41LFHOjKf5L.jpg)

Bach : The Six Cello Suites
Viola de Hoog
Vivat

In the video (see below) she made about the recording, Viola de Hoog talks about being inspired to make the recording by the instrument that the plays, on this disc she uses a Guadagnini cello of around 1750 for suites 1 to 5, but she uses a five string cello built in Bohemia in 1730 for the sixth suite. Unusually the Bohemian five-string cello is bigger than the four-string Guadagnini whereas they are usually smaller.  Her bows are both modern copies of baroque bows and she uses gut strings (the lower two silver wound). The extra string (a high E string) means that polyphonic writing is easier, as does the scordatura in the fifth suite (the A string is tuned down a tone to G).

https://www.youtube.com/v/tN8-8YAHtws
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aligreto on December 27, 2017, 05:58:47 AM
(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-mxtNG7mt-lk/VCkpJq_eDfI/AAAAAAAAJ70/eIviXP_N7EY/s1600/41LFHOjKf5L.jpg)

Bach : The Six Cello Suites
Viola de Hoog
Vivat

In the video (see below) she made about the recording, Viola de Hoog talks about being inspired to make the recording by the instrument that the plays, on this disc she uses a Guadagnini cello of around 1750 for suites 1 to 5, but she uses a five string cello built in Bohemia in 1730 for the sixth suite. Unusually the Bohemian five-string cello is bigger than the four-string Guadagnini whereas they are usually smaller.  Her bows are both modern copies of baroque bows and she uses gut strings (the lower two silver wound). The extra string (a high E string) means that polyphonic writing is easier, as does the scordatura in the fifth suite (the A string is tuned down a tone to G).

https://www.youtube.com/v/tN8-8YAHtws

Thank you for posting that. I really like the rich tone and resonance of the instrument which seems to have been captured on the recording.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on December 28, 2017, 12:28:18 AM
Thank you for posting that. I really like the rich tone and resonance of the instrument which seems to have been captured on the recording.

Sampled the 4th suite; at times, it felt a bit too hushed and reverent for me. The Guadagnini sounds quite interesting -- almost like a low viola. The delicate, a bit slurred way she articulates things reminds me of how Verlet plays on harpsichord.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on December 28, 2017, 01:09:05 AM
Sampled the 4th suite; at times, it felt a bit too hushed and reverent for me. The Guadagnini sounds quite interesting -- almost like a low viola. The delicate, a bit slurred way she articulates things reminds me of how Verlet plays on harpsichord.

Yes in fact I liked the seriousness of it, the sobreity. I listened to 6, and 2.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aligreto on December 29, 2017, 01:36:50 AM
Sampled the 4th suite; at times, it felt a bit too hushed and reverent for me. The Guadagnini sounds quite interesting -- almost like a low viola. The delicate, a bit slurred way she articulates things reminds me of how Verlet plays on harpsichord.

Yes in fact I liked the seriousness of it, the sobreity. I listened to 6, and 2.

Thank you both. I must investigate further so.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on December 29, 2017, 03:46:08 AM
Yes in fact I liked the seriousness of it, the sobreity. I listened to 6, and 2.

Serious, but in a meek and senile way for me. Not in the stern ascetic way like the Suzuki recording we both liked. But hopefully it opens up on more listens. I remember I called the Suzuki "watery" before I started liking it.
Suzuki is on YouTube https://youtu.be/MIuascezq5w
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: milk on January 02, 2018, 05:33:54 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71FSQxYAL1L._SX355_.jpg)
"...she is nevertheless physically challenged by these works, to judge from the many instances of audible breathing on the discs."
- Gramaphone
"...Gaillard's breathing, while not annoying or always audible, can sound labored, as if she were working very hard..."
- Allmusic

So far I haven't found the problem but I'm not listening on headphones. Something strikes me as unfair about these comments, especially the one from gramaphone. I mean, maybe it's just the miking. If I DO notice this, it may put ME off though. Let's see. I don't know...I think anyone playing these will be working hard. No? Well, I'm not a cellist (but I play one on TV, Badumpum).
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: milk on January 02, 2018, 05:36:09 AM
(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/Y99G32NYm0A/hqdefault.jpg)
Also planning to give this a bit of a listen tonight. I remember this working well...is this the only recording on gamba?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: The One on January 02, 2018, 06:26:31 AM
is this the only recording on gamba?

I'm not sure at the moment but I at least remember a #5 by Hille Perl
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on January 02, 2018, 06:47:48 AM
Pandolfo made an earlier recording of the suite no. 5.

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on January 02, 2018, 06:50:36 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71FSQxYAL1L._SX355_.jpg)
"...she is nevertheless physically challenged by these works, to judge from the many instances of audible breathing on the discs."
- Gramaphone
"...Gaillard's breathing, while not annoying or always audible, can sound labored, as if she were working very hard..."
- Allmusic

So far I haven't found the problem but I'm not listening on headphones. Something strikes me as unfair about these comments, especially the one from gramaphone. I mean, maybe it's just the miking. If I DO notice this, it may put ME off though. Let's see. I don't know...I think anyone playing these will be working hard. No? Well, I'm not a cellist (but I play one on TV, Badumpum).

It is so normal to hear the breathing of cellists on recordings, that I almost do not notice it anymore, It is more interesting, if the playing sounds labored.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: milk on January 02, 2018, 07:02:46 AM
It is so normal to hear the breathing of cellists on recordings, that I almost do not notice it anymore, It is more interesting, if the playing sounds labored.
Something rubbed me the wrong way about two reviews picking at her for this. Honestly, I haven't looked at various reviews too much. Is this a normal complaint? I've no idea but seems like they went overboard in this criticism.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: milk on January 02, 2018, 07:11:24 AM
Pandolfo made an earlier recording of the suite no. 5.
It sounds very natural on gamba. Was this piece played a lot in Bach's time or was it just forgotten until Casals? Is it possible #6 was intended for Gamba or da spalla? Would it have been obvious to Bach that these pieces could be played on the gamba? What's the advantage of specifying the cello?
Would Bach have imagined these pieces for lute? I've also been sampling Angela East tonight (on cello). Very different. But I think I will move to the lute as well.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: The One on January 02, 2018, 07:15:08 AM
Something rubbed me the wrong way about two reviews picking at her for this. Honestly, I haven't looked at various reviews too much. Is this a normal complaint? I've no idea but seems like they went overboard in this criticism.

Don't worry, they are meant for me :). I wouldn't even try even the best interpretation with non-musical noise. That's why I couldn't finish even the 1.mv of the recent Brahms trio Ma/Ax.

Live recording noises included. Otherwise Richter would have been my most loved pianist. Some brains just can't phase it out or process it out. We are poor and pathetic weaklings
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: milk on January 02, 2018, 07:21:26 AM
Don't worry, they are meant for me :). I wouldn't even try even the best interpretation with non-musical noise. That's why I couldn't finish even the 1.mv of the recent Brahms trio Ma/Ax.

Live recording noises included. Otherwise Richter would have been my most loved pianist. Some brains just can't phase it out or process it out. We are poor and pathetic weaklings
I can understand it though. If I start to hear it, it may drive me crazy. I don't mind certain kinds of noises. There's some Riemer recordings of Bach on a homemade fortepiano. Highly praised around here. It makes a squeak. I can't take it. I don't appreciate Gould's humming either (well, even without the humming). Has the noise issue come up for you more on solo cello recordings?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: The One on January 02, 2018, 07:31:15 AM
well, even without the humming
Hear, hear!

Has the noise issue come up for you more on solo cello recordings?
I'd say so. I believe there is a transcendental aspect of cello and I always listen to it more attentive than any other instrument, despite piano being my favorite. So I guess it's normal to say I'm more sensitive to it. I can phase out low-level humming such as Brendel's but no tolerance to breathing and coughs :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on January 02, 2018, 08:50:01 AM
(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/Y99G32NYm0A/hqdefault.jpg)
Also planning to give this a bit of a listen tonight. I remember this working well...is this the only recording on gamba?

While you're at it, try Susanne Heinrich's recording of three violin pieces on a gamba.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: SonicMan46 on January 02, 2018, 09:33:01 AM
Something rubbed me the wrong way about two reviews picking at her for this. Honestly, I haven't looked at various reviews too much. Is this a normal complaint? I've no idea but seems like they went overboard in this criticism.

Hello Milk - I bought that Gaillard set back in 2012 - she recorded the cello suites first in 2000 (in her mid-20s), which I've not heard (but just checked and available on Spotify - will take a listen later today); the recording below was 10 years later - must say that the cover art was one attraction for me (an additional pic added below from her website). -  8)

I've just listened to Suite 1 on headphones & Suite 2 on speakers - the breathing is more evident on the phones, as expected, but really does not bother me (NOW, I do hate humming from pianists!) - probably close miking and seriously doubt she was laboring - believe the reviewers mentioned chose the wrong words - for those interested, I've attached the 2 reviews (and put in bold the point in question).  Also, there are 10 5* comments on Amazon USA w/ an excellent review by Gio (https://www.amazon.com/Bach-J-S-Suites-Johann-Sebastian/product-reviews/B004NWHV6W/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_show_all_btm?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviews), who I respect; and also some 'comparisons' between her two recordings of these works - some prefer the first one, so this morning I'll listen to the 2010 version and the earlier one on Spotify on my iPad w/ a BT soundbar - Dave :)


(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81gQd7z32QL._SL1500_.jpg)  (http://opheliegaillard.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/ophelie-gaillard-slider04.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: The One on January 02, 2018, 11:08:32 AM
...seriously doubt she was laboring
Definitely not laboring. I tried 1st Sarabande and it was impossible for me to listen to more than a minute  ???  ::)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Baron Scarpia on January 02, 2018, 11:12:44 AM
Definitely not laboring. I tried 1st Sarabande and it was impossible for me to listen to more than a minute  ???  ::)

If I had a time machine I'd send some Benadryl to Pierre Fournier for the DG sessions. :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on January 02, 2018, 12:54:59 PM
If I had a time machine I'd send some Benadryl to Pierre Fournier for the DG sessions. :)

Why antihistamine? Better with Adrenaline.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on January 02, 2018, 12:56:15 PM
Something rubbed me the wrong way about two reviews picking at her for this. Honestly, I haven't looked at various reviews too much. Is this a normal complaint? I've no idea but seems like they went overboard in this criticism.

Yes, they went overboard, because this is not a normal complaint.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on January 02, 2018, 01:09:46 PM
It sounds very natural on gamba. Was this piece played a lot in Bach's time or was it just forgotten until Casals? Is it possible #6 was intended for Gamba or da spalla? Would it have been obvious to Bach that these pieces could be played on the gamba? What's the advantage of specifying the cello?
Would Bach have imagined these pieces for lute? I've also been sampling Angela East tonight (on cello). Very different. But I think I will move to the lute as well.

Yes, I think the fifth works very well on gamba - probably because of its French design. As you know there is - from Bach's hand - an arrangement for lute (or lute harpsichord) of precisely this suite recorded by Christiane Jaccottet. The sixth suite was intended for a five stringed cello, possibly da spalla not long time ago called viola pomposa as in this recording with the great German violist Ulrich Koch (1921 - 1996):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7KltjdkBlc

But be ware of the recordings of the suites on violoncello da spalla by Ryo Terakado, Dmitri Badiarov and Sigiswald Kuijken :

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: milk on January 02, 2018, 04:58:03 PM
Yes, I think the fifth works very well on gamba - probably because of its French design. As you know there is - from Bach's hand - an arrangement for lute (or lute harpsichord) of precisely this suite recorded by Christiane Jaccottet. The sixth suite was intended for a five stringed cello, possibly da spalla not long time ago called viola pomposa as in this recording with the great German violist Ulrich Koch (1921 - 1996):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7KltjdkBlc

But be ware of the recordings of the suites on violoncello da spalla by Ryo Terakado, Dmitri Badiarov and Sigiswald Kuijken :
I have Kuijken. That's a good one. I forgot Bach himself made an arrangement.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: André on January 02, 2018, 05:22:33 PM
What about Bruno Cocset ? I like his work with other composers’ music (Barrière, for example), but have not heard him in Bach. Any comments ?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on January 02, 2018, 09:12:08 PM
What about Bruno Cocset ? I like his work with other composers’ music (Barrière, for example), but have not heard him in Bach. Any comments ?

I found it mild mannered but beautiful. There's a good sense of rhetoric in his playing, in that there's a very speech-like aspect. Sometimes his articulations seem very Gamba like. I'd like to hear opinions too, especially from those more familiar with it.

By the way, for those looking for more cello suites on viol, check out Fahmi Alqhai's The Bach Album.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: amw on January 02, 2018, 10:55:36 PM
Imo music is played by human beings and created by the human body. If you don't want to hear any indication that a human being is involved in producing the sound, you might as well listen to a computer?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on January 02, 2018, 11:38:20 PM


By the way, for those looking for more cello suites on viol, check out Fahmi Alqhai's The Bach Album.

I meant to mention him to you last week when you made some comment about Forqueray, just to say that you may enjoy his Forqueray and Marais CD, this thing


(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/3pHqOK7e21A/hqdefault.jpg)

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: The One on January 03, 2018, 12:21:20 AM
Imo music is played by human beings and created by the human body. If you don't want to hear any indication that a human being is involved in producing the sound, you might as well listen to a computer?

Where does this "bodily sounds" end? Are all the sounds by a human being acceptable? I have many recordings without breathing or humming so it is possible to perform without them. Music on recording is music, not the environmental noises.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: amw on January 03, 2018, 12:33:01 AM
It's obviously possible to record music in such a way that breathing is inaudible, but breath in itself (and humming, for those who do it) is part of the physical processes that make up a performance, along with eg foot stamping, incidental instrumental sounds (resonance, key clicks, fingerboard noises, pedal being depressed/lifted etc), and all the other weird shit musicians do unconsciously whilst exerting the effort to perform a piece. It's not "environmental noises". That would be things like audience coughs and unwrapping sweets or someone using a pneumatic drill in the background or a car alarm going off or an air conditioner, etc, which I agree is extraneous and if I wanted to hear it I'd go to a concert.

That said I wasn't impressed with the Gaillard Aparté recording but for reasons unrelated to breathing—will probably have to revisit it to remember why.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: The One on January 03, 2018, 12:50:51 AM
It's obviously possible to record music in such a way that breathing is inaudible, but breath in itself (and humming, for those who do it) is part of the physical processes that make up a performance, along with eg foot stamping, incidental instrumental sounds (resonance, key clicks, fingerboard noises, pedal being depressed/lifted etc), and all the other weird shit musicians do unconsciously whilst exerting the effort to perform a piece. It's not "environmental noises". That would be things like audience coughs and unwrapping sweets or someone using a pneumatic drill in the background or a car alarm going off or an air conditioner, etc, which I agree is extraneous and if I wanted to hear it I'd go to a concert.

That said I wasn't impressed with the Gaillard Aparté recording but for reasons unrelated to breathing—will probably have to revisit it to remember why.

OK
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Judith on January 03, 2018, 01:01:37 AM
Love these performed by Steven Isserlis.  They have a deep rich textured sound which is typical of Steven
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on January 03, 2018, 04:34:22 AM
I found it [Cocset] mild mannered but beautiful. There's a good sense of rhetoric in his playing, in that there's a very speech-like aspect. Sometimes his articulations seem very Gamba like. I'd like to hear opinions too, especially from those more familiar with it.

Ten years ago I wrote this about it (post 12 in this thread):

This is a remarkable and very individual interpretation. It is indeed dancing, with generally fast tempi and rhytmic energy even in the Sarabande´s, and Cocset plays with astonishing elegance and virtuosity. Miking is close, you can hear the noise from the left hand clearly, but this is not annoying at all, on the contrary it adds to the feeling of presence. The sound is dark and soft - almost seducing, and sometimes the instrument sounds more like a bass viola da gamba than like a a violoncello. Recommended without reservation.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: The One on January 03, 2018, 04:42:48 AM
I wrote this about it

How do you find the latest hypes, Watkin, Demenga?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on January 03, 2018, 05:01:10 AM
How do you find the latest hypes, Watkin, Demenga?

I have no specific measures.

Concerning Watkin and the latest Demenga I own both, Watkin is IMO self-indulgent and irritating. Demenga I have not listened to yet.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: king ubu on January 03, 2018, 05:15:25 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71FSQxYAL1L._SX355_.jpg)
"...she is nevertheless physically challenged by these works, to judge from the many instances of audible breathing on the discs."
- Gramaphone
"...Gaillard's breathing, while not annoying or always audible, can sound labored, as if she were working very hard..."
- Allmusic

Not 100% sure about the Allmusic remark, but the Gramophone one has to be labeled mysoginist, right? No way such a statement would ever be made about a recording by a man.

I like that recording quite some, actually. As I don't stream, I've not heard her first.

The Demenga is quite good, too, I think - he stresses the dancing aspects and qualities of the music, and explains his idea of the pieces and concept of execution extensively in the liner notes.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: The One on January 03, 2018, 05:20:47 AM
...has to be labeled misogynist, right? No way such a statement would ever be made about a recording by a man.
As far as I know, you are in the wrong board then  >:D

The Demenga is quite good, too, I think -

It is on my today's playlist, at least two suites
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: San Antone on January 03, 2018, 05:28:15 AM
Demenga has recorded the suites twice: he previously recorded the cello suites for ECM between 1986 and 2002, juxtaposing them with contemporary compositions and then the more recent collection of all six suites.  Both series were issued by ECM. 
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: king ubu on January 03, 2018, 05:34:41 AM
Demenga has recorded the suites twice: he previously recorded the cello suites for ECM between 1986 and 2002, juxtaposing them with contemporary compositions and then the more recent collection of all six suites.  Both series were issued by ECM.

Yes, I only know the second/recent recording. Would be interested in the first one, I like the idea of those couplings.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on January 03, 2018, 05:39:58 AM
Yes, I only know the second/recent recording. Would be interested in the first one, I like the idea of those couplings.

The opposite with me, I did not acquire the first one because of these couplings. As a rule I prefer to avoid mixed programming.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: king ubu on January 03, 2018, 05:52:20 AM
The opposite with me, I did not acquire the first one because of these couplings. As a rule I prefer to avoid mixed programming.

Seems to be a quite wide-spread view among classical music buffs ... but to me many of those ECM New Series mixed programmes look really good, and so do the Demenga Bach etc. CDs.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on January 03, 2018, 06:03:12 AM
For those who can hear both the Demenga Bach recordings, I'll hazard a hypothesis or two about the essential differences. He's come to believe that in Baroque, the articulation should be more speech like. In fact in the booklet to the recent recording, he's reported as saying that the music should sound like sprechgesange!

(Is this idea of music as speech out of style now? I mean Egarr, Rubsam . . . ) 

He's also reported as thinking  that the music is  like empfindsamer stil. And just maybe he really does apply this - I mean, it doesn't sound like CPEB, but nevertheless, and I maybe kidding myself, in eg, the allemande in the 5th suite, the feelings do rapidly change. Probably a case of hypnosis / suggestion, or maybe I'm just listening more closely for the affective meaning of the music! Anyway, something to think about.

There are lots of stimulating  details to relish in the second recording I think.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: San Antone on January 03, 2018, 06:08:36 AM
For those who can hear both the Demenga Bach recordings, I'll hazard a hypothesis or two about the essential differences. He's come to believe that in Baroque, the articulation should be more speech like. In fact in the booklet to the recent recording, he's reported as saying that the music should sound like sprechgesange!

He's also reported as thinking  that the music is  like empfindsamer stil. And just maybe he really does apply this - I mean, it doesn't sound like CPEB, but nevertheless, and I maybe kidding myself, in eg, the allemande in the 5th suite, the feelings do rapidly change. Probably a case of hypnosis / suggestion! Anyway, something to think about.

There are lots of stimulating  details to relish in the second recording I think.

Suite No. 3 in C just ended and the first of the three Carter works just began.  I love the juxtaposition!
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: The One on January 03, 2018, 06:15:02 AM
In fact in the booklet to the recent recording, he's reported as saying that the music should sound like sprechgesange!
He doesn't.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on January 03, 2018, 06:19:18 AM
He doesn't.

Oh yes, sorry, quasi-sprechgesange!
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: The One on January 03, 2018, 07:27:37 AM
Demenga has recorded the suites twice: he previously recorded the cello suites for ECM between 1986 and 2002, juxtaposing them with contemporary compositions and then the more recent collection of all six suites.  Both series were issued by ECM.

Listened to up to 3/allemande. I don't see any particular reason to prefer this recording to any other average recording.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: André on January 03, 2018, 07:35:29 AM
Ten years ago I wrote this about it (post 12 in this thread):

This is a remarkable and very individual interpretation. It is indeed dancing, with generally fast tempi and rhytmic energy even in the Sarabande´s, and Cocset plays with astonishing elegance and virtuosity. Miking is close, you can hear the noise from the left hand clearly, but this is not annoying at all, on the contrary it adds to the feeling of presence. The sound is dark and soft - almost seducing, and sometimes the instrument sounds more like a bass viola da gamba than like a a violoncello. Recommended without reservation.

Thanks, squid and premont. I like Cocset’s way with music - find it very vocal, if that makes sense. The Cocset Suites are included in the 18 cd set of baroque favourites on Alpha (along with the Café Zimmerman Brandenburgs and stuff). I’ve been ogling that box for a few weeks, I’m close to succumbing, now.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: San Antone on January 03, 2018, 07:47:02 AM
Listened to up to 3/allemande. I don't see any particular reason to prefer this recording to any other average recording.

Could be.  This is why I probably prefer the earlier series with the unique programming.  But I haven't listened to the new set entirely either.  Right now listening to this one:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81gQd7z32QL._SL1500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on January 03, 2018, 07:54:27 AM
How do you find the latest hypes, Watkin, Demenga?

Watkin is definitely much more extrovert than most of the players we discussed previously, which could translate into "self-indulgence" It wasn't irritating, but it didn't strike me to be particularly special. (Of course, this will need a few relistens) The Amati used in the last suite is stunning, though. Enough reason to get the set (?)

Also just listened to Paolo Beschi's Cello suites. He's the quintessential Shakespeare Italian, quick to love and anger. Great angular, rough-and-ready performance. His 6th suite didn't impress me too much though, there's something missing.

Wasn't aware of Demenga; will explore.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on January 03, 2018, 07:57:27 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81mFqqDhRVL._SL1080_.jpg)

One of my favorites. The 6th suite was actually played on a mid-18th century Viola da Gamba that Istomin installed a new nut and tailpiece on to make it into a five-stringed fretted violoncello-piccolo-ba.

Edit: yikes, huge picture!

Edit #2: Just listened to Demenga's 5th. I'm very impressed. Very interesting range of articulations and colors. His use of vibrato reminds me of Bruggenesque breath vibrato on recorder. There are parts that almost sound like a Sweelinck echo fantasia. The dances are well, mighty fine and dance-like. A sense of wondrous discovery that reminds me of Bylsma's first recording (which is probably my favorite cello suites). I haven't picked up on a speech-like aspect yet but maybe that will come later.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: The One on January 03, 2018, 08:02:36 AM
Also just listened to Paolo Beschi's Cello suites. He's the quintessential Shakespeare Italian, quick to love and anger. Great angular, rough-and-ready performance. His 6th suite didn't impress me too much though, there's something missing.
Beschi's is somewhat introspective, but not nearly as much as Wispelwey's. Very danceable rhythms, strongly articulated bowing. It's an easy to live with PI. The 6th's instrument is different than the 1754 Carlo Testore of the first 5. It sounds like as if it has a 5th string.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on January 03, 2018, 08:16:56 AM
Beschi's is somewhat introspective, but not nearly as much as Wispelwey's. Very danceable rhythms, strongly articulated bowing. It's an easy to live with PI. The 6th's instrument is different than the 1754 Carlo Testore of the first 5. It sounds like as if it has a 5th string.

"Danceable", I like that description. I wouldn't be surprised; it's customary now for HIP cello suites to use a violoncello piccolo since that's what Bach likely wrote the 6th for.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on January 03, 2018, 09:16:39 AM
it's customary now for HIP cello suites to use a violoncello piccolo since that's what Bach likely wrote the 6th for.

??
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on January 03, 2018, 09:43:22 AM
Watkin is definitely much more extrovert than most of the players we discussed previously, which could translate into "self-indulgence" It wasn't irritating, but it didn't strike me to be particularly special. (Of course, this will need a few relistens) The Amati used in the last suite is stunning, though. Enough reason to get the set (?)

Also just listened to Paolo Beschi's Cello suites. He's the quintessential Shakespeare Italian, quick to love and anger. Great angular, rough-and-ready performance. His 6th suite didn't impress me too much though, there's something missing.

Wasn't aware of Demenga; will explore.

To me, in the allemande of 5 Watkin sounds as though he's milking the music for every drop of sentiment, like the aural equivalent of hamming it up.

It'll be interesting to see whether you think that Demenga II is more angular than Beschi, in the sense of more incisively phrased.

i think the sprechgesange thing just means phrasing in short cells. The empfindsamer stil idea seems more original - though maybe short cell phrasing is pretty revolutionary in the world of cello!
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: SonicMan46 on January 03, 2018, 09:53:04 AM
Not 100% sure about the Allmusic remark, but the Gramophone one has to be labeled mysoginist, right? No way such a statement would ever be made about a recording by a man.

I like that recording quite some, actually. As I don't stream, I've not heard her first.

The Demenga is quite good, too, I think - he stresses the dancing aspects and qualities of the music, and explains his idea of the pieces and concept of execution extensively in the liner notes.

Hi King Ubu - I agree w/ the comment in bold above, i.e. about being mysogynistic - interestingly, the review was written by a woman, Julie Anne Sadie, who was the second wife of Stanley Sadie - kind of odd -  ::)  ;)  Dave
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on January 03, 2018, 10:10:55 AM
Love these performed by Steven Isserlis.  They have a deep rich textured sound which is typical of Steven

. I heard Isserlis  play the gamba sonatas on a cello with Egarr and I enjoyed the concert very much - to my surprise because I was sceptical that they could pull off the balances with a cello, but it was fine

I have his recording of the the solo suites, I just don't think it quite has the poetry and personality of some others who use a modern instrument - like Colin Carr or, to take a much older recording, Heinrich Schiff.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on January 03, 2018, 10:31:52 AM
??

Well, "likely" is the key word. Viola pomposa or cello da spalla are also likely candidates. Or something else that Johann Christian Hoffmann cooked up in his workshop. But something à cinq cordes.

Speaking of Viola Pomposa, here's an interesting recording of the 6th, done in the 70's but on what looks like an original viola pomposa. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7KltjdkBlc
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on January 03, 2018, 11:19:04 AM
Well, "likely" is the key word. Viola pomposa or cello da spalla are also likely candidates. Or something else that Johann Christian Hoffmann cooked up in his workshop. But something à cinq cordes.

So we are in agreement about this.

Quote from: bioluminescentsquid
Speaking of Viola Pomposa, here's an interesting recording of the 6th, done in the 70's but on what looks like an original viola pomposa. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7KltjdkBlc

Yes, I posted that link two days ago in this thread (reply 503), and I also know the Ulrich Koch recording from my youth. But he struggles so much with the instrument (even if he was one of the leading violists at the time), that I consider the recording to be most interesting from an organological point of view, And this instrument was certainly rethinking around 1970

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,3719.msg1117813.html#msg1117813
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: milk on January 20, 2018, 07:50:24 PM
(https://shop.abc.net.au/assets/thumbL/371894.jpg)
(https://abcmusic-production-au.s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/481%206472%20Slava%20Grigoryan%20-%20Bach%20Cello%20Suites%20Vol2.jpg)
These recordings are stunning. 
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: ShineyMcShineShine on February 12, 2018, 09:19:23 AM
Can anyone recommend a good dry recording of the cello suites? I have Jaap ter Linden's and I don't like the reverb. Same goes for Bylsma's.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: San Antone on February 12, 2018, 09:35:58 AM
Can anyone recommend a good dry recording of the cello suites? I have Jaap ter Linden's and I don't like the reverb. Same goes for Bylsma's.

This is a good set, imo, with dry acoustic.

(http://www.isangenders.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/140828_IE_BACH_BC_Square.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Omicron9 on March 27, 2018, 09:32:11 AM
Listened to up to 3/allemande. I don't see any particular reason to prefer this recording to any other average recording.

This is regarding the new Demenga on ECM.  I almost think ECM New Series can do no wrong, but I was really disappointed in this.  Very average at best.  Nothing to differentiate the performance other than some intonation issues. 

Regards,
-09
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Baron Scarpia on March 27, 2018, 09:41:34 AM
I find it amazing that recordings of these works have proliferated so in recent years.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on March 27, 2018, 12:12:40 PM
  Nothing to differentiate the performance other than some intonation issues. 

Regards,
-09

 I find him less song like and more speech like than many other cellists. Listen, for example, not the allemande of 3, but to the sarabande.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on March 27, 2018, 01:56:38 PM
I find it amazing that recordings of these works have proliferated so in recent years.

Yes, the cello suites may be the most recorded Bach-works to day. There are f.i. more recordings of the cello suites than there are of the Brandenburg concertos.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on March 27, 2018, 10:10:23 PM
I've listened to Demenga's new recording of ECM suites again and more closely than before, I love them for the bowing, the restraint, the rhythms, and for the quiet and gruff cello sound.

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: San Antone on March 27, 2018, 10:53:34 PM
I've listened to Demenga's new recording of ECM suites again and more closely than before, I love them for the bowing, the restraint, the rhythms, and for the quiet and gruff cello sound.

+1
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Omicron9 on March 29, 2018, 07:29:52 AM
I've listened to Demenga's new recording of ECM suites again and more closely than before, I love them for the bowing, the restraint, the rhythms, and for the quiet and gruff cello sound.

That's cool.  My opinion was merely that, and whether I like a specific recording or not is moot really.  What I do like is that there are so many recordings of this miraculous work of art, and that each brings differing detail or considerations.  All new versions and recordings are quite welcomed in these quarters.

Regards,
-09
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on April 08, 2018, 02:14:23 AM

(https://is3-ssl.mzstatic.com/image/thumb/Music111/v4/ae/8c/5d/ae8c5d2f-f4f5-92b3-98c2-f7971d6ccadf/dj.dtyicjcg.jpg/268x0w.jpg)

This recording of two suites by Sadao Udagawa is an excercise in imagination and in style. He has fantasised that there was a manuscript for unaccompanied viol suites written by Bach, given to Friedrich Wilhelm II by CPE Bach and performed by Forqueray in a "feminine and rounded" way. He calls this style rococo, and it's what he's attempted to do on the CD.

The result is totally disorientating. It's slow, but that's maybe something that brings rewards, only time will tell.  At the moment I'm not sure that there's anything to be gained by joining Udagawa on his poetical adventure. I am not able to say whether it's more than just a grotesque curiosity.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: San Antone on April 08, 2018, 04:00:15 AM
(https://is3-ssl.mzstatic.com/image/thumb/Music111/v4/ae/8c/5d/ae8c5d2f-f4f5-92b3-98c2-f7971d6ccadf/dj.dtyicjcg.jpg/268x0w.jpg)

This recording of two suites by Sadao Udagawa is an excercise in imagination and in style. He has fantasised that there was a manuscript for unaccompanied viol suites written by Bach, given to Friedrich Wilhelm II by CPE Bach and performed by Forqueray in a "feminine and rounded" way. He calls this style rococo, and it's what he's attempted to do on the CD.

The result is totally disorientating. It's slow, but that's maybe something that brings rewards, only time will tell.  At the moment I'm not sure that there's anything to be gained by joining Udagawa on his poetical adventure. I am not able to say whether it's more than just a grotesque curiosity.

I sampled the tracks on Amazon and was interested in what I heard, but will wait on purchasing.  There appears to be something of a trend in more recent Bach recordings which demonstrate slower, looser and, for lack of a better term, atypical interpretations of Bach: Anton Batagov, Wolfgang Rubsam, Viola de Hoog, Thomas Demenga (atypical in other ways), Gunar Letzbor.  And I've noticed that while I "love" them on first hearing over time they lose much of their attraction.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on April 08, 2018, 05:55:07 AM

By the way I noticed an interesting point in common between Letzbor's solo Beethoven and Beghin's "Hearing Machine" -- they both think it's interesting, revealing,  to present the music on the recording from the player's point of view, rather than from the perspective of an audience.

Re Sadao Udagawa, I think you're probably very sensible to keep your money in your pocket. In fact, I have a rule to never buy anything if it's available high quality streaming.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: San Antone on April 08, 2018, 07:05:53 AM
By the way I noticed an interesting point in common between Letzbor's solo Beethoven and Beghin's "Hearing Machine" -- they both think it's interesting, revealing,  to present the music on the recording from the player's point of view, rather than from the perspective of an audience.

Re Sadao Udagawa, I think you're probably very sensible to keep your money in your pocket. In fact, I have a rule to never buy anything if it's available high quality streaming.

I didn't find it available to stream; which is why I would even consider buying it.  Where did you find it?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on April 08, 2018, 08:12:40 AM
Qobuz.

The label, Waon, seems to comprise entirely of "characterful" Japanese performers of early music.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: kishnevi on April 08, 2018, 08:18:41 AM
By the way I noticed an interesting point in common between Letzbor's solo Beethoven and Beghin's "Hearing Machine" -- they both think it's interesting, revealing,  to present the music on the recording from the player's point of view, rather than from the perspective of an audience.

Re Sadao Udagawa, I think you're probably very sensible to keep your money in your pocket. In fact, I have a rule to never buy anything if it's available high quality streaming.

You mean, I assume, Letzbor's solo Bach....

[Back of milk carton: HAVE YOU SEEN ME?  GMG EDIT FUNCTION.   LAST KNOWN LOCATION CANBERRA  APRIL 3]

I suppose you might think of the idea as being the performer playing only for himself, with no audience to please....
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on February 06, 2019, 02:30:03 AM
I've lost count of the new releases of Cello Suites in the last year or so but this discovery by Mandryka caught my eye (and ear):

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/814G4ByxUcL._SS500_.jpg)

I know this performer through his Froberger transcriptions.

If you look carefully at the picture and count the strings you’ll see he’s not playing a cello, he’s playing a five string bass violin called a violone di Corelli. The recording is definitely worth a listen.

Definitely worth a listen I agree.  The tone of the instrument (whatever it is, and there is some discussion on that elsewhere) is darkest mahogany, in its lower registers more like a double bass, in the higher registers perhaps a bit strangled-sounding.  It is presumably a quiet instrument recorded quite close, sounding rather gamba-like as a result of that - no bad thing.
Tommaso's playing of this 5-stringed instrument is not always deft, with some stumbles and false touches especially noticeable in the slow movements.  In any case he tends to even out the tempi - the quick movements taken leisurely, the slow ones quite quickly. Of the suites I've listened to so far (1,4,5,6) the 5th is very successful, as enjoyable as any I've heard, while the 6th in contrast didn't appeal to me at all - sounds like a different instrument but I don't have the sleevenotes.
Many repeats are omitted, leading to an overall timing for the 1st suite of under 13m30, and only 20 minutes for the 6th - contrast that with Kniazev (an extreme case I know) who takes 16 minutes for the Allemande alone and 42 for the entire suite.  Useful to know if you only have time for a quick Bach fix!
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on February 17, 2019, 03:35:52 AM
... And I've enjoyed listening to this one first unearthed by North Star:

February 22 (France) / March 1 (US) release dates on Amazon


Quote
Bach and Gabrielli: the focus of this recording is an unusual musical match involving the famous 6 Suites for violoncello solo by Johann Sebastian Bach and the little-known 7 Ricercari for violoncello solo (1689) by Domenico Gabrielli of Bologna, the first example of a work for unaccompanied cello in history, and thus the only precedent and possible model for the Bach masterpiece. In what ways are the two series of compositions linked? Cellist Mauro Valli is convinced that there is a connection between the two for a number of reasons, including the preponderant correspondence of the keys. Bach assiduously performed and transcribed works by Italian composers, not only those of his contemporaries but also of earlier musicians, so it is highly likely that he was familiar with Gabrielli’s works, in particular with the Ricercari.

Mauro Valli provides an intriguingly new interpretation of Bach’s six masterpieces by heralding each one with the corresponding Ricercare. The outcome is strikingly fresh and original, with a wealth of courageously personal diminutions and embellishments that derive from Valli’s deep knowledge of the Italian baroque repertoire. Bach was fascinated by composers such as Frescobaldi, Albinoni and Vivaldi, and it certainly makes good sense to perform his Suites in the Italian style!
    https://outhere-music.com/en/albums/bach-in-bologna-a459

I quite like the juxtaposition of the Gabrielli Ricercars, basically one preceding each Cello Suite, and in a matching key (all bar the 5th Suite, where C minor is prefaced by A minor).  They are quite substantial pieces - the longest is 11 minutes - and a cynic might say it is just a way of spreading the Cello Suites over 3 discs instead of 2. 
Unfortunately it is sometimes apparent that they were recorded at a different session - well of course most recordings are the result of multiple sessions and subsequent edits, but I would expect those involved to make an effort to present the result as a unified thing - as though the cellist had actually played a Ricercar and then launched into the Prelude of a Suite - that is clearly not the case here.  I also thought the inclusion of a single Canon for 2 cellos (in D, placed after the 6th Suite) was a mistake, and I'll be programming it out of my own copy.  (Incidentally the Suites are presented in the order 1, 6, 2, 4, 3, 5)

The Suites themselves are far more ornamented than I have heard in any other recording - especially the slow movements - to my ears occasionally in danger of losing the line altogether.  This style is not to my taste at all but saying that, they are beautifully played and the whole soundscape is most beguiling.  Unlike Tomasso (above) Valli tends towards accentuating the tempo variations, with several of the slower movements taken quite slow.  The 6th Suite takes 33 minutes in total with 9 of those being the Allemande.

Never a first choice or even a second, but this is a very interesting and enjoyable alternative view of the Cello Suites that I'll be glad to add to my collection.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on February 17, 2019, 05:08:30 AM
Some comments from Valli’s booklet essay may be worth thinking about

Quote
It is noted that Bach left much less freedom to the performers of his music, having been a formidable and unparalleled “codifier” of diminutions, embellishments, and variation of all types. However, it is also known that Bach was an extraordinary improviser, and one can therefore hardly maintain that he himself would not have varied his own works during performances, even if certain embellishments were already codified in the manuscripts. The improvisation of diminutions and embellishments was diffuse and common practice in Germany as well as in the rest of Europe during Bach’s time. With this in mind, and following the thread of the abundant and varied diminutions and harmonizations that I added in the Gabrielli Ricercari, I allowed myself to give in to the temptation to vary and “enrich” the Suites as well, particularly the repeats of dance movements, in keeping with the historical practice of the time. And, in fact, despite the already detailed and richly codified nature of Bach’s dance movements, there is still a cer- tain margin; identical repetitions make for tiring and heavy to listening.

Quote
In recording Bach at A=465 Hz, however, I fantasized about a reverse itinerary – a scenario in which one of these [Italian] composers came home, bringing Bach’s Suites with him/her. In the context of imagining the Suites being circulated and performed in eighteenth- century Bologna, my use of the Bolognese pitch-stan- dard and my diminutions and embellishments make sense. It should not be forgotten that, inherent in the mindset of baroque musicians, was a great freedom and flexibility in adapting to different instrumentations and pitch-standards, as these varied enormously from one city to the next.


Quote
. . . Consequently, I respectfully decided to go beyond the great Bach’s instructions. I dared to imagine that if only he had thought of it, or if only a cellist had proposed the idea, he would not have had anything against the solution that I adopted in his fourth Suite, in which – in order to render the execution more comfortable and final effect more harmonious – I used the same violoncello piccolo as indicated for the sixth Suite, lowering the first and second strings, respectively to e-flat and a-flat. In E-flat Major (the key of the fourth Suite), this solution creates a sonority very rich in harmonic overtones and simplified fingering patterns, due to the possibility of using many open strings. It was common practice of baroque composers to take full advantage of the rich natural sonorities offered by open strings, sometimes going to great lengths of inventing tricky scordatura tunings in order to do so (as evidenced clearly in the music of the Bohemian-Austrian composer Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber).
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on February 17, 2019, 05:20:08 AM
Some comments from Valli’s booklet essay may be worth thinking about

Quote Valli:
. . . Consequently, I respectfully decided to go beyond the great Bach’s instructions. I dared to imagine that if only he had thought of it, or if only a cellist had proposed the idea, he would not have had anything against the solution that I adopted in his fourth Suite, in which – in order to render the execution more comfortable and final effect more harmonious – I used the same violoncello piccolo as indicated for the sixth Suite, lowering the first and second strings, respectively to e-flat and a-flat. In E-flat Major (the key of the fourth Suite), this solution creates a sonority very rich in harmonic overtones and simplified fingering patterns, due to the possibility of using many open strings. It was common practice of baroque composers to take full advantage of the rich natural sonorities offered by open strings, sometimes going to great lengths of inventing tricky scordatura tunings in order to do so (as evidenced clearly in the music of the Bohemian-Austrian composer Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber).


But this works against Bach's intentions, since his idea of using the E-flat major mode on a standard cello without doubt was to change the general sonority of the piece by making it impossible to use open strings that often.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on February 18, 2019, 08:53:26 AM
Some comments from Valli’s booklet essay may be worth thinking about

Very interesting, thanks for sharing those.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Omicron9 on February 19, 2019, 04:07:25 AM
I have been quite enjoying the new Bach Cello Suites performed on viola by Kim Kashkashian (ECM).  Solid performance and the usual fine ECM recording quality.  Recommended.

-09
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on March 18, 2019, 02:09:16 PM
Bump...

That's all you have to say??
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on March 18, 2019, 02:57:53 PM
That's all you have to say??

Ooh, I understand. :-[

Thanks QUE for finding the thread.

In these days I am traversing all the recordings, I own of these suites, and will probably write a few words about at least some of them.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia on March 18, 2019, 03:03:50 PM
Ooh, I understand. :-[

Thanks QUE for finding the thread.

In these days I am traversing all the recordings, I own of these suites, and will probably write a few words about at least some of them.

I was intending to put a few words here when I finish the set I am currently listening to, Yo-Yo Ma III. Half-way through.

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on March 18, 2019, 10:26:12 PM
I’ve been enjoying Richard Tunnicliffe’s moderate, middle of the road, fluid, self-effacing, unostentatious, beautiful sounding performances of the last three this morning.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on April 30, 2019, 01:40:30 PM
Rachel Podger plays Bach's cello suites BWV 1007 - 1012 in her own transcription for baroque violin (Channel Classics).

Having listened to these I think Podger demonstrates convincingly that the cello suites are well suited for violin. Had Bach left them in this shape, no one would have pondered.However Bach intended them for cello, and Podger's pivotal reason for playing them on violin is obviously, that she wants to play them but does not play the cello.

Technically Podger does not play them much differently from what some HIP cellist might do, and the main attraction of the recording is not her use of the violin but her interpretation, which is sympathetic, expressive and suitably rhetorical. Even a cello rendering of this kind would be remarkable.The violin sounds warm and sweet and the sound quality is state of the art.

In the prelude to suite no.5 I do not hear other dissonances than the ones the composer intended.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Gurn Blanston on April 30, 2019, 05:08:44 PM
Rachel Podger plays Bach's cello suites BWV 1007 - 1012 in her own transcription for baroque violin (Channel Classics).

Having listened to these I think Podger demonstrates convincingly that the cello suites are well suited for violin. Had Bach left them in this shape, no one would have pondered.However Bach intended them for cello, and Podger's pivotal reason for playing them on violin is obviously, that she wants to play them but does not play the cello.

Technically Podger does not play them much differently from what some HIP cellist might do, and the main attraction of the recording is not her use of the violin but her interpretation, which is sympathetic, expressive and suitably rhetorical. Even a cello rendering of this kind would be remarkable.The violin sounds warm and sweet and the sound quality is state of the art.

In the prelude to suite no.5 I do not hear other dissonances than the ones the composer intended.

Thanks for that, I have been considering this (love Podger) but hadn't seen much about it. Sounds like my kind of recording!

8)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: schnittkease on April 30, 2019, 06:39:08 PM
I'm not so sold on the Podger. We cellists don't steal the Sonatas and Partitas!

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on April 30, 2019, 06:48:52 PM
Rachel Podger plays Bach's cello suites BWV 1007 - 1012 in her own transcription for baroque violin (Channel Classics).

Having listened to these I think Podger demonstrates convincingly that the cello suites are well suited for violin. Had Bach left them in this shape, no one would have pondered.However Bach intended them for cello, and Podger's pivotal reason for playing them on violin is obviously, that she wants to play them but does not play the cello.

Technically Podger does not play them much differently from what some HIP cellist might do, and the main attraction of the recording is not her use of the violin but her interpretation, which is sympathetic, expressive and suitably rhetorical. Even a cello rendering of this kind would be remarkable.The violin sounds warm and sweet and the sound quality is state of the art.

In the prelude to suite no.5 I do not hear other dissonances than the ones the composer intended.

Yes this sounds right to me.

5 I had a bad transfer, which has been corrected. In fact all the suites sound better, sweeter, in the correct transfer, 
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on April 30, 2019, 11:03:10 PM
I'm not so sold on the Podger. We cellists don't steal the Sonatas and Partitas!

It's not the same thing though.  The Cello Suites are in the main not polyphonic in the normal sense, whereas the Sonatas and Partitas in the main are.  So a very good violinist should not be technically challenged by playing the Cello Suites (more like an advanced student exercise), but I imagine a very good cellist would still face difficulties playing the S&P.
In any case, Vito Paternoster has recorded the complete Sonatas and Partitas on cello - with fair success I think, although several passages are decidedly edgy, but that's in Paternoster's style anyway, even in the Cello Suites.  Anner Bylsma has also recorded Sonata 2 and Partita 3.

Returning to Podger - Spotify is only offering a couple of tracks as I write, but these sound very good and a lot better than I was expecting (given that Podger is a long way from being my favourite in the S&P anyway) and I'll certainly want to get the set.
This quote caught my eye - from the review on Presto (my bold) -
Quote
The final suite, composed for a five-string instrument, poses its own special challenges to any string-player, and Podger’s solution here is adroit: she switches to the viola for the lower-lying phrases, and thanks to some extremely clever engineering and patching you’d be hard-pressed to spot the joins.
https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/articles/2614--recording-of-the-week-rachel-podger-plays-the-bach-cello-suites (https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/articles/2614--recording-of-the-week-rachel-podger-plays-the-bach-cello-suites)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: amw on May 01, 2019, 12:06:18 AM
It sounds like this is more of a studio production than something that could be realised in an actual performance (though I guess there's no reason Podger couldn't commission someone to build a five-string viola piccola or something).

Still I was impressed with the samples so I'm likely to pirate buy it
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on May 01, 2019, 03:51:50 AM
Such as this - the extra string is tuned to a low C.  https://milanpala.com/ (https://milanpala.com/)

(https://milanpala.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/milanolo-bg.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia on May 01, 2019, 05:36:20 AM
I'm not so sold on the Podger. We cellists don't steal the Sonatas and Partitas!

If you could you would! :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: amw on May 01, 2019, 02:00:01 PM
It sounds like this is more of a studio production than something that could be realised in an actual performance (though I guess there's no reason Podger couldn't commission someone to build a five-string viola piccola or something).
On listening, that would have been a better choice than what she did, which sounds more like a duet for violin and viola—the joins are extremely obvious (at least to me) because the two instruments sound quite different in terms of timbre and tone quality. As long as you're going the Studio Magic route you may as well have just restrung a violin with viola strings, or on the more obviously impossible end of things, have sustained 4 note chords and extra voices and so on.

I do like it better than her S&Ps admittedly but think that's just because she's a better violinist now.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on May 01, 2019, 11:05:58 PM
More likeable anyway.  On the new recording (the few bits I've heard anyway) she seems to have scaled right back on her mannerism of pUShing at aLMost eVEry nOTe she pLAys, which spoils her S&P recording for me.

I also enjoy listening to the Cello Suites played on double bass.  It's a shame this one from Edgar Meyer is only a part-set (2, 1 and 5) because the playing is very likeable (and rather in a style as suggested by the cover image).  I prefer the rough edges on this one to some of the other more sumptuous double bass recordings out there.

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81zlFYqJ8qL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on May 01, 2019, 11:59:35 PM

In any case, Vito Paternoster has recorded the complete Sonatas and Partitas on cello - with fair success I think, although several passages are decidedly edgy, but that's in Paternoster's style anyway, even in the Cello Suites.  Anner Bylsma has also recorded Sonata 2 and Partita 3.

There are two more cellists who have recorded the violin S&P

Norbert Hilger:

https://www.amazon.de/Sonaten-Partiten-Bwv-1001-1006-Cello/dp/B001BTWF2K/ref=sr_1_4?__mk_de_DE=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&keywords=norbert+hilger&qid=1556787207&s=music&sr=1-4-catcorr

and Markku Luolajan-Mikkola:

https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/products/8079654--bach-j-s-sonatas-partitas-for-solo-violin-bwv1001-1006
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on May 02, 2019, 02:59:17 AM
Hmm - are there any other recordings of the Cello Suites on violin? (I know about the ones on viola) - if not, it's

I'm not so sold on the Podger. We cellists don't steal the Sonatas and Partitas!

Cellists 4, Violinists 1   :D  (We won't start on baritone sax - excruciatingly awful - or marimba)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on May 02, 2019, 03:48:33 AM
Hmm - are there any other recordings of the Cello Suites on violin?

Not as far as I know.

Generally I am not keen on arrangements for other than bowed string instruments. However there are a few interesting recordings of arrangements for harpsichord (Leonhardt, Remy, Evans, Loreggian and Rübsam) and Marion Verbrüggen's recording on recorder is also listenable.

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on May 02, 2019, 03:59:20 AM
Not as far as I know.



It’s quite surprising because there’s a published transcription.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81LIwhkHdQL.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: vmartell on May 06, 2019, 08:14:50 PM
Not that I'm in a rush to get it, but does anyone have Starker on CD?

I have

http://www.speakerscornerrecords.com/products/details/39016/bach-6-solo-cello-suites

and I think you cannot do better  - however this is coming out - seriously thinking it, but Analogue Productions guarantees quality, this might become the go to pressing...

https://store.acousticsounds.com/d/140354/Janos_Starker-Bach_Suites_For_Unaccompanied_Cello_Complete-Vinyl_Box_Sets


v
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: vmartell on May 06, 2019, 08:25:08 PM
I have

http://www.speakerscornerrecords.com/products/details/39016/bach-6-solo-cello-suites

and I think you cannot do better  - however this is coming out - seriously thinking it, but Analogue Productions guarantees quality, this might become the go to pressing...

https://store.acousticsounds.com/d/140354/Janos_Starker-Bach_Suites_For_Unaccompanied_Cello_Complete-Vinyl_Box_Sets


v

Ha! Did not realize I was replying to a post from 2007 ! :D -  topical though, because that Analogue Productions Starker set has not yet come out - anyone  has plans to get it?

v
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: vmartell on May 06, 2019, 08:26:27 PM
BTW  -  Currently waiting for this:

https://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/dc.asp?dc=D_CDA68261/2

The price was right over at Berkshire, so pulled the trigger!  - Anyone already have it? What is to be expected?

v
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on May 07, 2019, 12:24:06 AM
BTW  -  Currently waiting for this:

https://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/dc.asp?dc=D_CDA68261/2

So am I.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on May 07, 2019, 01:45:12 AM
Gerhardt says this

Quote
Even harder than these issues of cello technique is the so-called ‘interpretation’. Even a cursory glance at the four different manuscript sources of the suites makes clear that there are seemingly no rules—Anna Magdalena Bach’s copy of the prelude of the first suite suggests four different bowings in the first four bars alone. Dynamic indications are either missing or contradict each other between the sources.


What to make of all this? I figured that back then every player had the skills of an improviser and probably freely added articulation, phrasing and dynamics in the prevailing taste as they went along, and this became my ultimate goal when performing the suites: trying to be as spontaneous and free with these musical ingredients as possible, never becoming calculated or stale. Since I am no great improviser I gave up on extemporizing ornaments, especially after reading (very happily) one source stating that in the cello suites ornaments were not intended by Bach.

I wonder what he's referring to there by the bit I put in bold.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on May 07, 2019, 01:53:47 AM
Gerhardt says this

I wonder what he's referring to there by the bit I put in bold.

Or rather WHOM he is referring to.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: San Antone on May 07, 2019, 09:59:03 AM
I originally posted this in the "other" Bach cello suites thread (which is only one page long):

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/414YFE7E6CL.jpg)

Bruno Cocset :  Very nice - quick tempi and very good sounding instrument and recorded acoustic, IMO (although Classics Today reviewer graded the recorded sound down with a "6"). I disagree with him, and do not mind the extraneous sounds, e.g finger slaps and the occasional breathing/gasps.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on May 07, 2019, 10:05:24 AM
I originally posted this in the "other" Bach cello suites thread (which is only one page long):

Ah yes I remember liking it very much.  There are so many of these things and like at least half are interesting to hear.

Having said that, I've not yet seen what the fuss is about with Gerhardt , I'll give it more time later.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on May 10, 2019, 05:04:52 AM
Alban Gerhardt plays Bach's cello suites (label Hyperion).

This recording was announced long before its release, setting expectations high - too high IMO.

Gerhardt plays a Matteo Gofriller four stringed cello from 1710. It hardly sounds baroque and has probably been rebuilt and is surely equipped with a modern set up (steel strings, modern bow). He uses the same instrument for all the suites, which means that he plays the high tessitura parts of the sixth suite with "advanced thumb technique", so we do not miss the resulting "singing dog" effect here.

It's only the modern recording technique, which tells me, that this is a new recording. Spiritually Gerhardt is firmly based in the 1950es with all the implications of continual vibrato, old-fashioned end rubato, casual use of dynamic variation. modest ornamentation and repeats which are uninventive exact copies. Particularly unsuccessful is the sarabande of the fifth suite, which is spoilt by too much vibrato giving it a note of sentimentality.

If one likes this style, the recording may be serviceable.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Herman on May 10, 2019, 10:02:14 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71FSQxYAL1L._SX355_.jpg)
"...she is nevertheless physically challenged by these works, to judge from the many instances of audible breathing on the discs."
- Gramaphone
"...Gaillard's breathing, while not annoying or always audible, can sound labored, as if she were working very hard..."
- Allmusic

So far I haven't found the problem but I'm not listening on headphones. Something strikes me as unfair about these comments, especially the one from gramaphone. I mean, maybe it's just the miking. If I DO notice this, it may put ME off though. Let's see. I don't know...I think anyone playing these will be working hard. No? Well, I'm not a cellist (but I play one on TV, Badumpum).

Of course this is from the same people that like Glenn Gould for his singing.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia on May 10, 2019, 10:39:10 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71FSQxYAL1L._SX355_.jpg)
"...she is nevertheless physically challenged by these works, to judge from the many instances of audible breathing on the discs."
- Gramaphone
"...Gaillard's breathing, while not annoying or always audible, can sound labored, as if she were working very hard..."
- Allmusic

So far I haven't found the problem but I'm not listening on headphones. Something strikes me as unfair about these comments, especially the one from gramaphone. I mean, maybe it's just the miking. If I DO notice this, it may put ME off though. Let's see. I don't know...I think anyone playing these will be working hard. No? Well, I'm not a cellist (but I play one on TV, Badumpum).

Indeed. If I had a time machine I'd send a Benadryl to Pierre Fournier. :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: San Antone on May 11, 2019, 02:00:19 AM
It bothers me when a reviewer cites audible breathing, gasps, and other sounds the performer makes.  If they wish to complain about too close miking, just say so. But hearing the performer breathe is a non-issue for me.  It brings the recording to life, IMO, and presents it as more live.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on May 11, 2019, 03:58:49 AM
It bothers me when a reviewer cites audible breathing, gasps, and other sounds the performer makes.  If they wish to complain about too close miking, just say so. But hearing the performer breathe is a non-issue for me.  It brings the recording to life, IMO, and presents it as more live.

What you said!
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: André on May 11, 2019, 09:05:09 AM
No heavy breathing from this cellist:

(https://media.gettyimages.com/photos/man-wearing-a-safety-helmet-and-a-gas-mask-plays-a-cello-in-istanbuls-picture-id170607754?s=2048x2048)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aligreto on May 11, 2019, 11:20:06 AM
No heavy breathing from this cellist:

(https://media.gettyimages.com/photos/man-wearing-a-safety-helmet-and-a-gas-mask-plays-a-cello-in-istanbuls-picture-id170607754?s=2048x2048)

Heavily filtered though!
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: vmartell on May 17, 2019, 08:03:39 AM
Alban Gerhardt plays Bach's cello suites (label Hyperion).

This recording was announced long before its release, setting expectations high - too high IMO.

It's only the modern recording technique, which tells me, that this is a new recording. Spiritually Gerhardt is firmly based in the 1950es with all the implications of continual vibrato, old-fashioned end rubato, casual use of dynamic variation. modest ornamentation and repeats which are uninventive exact copies. Particularly unsuccessful is the sarabande of the fifth suite, which is spoilt by too much vibrato giving it a note of sentimentality.



 :D - there yo go!


Just got this recording  as posted above, was waiting for it and finally got it and found the time to listen to it - well - Premont's  comments  are accurate  - except  the part where they are negatives! :D  - I don't believe they invalidate the interpretation at all - I am not anti-HIP practices - I am firmly against the idea that they invalidate the (ironically - a HIP approach seems to be considered more modern! :D ) "traditional" approach. Gerhardt is informed by Starker and Fournier while definitely adding a certain strength to the interpretation. 

Quote
If one likes this style, the recording may be serviceable.



This is an interesting idea - one can see it as "well, to each its own", which is certainly reasonable. Or one can see it as dismissive of the traditional style.. Which would be a mistake - not only Gerhardt's is a worthwhile recording showing the strengths of the traditional style, I think Starker and Fournier have to be kept firmly at the top of the Cello Suites pantheon, no matter the style.


My $0.02 anyway - as always YMMV and I could be 100% wrong


v
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Florestan on May 17, 2019, 09:37:33 AM
It bothers me when a reviewer cites audible breathing, gasps, and other sounds the performer makes.  If they wish to complain about too close miking, just say so. But hearing the performer breathe is a non-issue for me.  It brings the recording to life, IMO, and presents it as more live.

Agreed 100%.

That's absurd indeed. Would they not go to any live concert for fear they heard their neighbours breathing?

EDIT:

"...she is nevertheless physically challenged by these works, to judge from the many instances of audible breathing on the discs."
- Gramaphone
"...Gaillard's breathing, while not annoying or always audible, can sound labored, as if she were working very hard..."
- Allmusic

Now, this is absolutely crazy. Of course every performer is physically challenged by every work s/he performs, especially so when the works are masterpieces --- and every performer works very hard in order to do his / her best. What would these gentlemen want? A performer that breathes not and works hard not? Let them have midi files then.

No, really, up their asses their snobbery, if I might be excused my French.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia on May 17, 2019, 09:45:00 AM
I don't see what's wrong with a reviewer mentioning that breathing is audible. If you can hear the performer breathing it is a sign that the microphone technique has disproportionately emphasized it. People are free to decide for themselves if that is an issue.

I agree that the reviewer's condescending mention of "labored breathing" on that Gaillard release is idiotic.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Florestan on May 17, 2019, 09:53:36 AM
I don't see what's wrong with a reviewer mentioning it. If you can hear the performer breathing it is a sign that the microphone technique has disproportionately emphasized it.

It's a sign that the reviewer is focused more on the microphone technique than on the performer's artistic vision and s/he can't see the forest because of the trees, as I said in another thread (the obsession for the perfect performance in the perfect sound).


Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia on May 17, 2019, 09:56:24 AM
It's a sign that the reviewer is focused more on the microphone technique than on the performer's artistic vision and s/he can't see the forest because of the trees, as I said in another thread.

You are not interested in microphone technique, so other people should be deprived of this information?

I'm interested in the artistic vision, and whether the artistic vision has been successfully captured by the recording.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Florestan on May 17, 2019, 10:05:38 AM
You are not interested in microphone technique, so other people should be deprived of this information?

I'm interested in the artistic vision, and whether the artistic vision has been successfully captured by the recording.

Do you dismiss Schnabel's Beethoven out of hand because the recording is not very succesful by today's standards?

More bluntly: what would you rather have, the latest SOTA recoridng in terms of sound and venue of Mozart's PC 20, or his own performance of it?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia on May 17, 2019, 10:31:05 AM
Do you dismiss Schnabel's Beethoven out of hand because the recording is not very succesful by today's standards?

More bluntly: what would you rather have, the latest SOTA recoridng in terms of sound and venue of Mozart's PC 20, or his own performance of it?

No, I do not dismiss out of hand Schnabel's recordings because of the technical limitations. That doesn't mean I would not want to be informed of the technical limitations before buying a recording. Why wouldn't I want to know? For me it is not so much an issue of technology but an issue of microphone technique. In a recording you are hearing the performance from the perspective of the microphone, and if the microphone is poorly placed or mixed from microphones that create an inconsistent sound stage the result can be unsatisfying to me. If someone told me they could sent the engineering team that made the digital recordings of Stephen Kovacevich's EMI Beethoven cycle back in time to record Schnabel, I'd say no thanks, the shellac discs sound better.

You second question is too divorced from reality for me to hazard an answer.

It's a sign that the reviewer is focused more on the microphone technique than on the performer's artistic vision and s/he can't see the forest because of the trees, as I said in another thread (the obsession for the perfect performance in the perfect sound).

Nevertheless, it is of interest if the trees are all dead. Informed description of microphone technique is one of the few things in a review that can say something objective about the recording, and which I can find useful. The performers 'artistic vision' is almost entirely subjective and a review which primarily treats 'artistic vision' is of no value to me.

When I encounter a review, I find that at least 90% of the useful information in the review is the fact that the recording exists.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Florestan on May 17, 2019, 10:41:41 AM
No, I do not dismiss out of hand Schnabel's recordings because of the technical limitations. That doesn't mean I would not want to be informed of the technical limitations before buying a recording. Why wouldn't I want to know? For me it is not so much an issue of technology but an issue of microphone technique. In a recording you are hearing the performance from the perspective of the microphone, and if the microphone is poorly placed or mixed from microphones that create an inconsistent sound stage the result can be unsatisfying to me. If someone told me they could sent the engineering team that made the digital recordings of Stephen Kovacevich's EMI Beethoven cycle back in time to record Schnabel, I'd say no thanks, the shellac discs sound better.

Fair enough. To each his own.

Quote
You second question is too divorced from reality for me to hazard an answer.

Granted. I will hazard an answer, though: I don't know. I might prefer Mozart, or I might not --- and that is my point: prefering this or that performance is ultimately not a matter of technology (this is just rationalization, be honest!) but a matter of "artistic", "subjective" taste.

Quote
When I encounter a review, I find that at least 90% of the useful information in the review is the fact that the recording exists.

I do agree!  :laugh:

EDIT: There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind. - Duke Ellington

What is objective in the above, I wonder?  ;D
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on May 17, 2019, 11:21:38 AM
Alban Gerhardt plays Bach's cello suites (label Hyperion).

This recording was announced long before its release, setting expectations high - too high IMO.

Gerhardt plays a Matteo Gofriller four stringed cello from 1710. It hardly sounds baroque and has probably been rebuilt and is surely equipped with a modern set up (steel strings, modern bow). He uses the same instrument for all the suites, which means that he plays the high tessitura parts of the sixth suite with "advanced thumb technique", so we do not miss the resulting "singing dog" effect here.

It's only the modern recording technique, which tells me, that this is a new recording. Spiritually Gerhardt is firmly based in the 1950es with all the implications of continual vibrato, old-fashioned end rubato, casual use of dynamic variation. modest ornamentation and repeats which are uninventive exact copies. Particularly unsuccessful is the sarabande of the fifth suite, which is spoilt by too much vibrato giving it a note of sentimentality.

Just got this recording  as posted above, was waiting for it and finally got it and found the time to listen to it - well - Premont's  comments  are accurate  - except  the part where they are negatives! :D  - I don't believe they invalidate the interpretation at all - I am not anti-HIP practices - I am firmly against the idea that they invalidate the (ironically - a HIP approach seems to be considered more modern! :D ) "traditional" approach. Gerhardt is informed by Starker and Fournier while definitely adding a certain strength to the interpretation. 

Interesting that you do not consider exact copies uninventive. However I would consider Gerhardt to belong to a more traditional school than Fournier and Starker, whom I would call preauthentic like e.g. Wolfgang Schneiderhan or Helmut Walcha and Anton Heiller. They removed the most traditional (read: Romantic) traits from their playing and paved the way for the HIP movement.

Quote from: (: premont :)
If one likes this style, the recording may be serviceable.

Quote from: vmartell
This is an interesting idea - one can see it as "well, to each its own", which is certainly reasonable. Or one can see it as dismissive of the traditional style.. Which would be a mistake - not only Gerhardt's is a worthwhile recording showing the strengths of the traditional style, I think Starker and Fournier have to be kept firmly at the top of the Cello Suites pantheon, no matter the style.

Well, I certainly meant "each to his own" but also, that Gerhardt is not much more than serviceable. Much better recordings in traditional style would be Mainardi, Tortellier or Webber e.g..

Usually I do not compare recordings much, but try instead to immerse myself in the individual recordings.

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on May 17, 2019, 10:56:25 PM
Webber



Good find!
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Jo498 on May 17, 2019, 11:41:16 PM
I think it is totally fair to be bothered by certain noises on recordings. It is a rather different situation from the concert where there will often also be extraneous noises but for most it is easier to focus during the live experience. But with recordings one listens to many times, maybe with headphones, these noises will not be transient but one will almost anticipate them.
I still remember that my first record of the Eroica had a scratch in one of the fugal sections of the finale and many times when I listen to that passage I recall that and almost expect the click...
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on May 17, 2019, 11:48:04 PM
I don't see what's wrong with a reviewer mentioning that breathing is audible. If you can hear the performer breathing it is a sign that the microphone technique has disproportionately emphasized it. People are free to decide for themselves if that is an issue.

I agree that the reviewer's condescending mention of "labored breathing" on that Gaillard release is idiotic.

It's a sign that the reviewer is focused more on the microphone technique than on the performer's artistic vision and s/he can't see the forest because of the trees, as I said in another thread (the obsession for the perfect performance in the perfect sound).

I take it as a sign that the reviewer was distracted by the come-to-bed image of La Gaillard.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71FSQxYAL1L._SX355_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on September 18, 2019, 08:57:10 AM
From the new releases thread:

(http://frabernardo.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/fb_1904783_bach_violoncello_galligioni_1-FRONT.jpg)
Very well recorded, with the texture of the bow on the strings captured beautifully. The performance give an initial impression of being thoughtful and expressive.
I enjoy particularly his tasteful and imaginative variations in the repeats.

This is not for everybody.
Don't get me wrong - to ears jaded from too much time spent with the Cello Suites, this is a refreshing listen. 
But don't expect Galligioni to play the same notes that everybody else does.   :-X  As well as quite a lot of ornamentation and decoration, he also sometimes improvises around the line like a jazz soloist, not playing the actual notes at all, just some of the implied ones all round and about.  For example, in the Gigue of Suite 3. 
Also, he sometimes takes Bach's skeletonising of the music even further, by playing fewer notes in more space.  A kind of anti-ornamentation.  He does this for example in the Courante of Suite 2, initially laying out a 'halved' version of the music then 'doubling' to the more usual rendition for the repeats.  Again in the 2nd Bourree of Suite 3.
Only Suites 1-3 seem to be available so far - I look forward to 4-6 in due course.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on September 18, 2019, 09:23:39 AM
You can read his apology here

http://frabernardo.com/?portfolio=bach-a-violoncello-solo-chapter-1-francesco-galligioni#tab-id-3

He suggests that the style came partly out of discussions with keyboard players. Presumably the anti-ornamentation (which seems obvious now but I must admit I didn't notice it!) is an example of "when Bach’s writing is so complex that it leaves no room for embellishments, I have tried to find the simplest idea underlying such beauty."
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on September 18, 2019, 11:34:29 PM
An interesting read, thankyou.  Can't argue with his wish to re-think the music in such a crowded field.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on December 17, 2019, 02:53:15 AM
End-of-decade summary

In this round-up I'm generally concentrating on recordings from the last 30 years, and generally excluding any non-cello recordings (saxophone, marimba etc) although some of these may be worthy of mention elsewhere in the thread.  I'm also not mentioning part-sets.

We did a blind comparison starting in early 2015 which included several of the most highly-regarded modern recordings up to that point.  The process seemed to gravitate towards 'safe' recordings, leading to a rather dull final round!  I'll re-state those results first and then go on to list some others including several noteworthy recordings that have appeared since that date.  It won't be a complete survey - not anything like.  I hope others can fill in some gaps.

Blind comparison results (2015):
https://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,23936.msg866371.html#msg866371 (https://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,23936.msg866371.html#msg866371)
7 (of 30) who didn't impress, scoring quite badly before being eliminated:
Janos Starker, Pieter Wispelwey (3rd recording), Mstislav Rostropovich, Lynn Harrell, Anner Bylsma (2nd), Steven Isserliss, Isang Enders
20th= scoring rather better but still knocked out:
Winona Zelenka, Maurice Gendron, Bruno Cocset, Paul Tortelier
18= Yo-Yo Ma, Pablo Casals (Pristine remaster)
Some of the biggest names falling in round 1.  4 more who fell in the 2nd round with lowish scores:
Anner Bylsma (1st), Jaap ter Linden, Ophélie Gaillard (2nd), Truls Mørk
3 who scored quite well but still didn't progress from round 2:
Patricia McCarty (viola), Vito Paternoster, Paolo Beschi

Then the final 10:
10  Paolo Pandolfo (viola da gamba)
9   Angela East
8   Alexander Kniazev
7   Pierre Fournier
4=  Boris Pergamenschikow, Heinrich Schiff (EMI)

Leaving these four finalists:
The following attached comments are from the blind listening panel members at the time:
4=   Dmitry Badiarov (cello da spalla) (Ramee)
"Lithe, in part because of the acoustic. Interesting touch and interesting sound."
The following two were placed 3rd and 2nd but on reflection I felt that equal 2nd would be fairer:
2=  Jean-Guihen Queyras (Harmonia Mundi)
"there's an old-fashioned feel to the playing ... I suspect it will not appeal to HIPsters"
"There's a depth and a heaviness to the sound"

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/61zfushhtaL._SS500_.jpg)
2=  Gavriel Lipkind (own label)
"a performance of great gentleness, tenderness, sensitivity"
"Exclamation mark at the end. Not every-day Bach, but special"

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/813PLjiVRGL._SS500_.jpg)

1   Arnau Tomàs (Aglae) (this was a very clear unarguable 1st place, 78% vs 57% for Lipkind, 50% for Queyras)
"perhaps a certain self-consciousness or fussiness in the performance"
"the breathing here reaches the point of distraction"
"this feels like a confession, exultant but with all kinds of shadows around it"

(http://www.aukadia.net/pix/tomas.jpg)

Tomàs is hard to find as a CD, but is available from Amazon as downloads, or you can find him on Spotify (other streaming services are available, or so I've heard).  It's a finely-recorded, very middle-of-the-road version, I would say almost bland to a fault - but make no mistake, the hitherto unknown Tomàs won 3 of the four rounds in this blind listening, and was 2nd in the other one, and in the final (Suite No.5) the other three didn't lay a glove on him.  There was no fluke or accident about this.  I would suggest that Queyras (by contrast a GMG favourite) treads similar ground.  Lipkind by contrast comes with a bit of a health warning - I really like him, but even I had to acquire the taste, bit by bit.  He's quite extreme with his ornamentation.

Other recordings I could have considereed for this comparison but didn't:
Pieter Wispelwey 1 and 2, more Yo-Yo Ma, Weiland Kuijken, Richard Tunnicliffe
Sara Sant'Ambrogio,
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/818hDuqt+wL._AC_UY218_ML3_.jpg)  (https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81ZFo+1bYkL._AC_UY218_ML3_.jpg)
Not good - bludgeoning playing is about as subtle as her sleeve images.

Ralph Kirschbaum
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/61AEU5vse4L._SS500_.jpg)
A bit old-fashioned but I found a lot to like in this version.

Roel Dieltiens (2nd)
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71pDbxkui5L._SS500_.jpg)
A bit too reverbrant but otherwise I really like this set - a sort of dialed-back version of Lipkind.

Some recent releases that I like:
Mime Yamahiro Brinkmann
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71oK-cRrp8L._SS500_.jpg)
I really liked this the first time I listened to it.  On repeated listening slightly less so - but only because she treads a middle path, and I enjoy the extremes a bit more. 
But if I had to choose only one version for a desert island, this would be on my shortlist.

Mauro Valli
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81B2NICY2UL._SS500_.jpg)
I have this one and like it.  He inserts a preface to each Cello Suite in the form of a Ricercar by Domenico Gabrielli - these are quite substantial pieces, up to 11 minutes long in one case, and musically they fit right in as far as I'm concerned.  The total effect is to expand what would usually be a 2-CD set of solo cello music, to 3 CDs.

Oreste de Tommaso
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/814G4ByxUcL._SS500_.jpg)
Deep mahogany sound.  May be hard to find.

Tanja Tetzlaff
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/61pgPUwbxEL._SS500_.jpg)
I remember having a mixed reaction to this one, must listen again.

I'll just put a few more out there. I've either not heard these at all, or only sampled them.

Hidemi Suzuki
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/511g%2Bq4FNZL._SY355_.jpg)

Matt Haimovitz
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81CERzqN-JL._SS500_.jpg)

Marc Coppey
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/8138eGjoTVL._SS500_.jpg)

Kivie Cahn-Lipman
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/61bO8BweWDL._SS500_.jpg)

Fransesco Galligioni
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71PPFoCUURL._SS500_.jpg)

Viola de Hoog
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71Dlq9nhuLL._SS500_.jpg)

David Watkin
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81QFiizpgBL._SS500_.jpg)

Thomas Demenga
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81fTuPfCofL._SS500_.jpg)

Sergei Istomin
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81mFqqDhRVL._SX355_.jpg)

Emmanuelle Bertrand
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71dsZoflyjL._SS500_.jpg)

Marko Ylönen
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81e6dj51tqL._SS500_.jpg)

Xenia Jankovic
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71j8N2bBv-L._SS500_.jpg)

Natalia Khoma
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81QoRX3GvPL._SS500_.jpg)

Alban Gerhardt
(https://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/jpegs/150dpi/034571282619.png)

Lucia Swarts
(https://shop.new-art.nl/assets/image.php?width=280&image=/content/img/new_artists/1551256294.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on December 18, 2019, 03:20:13 AM
I've just watched Bruno Cocset play the 4th Suite on the All of Bach website.  Recommended, and I think better sounding than his CD. 
https://www.bachvereniging.nl/en/bwv/bwv-1010/ (https://www.bachvereniging.nl/en/bwv/bwv-1010/)

The two attached interviews are interesting too - he mentions how in this suite it doesn't fall easily under the fingers and the hand is spread unnaturally and there are few open strings, and he feels he has to use extra pressure - and you can see it in the video, he must be able to crack walnuts with those fingers!

Each suite on this site features a different cellist, I'll be checking out Hidemi Suzuki playing the 5th next.
https://www.bachvereniging.nl/en/bwv/bwv-1011/ (https://www.bachvereniging.nl/en/bwv/bwv-1011/)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: San Antone on December 18, 2019, 03:33:43 AM
I've just watched Bruno Cocset play the 4th Suite on the All of Bach website.  Recommended, and I think better sounding than his CD. 
https://www.bachvereniging.nl/en/bwv/bwv-1010/ (https://www.bachvereniging.nl/en/bwv/bwv-1010/)

The two attached interviews are interesting too - he mentions how in this suite it doesn't fall easily under the fingers and the hand is spread unnaturally and there are few open strings, and he feels he has to use extra pressure - and you can see it in the video, he must be able to crack walnuts with those fingers!

Each suite on this site features a different cellist, I'll be checking out Hidemi Suzuki playing the 5th next.
https://www.bachvereniging.nl/en/bwv/bwv-1011/ (https://www.bachvereniging.nl/en/bwv/bwv-1011/)

I am watching/listening to Steuart Pincombe play Suite No. 2 in d minor.  This site looks to be excellent.  Thanks for posting about it.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on February 10, 2021, 03:29:46 PM
A couple of additions for this thread:

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81NSCs8n0mL._SS500_.jpg)
Bach Cello Suites; Suren Bagratuni

By no means a recent issue, but I enjoyed this when I stumbled across it last year.

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81l8jhNiWoL._SS500_.jpg)
Bach Cello Suites; Sergey Malov

Malov is excellent.  Here he is playing No.6 on the All of Bach website, high productiuon values all round, stunning visually:
https://www.bachvereniging.nl/en/bwv/bwv-1012/ (https://www.bachvereniging.nl/en/bwv/bwv-1012/)

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on February 10, 2021, 03:43:58 PM
A couple of additions for this thread:
Bach Cello Suites; Suren Bagratuni
By no means a recent issue, but I enjoyed this when I stumbled across it last year.


Bach Cello Suites; Sergey Malov
Malov is excellent.  Here he is playing No.6 on the All of Bach website, high productiuon values all round, stunning visually:

Yes both recordings top shelf. Malov released a couple of years ago recordings of suites 1, 2 and 6 (with all repeats). Particularly the sixth is extraordinary like the one on Bachvereinigung.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on August 30, 2021, 01:05:54 AM
The following quote is taken from this thread which has more recent discussion:
https://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,3719.600.html (https://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,3719.600.html)

The newer releases start with Brinkmann, about 4 down - who would certainly be a contender since she like many of the more successful ones in the Blind Listen, is generally middle-of-the-road.

Of those listed below, by own favourites are Malov, and Valli, and Swarts
But ultimately I still gravitate back to East (12th in the Blind Listen) and Lipkind (2nd).

Quote
Other recordings I could have considereed for this comparison but didn't:
Pieter Wispelwey 1 and 2, more Yo-Yo Ma, Weiland Kuijken, Richard Tunnicliffe
Sara Sant'Ambrogio,
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/818hDuqt+wL._AC_UY218_ML3_.jpg)  (https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81ZFo+1bYkL._AC_UY218_ML3_.jpg)
Not good - bludgeoning playing is about as subtle as her sleeve images.

Ralph Kirschbaum
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/61AEU5vse4L._SS500_.jpg)
A bit old-fashioned but I found a lot to like in this version.

Roel Dieltiens (2nd)
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71pDbxkui5L._SS500_.jpg)
A bit too reverbrant but otherwise I really like this set - a sort of dialed-back version of Lipkind.


Some recent releases that I like:
Mime Yamahiro Brinkmann
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71oK-cRrp8L._SS500_.jpg)
I really liked this the first time I listened to it.  On repeated listening slightly less so - but only because she treads a middle path, and I enjoy the extremes a bit more. 
But if I had to choose only one version for a desert island, this would be on my shortlist.

Mauro Valli
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81B2NICY2UL._SS500_.jpg)
I have this one and like it.  He inserts a preface to each Cello Suite in the form of a Ricercar by Domenico Gabrielli - these are quite substantial pieces, up to 11 minutes long in one case, and musically they fit right in as far as I'm concerned.  The total effect is to expand what would usually be a 2-CD set of solo cello music, to 3 CDs.

Oreste de Tommaso
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/814G4ByxUcL._SS500_.jpg)
Deep mahogany sound.  May be hard to find.

Tanja Tetzlaff
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/61pgPUwbxEL._SS500_.jpg)
I remember having a mixed reaction to this one, must listen again.


I'll just put a few more out there. I've either not heard these at all, or only sampled them.

Hidemi Suzuki
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/511g%2Bq4FNZL._SY355_.jpg)

Matt Haimovitz
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81CERzqN-JL._SS500_.jpg)

Marc Coppey
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/8138eGjoTVL._SS500_.jpg)

Kivie Cahn-Lipman
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/61bO8BweWDL._SS500_.jpg)

Fransesco Galligioni
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71PPFoCUURL._SS500_.jpg)

Viola de Hoog
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71Dlq9nhuLL._SS500_.jpg)

David Watkin
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81QFiizpgBL._SS500_.jpg)

Thomas Demenga
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81fTuPfCofL._SS500_.jpg)

Sergei Istomin
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81mFqqDhRVL._SX355_.jpg)

Emmanuelle Bertrand
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71dsZoflyjL._SS500_.jpg)

Marko Ylönen
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81e6dj51tqL._SS500_.jpg)

Xenia Jankovic
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71j8N2bBv-L._SS500_.jpg)

Natalia Khoma
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81QoRX3GvPL._SS500_.jpg)

Alban Gerhardt
(https://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/jpegs/150dpi/034571282619.png)

Lucia Swarts
(https://shop.new-art.nl/assets/image.php?width=280&image=/content/img/new_artists/1551256294.jpg)


A couple of additions for this thread:

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81NSCs8n0mL._SS500_.jpg)
Bach Cello Suites; Suren Bagratuni


By no means a recent issue, but I enjoyed this when I stumbled across it last year.

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81l8jhNiWoL._SS500_.jpg)
Bach Cello Suites; Sergey Malov

Malov is excellent.  Here he is playing No.6 on the All of Bach website, high productiuon values all round, stunning visually:
https://www.bachvereniging.nl/en/bwv/bwv-1012/ (https://www.bachvereniging.nl/en/bwv/bwv-1012/)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Madiel on August 30, 2021, 01:35:08 AM
I think Watkin is marvellous. Does he qualify as newer?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on August 30, 2021, 04:58:44 AM
I always thought there were some lovers of Ma 3 here. My suggestion for a recent one is Myriam Rignol.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on August 30, 2021, 09:12:08 AM
I always thought there were some lovers of Ma 3 here. My suggestion for a recent one is Myriam Rignol.
I always found Ma 3 too contrived. Ma 1 is more natural and less idiosyncratic.

As to Rignol I think the music in her hands becomes too sweet and (except fpr suite no.5) needs more "virility" or Bachbone, than the gambe (or rather Rignol) wants or is able to deliver. There is probably a reason, why Bach didn't score the suites for viola da gamba.


Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: hvbias on August 30, 2021, 12:57:24 PM
The following quote is taken from this thread which has more recent discussion:
https://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,3719.600.html (https://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,3719.600.html)

The newer releases start with Brinkmann, about 4 down - who would certainly be a contender since she like many of the more successful ones in the Blind Listen, is generally middle-of-the-road.

Of those listed below, by own favourites are Malov, and Valli, and Swarts
But ultimately I still gravitate back to East (12th in the Blind Listen) and Lipkind (2nd).

Very much agreed on Malov. I did some comparisons with him and Kuijken's Accent recording a while back and while I preferred Malov, I came to the conclusion that they're both essential for me.

The one that has been my go to for the last couple of years (unsure if it was part of this blind test) is Colin Carr's first recording.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Gorio1968 on September 01, 2021, 05:09:13 AM
The following quote is taken from this thread which has more recent discussion:
https://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,3719.600.html (https://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,3719.600.html)

The newer releases start with Brinkmann, about 4 down - who would certainly be a contender since she like many of the more successful ones in the Blind Listen, is generally middle-of-the-road.

Of those listed below, by own favourites are Malov, and Valli, and Swarts
But ultimately I still gravitate back to East (12th in the Blind Listen) and Lipkind (2nd).

Thank you.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Selig on September 11, 2021, 09:35:21 AM
No fans of Bertrand it seems? Is the reverb a deal-breaker maybe?

The 73 minute runtime for Malov seems remarkable to me. Are there any others even close to <80 minutes?! Maybe I'm just not familiar enough with the discography.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on September 11, 2021, 10:28:42 AM

The 73 minute runtime for Malov seems remarkable to me. Are there any others even close to <80 minutes?! Maybe I'm just not familiar enough with the discography.

He omits all repeats in the new recording. In my opinion he delivers a truncated version even if well played. Some years ago he recorded suites no. 1, 2 and 6 doing all the repeats.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Que on September 12, 2021, 05:01:29 AM
He omits all repeats in the new recording. In my opinion he delivers a truncated version even if well played. Some years ago he recorded suites no. 1, 2 and 6 doing all the repeats.

Artists that skip repeats do not understand Baroque music...
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on September 12, 2021, 12:45:17 PM
Artists that skip repeats do not understand Baroque music...

What about Gustav Leonhardt? He also omitted all repeats in his second recording of the English suites and the partitas (for EMI, rereleased by Virgin).
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Que on September 13, 2021, 12:21:41 AM
What about Gustav Leonhardt? He also omitted all repeats in his second recording of the English suites and the partitas (for EMI, rereleased by Virgin).

I think Leonhardt was early in his carreer quite dogmatic and literal, an understandable response to the misconceptions of the time. But, perhaps paradoxically, the art of improvisation has an important place in Baroque music.
It seems inconceivable that Leonhardt wasn't aware of this function of repeats, he probably just didn’t want to go that way at that time. Also, the knowledge of how this was actually done has grown over the past few decades.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on September 13, 2021, 01:46:20 AM
I think Leonhardt was early in his carreer quite dogmatic and literal, an understandable response to the misconceptions of the time. But, perhaps paradoxically, the art of improvisation has an important place in Baroque music.
It seems inconceivable that Leonhardt wasn't aware of this function of repeats, he probably just didn’t want to go that way at that time. Also, the knowledge of how this was actually done has grown over the past few decades.

You don't improvise a repeat in a score!  You plan to play it differently maybe.

By the way, arguably in the Goldberg Variations for example, the function of the repeats is to do with the balance of the whole. They're not there as a vehicle to display the performer's ingenuity.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Que on September 13, 2021, 02:10:35 AM
You don't improvise a repeat in a score!  You plan to play it differently maybe.

Well yes, that's what I meant... (except for the "maybe") and there are several performance techniques to do that.

PS I accidentally repsonded in your post, but have restored it.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on September 13, 2021, 03:48:29 AM
Tantalisingly in 2013 Davitt Moroney wrote a paper for the Oxford Early Music Review on Leonhardt’s understanding of authenticity in performance, but I can’t get my mitts on it!
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Selig on September 13, 2021, 09:50:16 AM
He omits all repeats in the new recording. In my opinion he delivers a truncated version even if well played. Some years ago he recorded suites no. 1, 2 and 6 doing all the repeats.

Are you sure he has recorded suite no. 1? I can't seem to find it. Is it on a commercial recording?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Selig on September 13, 2021, 09:51:53 AM
Tantalisingly in 2013 Davitt Moroney wrote a paper for the Oxford Early Music Review on Leonhardt’s understanding of authenticity in performance, but I can’t get my mitts on it!

Good to be reminded, I skimmed it a while ago and it seemed interesting. Here it is:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1IGyU5sdZJxqisxGv2-BVtEmJV48ZOf-S/view
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on September 13, 2021, 11:20:49 AM
Good to be reminded, I skimmed it a while ago and it seemed interesting. Here it is:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1IGyU5sdZJxqisxGv2-BVtEmJV48ZOf-S/view

Excellent, thank you.

It may be useful to collect together the paragraphs of Leonhardt's paper on authenticity in English:

Quote
On performance using original instruments

If one is able to persuade, what is offered creates an
authentic impression. If one is striving to be authentic,
one will never persuade. Only those performers who
attempt—in general—to penetrate into the world of ideas
of a great mind and of his epoch can, if they have acquired
a suitable technique and possess that mysterious thing, natural talent, arouse that impression of offering some-
thing true and sincere.


However, a performance of a piece of music can never
be authentic, since music itself evades being pinned down.
What makes music is not the notes but the sounds. Even
composers give to each performance [of their own works]
a new authenticity.


It seems to me that more essential than the antithesis
‘authentic/inauthentic’ (and who would be able to pass
judgement here?) is the matter of artistic quality, which is
hard to define in words (the heart has its reasons . . .); on
this matter one can only leave the audience to pass judge-
ment—the audience that itself changes, however, just as
the musician does. (Certain short-circuits can occasion-
ally be attributed to the fact that these changes do not
happen in a synchronized way and it is not always the
musicians who lead the way . . .!)


I hope that this recording will not be characterized
as ‘definitive’ or ‘authentic’ because of its cast of players.
It was performed by musicians who consider histori-
cal enquiry as vital and as belonging to their métier, yet
without perceiving this to be ‘unusual’ or stressing it in
particular. The use of historical instruments is also not
abnormal, or at any rate not for the players. For many
listeners the sonorities may still seem unfamiliar; but
these [listeners] may, by closer ‘synchronization’ of their
listening, come to acknowledge that the balance between
the different instruments now happens completely natu-
rally; that the multiplicity of shadings of sonorities and
the subtleties of intonation of the woodwind instruments
(compared to the smoothness of later instruments), con-
stitutes a richness; that the string instruments have a
leaner yet richer sound quality than do those of a later
period (which are suitable for different music). The ear
becomes accustomed to all this more quickly than one
would believe, and that is good: because the instruments
have then once again become, for both players and lis-
teners, literally ‘instruments’ in the service of music, and
all ‘connoisseurs and true lovers’ [of music] can, in con-
stantly renewed amazement, surrender themselves to the
unfailing sense of measure and the boundless creativity of
Johann Sebastian Bach.

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on September 13, 2021, 11:53:23 AM
Are you sure he has recorded suite no. 1? I can't seem to find it. Is it on a commercial recording?

Well, I own the recording in question, so I am rather sure.

It's here:

https://www.amazon.de/13-Strings-Vol-violoncello-2013-08-03/dp/B01KB0GHC8/ref=sr_1_7?__mk_de_DE=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&dchild=1&keywords=sergey+malov&qid=1631566331&s=music&sr=1-7
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on September 13, 2021, 12:48:34 PM
Good to be reminded, I skimmed it a while ago and it seemed interesting. Here it is:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1IGyU5sdZJxqisxGv2-BVtEmJV48ZOf-S/view

Thanks, Selig for this interesting article.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Iota on September 15, 2021, 07:44:11 AM
By the way, arguably in the Goldberg Variations for example, the function of the repeats is to do with the balance of the whole. They're not there as a vehicle to display the performer's ingenuity.

Certainly feels that way to me, I find the Goldberg's now without repeats virtually intolerable. Which rules out Gould for the rare occasions I'm in the mood for him (though I seem to remember you never are ..).
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: North Star on September 29, 2021, 01:00:33 PM
This one was also released earlier in 2021, Dalen has also researched (http://www.tormoddalen.net/research/) the works' relationship with dance.

https://www.youtube.com/v/5IV0YuzUur8&list=OLAK5uy_n6qEO2xOJ7dwnUvtM2ARXIREIChaE6ltQ
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Madiel on October 05, 2021, 12:58:43 PM
Well if that prelude is dancing, it's taking things slow.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on October 09, 2021, 02:44:27 PM
Anyone know this recording? I like what I hear, tuneful humorful accented playing.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_mlDatl2qCNzC-YJ0GH6Hhk1lyYkQkS0ms
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on October 10, 2021, 03:47:25 AM
Anyone know this recording? I like what I hear, tuneful humorful accented playing.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_mlDatl2qCNzC-YJ0GH6Hhk1lyYkQkS0ms

Yes, it's fresh, dancing and brilliant. I like it very much.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on October 11, 2021, 03:44:42 AM
Anyone know this recording? I like what I hear, tuneful humorful accented playing.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_mlDatl2qCNzC-YJ0GH6Hhk1lyYkQkS0ms

Yes, it's fresh, dancing and brilliant. I like it very much.

That's a great find - lovely plangent tones.

(https://www.amazon.co.uk/images/I/81qSwu5MJML._SS500_.jpg)
Cello Suites: Leonardo Luckert

Just a reminder that this is the preferred thread for general discussion of Bach's Cello Suites including any recent new finds.  Messages #269-288 from the other thread really belong here.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: hvbias on October 11, 2021, 10:41:47 AM
There was some discussion of Malov and repeats in one of the threads, this is the CD I have and he takes all the repeats.

(https://i.imgur.com/2VvP7j8.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on October 11, 2021, 11:10:17 AM
There was some discussion of Malov and repeats in one of the threads, this is the CD I have and he takes all the repeats.

(https://i.imgur.com/2VvP7j8.jpg)

Yes, this is the recording i referred to in post 633 of this thread.

Malov also recorded the second suite with all the repeats here:

https://www.amazon.de/Ligeti-Sergey-Barockvioline-Violoncello-spalla/dp/B06ZZGBCGW/ref=sr_1_1?__mk_de_DE=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&dchild=1&keywords=sergey+malov+bach&qid=1633979292&s=music&sr=1-1

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: hvbias on October 15, 2021, 06:40:23 AM
Yes, this is the recording i referred to in post 633 of this thread.

Malov also recorded the second suite with all the repeats here:

https://www.amazon.de/Ligeti-Sergey-Barockvioline-Violoncello-spalla/dp/B06ZZGBCGW/ref=sr_1_1?__mk_de_DE=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&dchild=1&keywords=sergey+malov+bach&qid=1633979292&s=music&sr=1-1

Apologies. I knew this was being discussed somewhere, I just missed a bunch of posts when reading this subforum by unread posts.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: vers la flamme on December 12, 2021, 04:58:55 PM
If someone can recommend to me a great recording of the Bach Cello Suites, preferably on a period or reproduction Baroque cello, I would be much obliged  0:)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Que on December 12, 2021, 11:35:34 PM
If someone can recommend to me a great recording of the Bach Cello Suites, preferably on a period or reproduction Baroque cello, I would be much obliged  0:)

Well, that's opening a can of worms... :D  Ready yourself for dozens of completely different suggestions!

As you know, period performances is my thing.

My shortlist is Anner Bijlsma II (Sony) and Paolo Beschi (Winter & Winter).

Good luck and enjoy the journey! :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on December 13, 2021, 12:36:17 AM
I think the suites benefits from having a lot of recordings, it's such "open" music that there are many successful ways to approach them. For the more uneccentric ones, I keep coming back to Bijlsma/Bylsma 1 (I love-hate 2, much more subtle but lacks the direct ruggedness of the first one that I like so much), other ones I've liked are Sergei Istomin and Lucia Swarts.

For more eccentric ones, I remember hearing and liking Oreste De Tommaso (who holds his bow in the gamba style - actually likely the predominant cello bowhold employed in the early 18th century, with different results in articulation) or Mauro Valli's bright and florid Bach in Bologna. (I found out about both of these on this thread, by the way!)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Madiel on December 13, 2021, 03:25:59 AM
If someone can recommend to me a great recording of the Bach Cello Suites, preferably on a period or reproduction Baroque cello, I would be much obliged  0:)

David Watkin.

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71PbXxGKbcL._SX425_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: vers la flamme on December 13, 2021, 04:02:37 AM
Well, that's opening a can of worms... :D  Ready yourself for dozens of completely different suggestions!

As you know, period performances is my thing.

My shortlist is Anner Bijlsma II (Sony) and Paolo Beschi (Winter & Winter).

Good luck and enjoy the journey! :)

If you wanna know a damn tragedy, I bought Bylsma II (used, from Ebay) and was getting ready to rip it to my computer yesterday when I realized that the disc inside was not Bylsma or Bach at all but Michael Tilson Thomas conducting Ives' third symphony -___- (which I already have)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on December 13, 2021, 04:21:57 AM
If you wanna know a damn tragedy, I bought Bylsma II (used, from Ebay) and was getting ready to rip it to my computer yesterday when I realized that the disc inside was not Bylsma or Bach at all but Michael Tilson Thomas conducting Ives' third symphony -___- (which I already have)

Bylsma II is divisive. It would be interesting to know why its advocates think it's successful and why its detractors think it's unsuccessful. I don't have an opinion.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: vers la flamme on December 13, 2021, 04:24:22 AM
Bylsma II is divisive. It would be interesting to know why its advocates think it's successful and why its detractors think it's unsuccessful.

Bylsma I is a bit hard to find these days, and seems to be more popular. I'm a big fan of his playing. Our Traverso turned me onto his work a couple years ago, shortly before Bylsma's death actually.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on December 13, 2021, 04:44:33 AM
Bylsma I is a bit hard to find these days, and seems to be more popular. I'm a big fan of his playing. Our Traverso turned me onto his work a couple years ago, shortly before Bylsma's death actually.

Well I just listened to the sarabande of 1012 in I and II and on the basis of that single pair of observations I’ll propose this hypothesis: Bylsma I is articulated like song, long phrases.  Bylsma II is articulated more like speech - short phrases. Bylsma II is also rather more calm than dramatic. Arguably the phrasing of II has been influential - Wispelway III, Cocset, maybe others.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on December 13, 2021, 05:22:58 AM
Is this Bylssma's first or second recording of the suites?  I remember (years ago) hearing a different recording of him playing it at a friend's house, but it wasn't available at the store that I went to.  I suspect that this one is his second recording of them:

(https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0886/9226/products/bylsmabachsuitessonys2k48047_18025fc2-d098-4a15-8e54-dc4ae89c9cbf_1024x1024.jpg?v=1569051213)

PD
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on December 13, 2021, 05:26:18 AM
Is this Bylssma's first or second recording of the suites?  I remember (years ago) hearing a different recording of him playing it at a friend's house, but it wasn't available at the store that I went to.  I suspect that this one is his second recording of them:

(https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0886/9226/products/bylsmabachsuitessonys2k48047_18025fc2-d098-4a15-8e54-dc4ae89c9cbf_1024x1024.jpg?v=1569051213)

PD

That's the second.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on December 13, 2021, 05:35:42 AM
That's the second.
Thanks!  What does the first one look like?  If I recall correctly, he's recorded it at least three times?   :-\

PD
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Selig on December 13, 2021, 05:54:12 AM
Thanks!  What does the first one look like?  If I recall correctly, he's recorded it at least three times?   :-\

PD

Looks like this

(https://img.discogs.com/SjFogt16wa7rRvdx4hQ-RriOzvI=/fit-in/600x510/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-12050487-1527292191-7085.jpeg.jpg)

or this, remastered: (this is the cover to look for if you're using Spotify)

(https://img.discogs.com/cxvyLgCAV0QaKiVUqiuZPH6XfKk=/fit-in/600x530/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-4893389-1378825334-8020.jpeg.jpg)

There is no complete 3rd recording that I know of, only a 3rd recording of the 1st and 5th suites on this DVD:

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/41xtbTH629L._SY445_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on December 13, 2021, 06:21:52 AM
Looks like this

(https://img.discogs.com/SjFogt16wa7rRvdx4hQ-RriOzvI=/fit-in/600x510/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-12050487-1527292191-7085.jpeg.jpg)

or this, remastered: (this is the cover to look for if you're using Spotify)

(https://img.discogs.com/cxvyLgCAV0QaKiVUqiuZPH6XfKk=/fit-in/600x530/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-4893389-1378825334-8020.jpeg.jpg)

There is no complete 3rd recording that I know of, only a 3rd recording of the 1st and 5th suites on this DVD:

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/41xtbTH629L._SY445_.jpg)
Thank you Selig!  :)

PD
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on December 13, 2021, 06:58:08 AM
Thank you Selig!  :)

PD

There is a third one, but it has not been released commercially, made of concert performances in The Hague and in Leiden in 1998. If anyone wants it they can PM me.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on December 13, 2021, 12:02:11 PM
Well I just listened to the sarabande of 1012 in I and II and on the basis of that single pair of observations I’ll propose this hypothesis: Bylsma I is articulated like song, long phrases.  Bylsma II is articulated more like speech - short phrases. Bylsma II is also rather more calm than dramatic. Arguably the phrasing of II has been influential - Wispelway III, Cocset, maybe others.

Also listening to the Sarabandes of #6 in Bylsma I and II. I'd conclude the opposite! In II he seems to consciously control the bow and shape the phrases more and has a more even sound throughout the duration of each note, as opposed to I where he seems to let each bow stroke have its own natural articulation resulting in mostly tapered phrases. While he does it in both recordings, II also has a more "modern" HIP style of using vibrato as an ornament at the end of long held notes.

Notably B. apparently used a modern (or maybe 19th century) style bow for the second recording - which I guess allowed him to have much more even phrases throughout each bow. (I don't know if this is true as well for #6 which is obviously played on a different, 5 stringed instrument)

I might just be spouting nonsense, I might need an experienced string player to correct me here.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on December 13, 2021, 12:12:36 PM
Also listening to the Sarabandes of #6 in Bylsma I and II. I'd conclude the opposite! In II he seems to consciously control the bow and shape the phrases more and has a more even sound throughout the duration of each note, as opposed to I where he seems to let each bow stroke have its own natural articulation resulting in mostly tapered phrases. While he does it in both recordings, II also has a more "modern" HIP style of using vibrato as an ornament at the end of long held notes.

Notably B. apparently used a modern (or maybe 19th century) style bow for the second recording - which I guess allowed him to have much more even phrases throughout each bow. (I don't know if this is true as well for #6 which is obviously played on a different, 5 stringed instrument)

I might just be spouting nonsense, I might need an experienced string player to correct me here.

I could have got the recordings mixed up of course, but I'd be very interested to know what this means: let each bow stroke have its own natural articulation.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on December 13, 2021, 12:17:48 PM
Bylsma I is a bit hard to find these days, and seems to be more popular. I'm a big fan of his playing. Our Traverso turned me onto his work a couple years ago, shortly before Bylsma's death actually.

Both commercial recordings (Bijlsma I and Bijlsma II) are included in this box:

https://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Anner-Bylsma-plays-Cello-Suites-and-Sonatas/hnum/3787274
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on December 13, 2021, 12:17:55 PM
Oh, and it was the Allemande that I listened to, not the sarabande! Sorry.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Madiel on December 13, 2021, 12:22:20 PM
David Watkin.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: T. D. on December 13, 2021, 12:24:35 PM
Will revisit the Bijlsma recordings when I get home from work.
I have both. Always got the impression of a critical consensus in favor of I, but recall rather liking II once I heard it.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on December 13, 2021, 12:30:27 PM
I've timestamped these two clips to start at a phrase which caught my attention, where I think you hear the differences in approach

https://www.youtube.com/v/rQNapVZYOPw&ab_channel=AnnerBylsma-Topic&start=60

https://www.youtube.com/v/5v8Lm3d7Rqg&t=48s&ab_channel=C0urante&start=48
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: vers la flamme on December 13, 2021, 03:29:20 PM
Both commercial recordings (Bijlsma I and Bijlsma II) are included in this box:

https://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Anner-Bylsma-plays-Cello-Suites-and-Sonatas/hnum/3787274

Oh boy and it's dirt cheap too. Very tempting!
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on December 13, 2021, 03:35:23 PM
Having listened to the entire fifth and sixth cello suite (Bijlsma I & II), an overall picture emerges. Bijlsma I is more briefly articulated bordering on the over-articulated, while Bijlsma II is articulated in longer units and is generally more smooth and elegant and at the same time very expressive due to the subtle use of dynamics and inflection of the notes. One can say that Bijlsma I speaks while Bijlsma II sings. My own preference between the two versions is Bijlsma II.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on December 13, 2021, 03:42:47 PM
I could have got the recordings mixed up of course, but I'd be very interested to know what this means: let each bow stroke have its own natural articulation.

The balance of a baroque bow naturally gives notes that taper off in the start and end, the famous Messa di voce - Bylsma uses this more in his 1st recording than the 2nd, which is what gives the more articulated/over-articulated feel to the first. But I do like that.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Que on December 14, 2021, 12:31:23 AM
Having listened to the entire fifth and sixth cello suite (Bijlsma I & II), an overall picture emerges. Bijlsma I is more briefly articulated bordering on the over-articulated, while Bijlsma II is articulated in longer units and is generally more smooth and elegant and at the same time very expressive due to the subtle use of dynamics and inflection of the notes. One can say that Bijlsma I speaks while Bijlsma II sings. My own preference between the two versions is Bijlsma II.

I fully agree!
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on December 14, 2021, 02:32:02 AM
[Bylsma I ]
Looks like this

(https://img.discogs.com/SjFogt16wa7rRvdx4hQ-RriOzvI=/fit-in/600x510/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-12050487-1527292191-7085.jpeg.jpg)

or this, remastered: (this is the cover to look for if you're using Spotify)

(https://img.discogs.com/cxvyLgCAV0QaKiVUqiuZPH6XfKk=/fit-in/600x530/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-4893389-1378825334-8020.jpeg.jpg)

Also found on Sony Essential Classics:

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/51EjBZW9iiL._AC_.jpg)

I much prefer I to II - II sounds rather mainstream to me but  I  was, when it first came out, a real jump away from the likes of Tortelier, Rostropovich, Fournier, Starker.

[edit: - apologies, I didn't spot that the 2nd image quoted was also Sony Essential Classics (repackaged). ]
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Dry Brett Kavanaugh on December 14, 2021, 07:06:56 AM
If you wanna know a damn tragedy, I bought Bylsma II (used, from Ebay) and was getting ready to rip it to my computer yesterday when I realized that the disc inside was not Bylsma or Bach at all but Michael Tilson Thomas conducting Ives' third symphony -___- (which I already have)

According to Jung’s Synchronicity, MTT or Ives may come back to your life later with much significance.  ;D
Or, giving the disc to someone may make a significant change.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: vers la flamme on December 14, 2021, 02:49:22 PM
According to Jung’s Synchronicity, MTT or Ives may come back to your life later with much significance.  ;D
Or, giving the disc to someone may make a significant change.

Thanks for that—for curiosity's sake I hope you're right  ;D (I need to read more Jung)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on December 14, 2021, 10:32:32 PM
David Watkin.

A very nice recording, beautiful sound quality. I'd say it's more on the rhetorical, dramatic side, a bit of a romantic vision in baroque clothes. (Maybe this applies to Bylsma II too) The 6th suite is really something!
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Madiel on December 15, 2021, 12:29:25 AM
A very nice recording, beautiful sound quality. I'd say it's more on the rhetorical, dramatic side, a bit of a romantic vision in baroque clothes. (Maybe this applies to Bylsma II too) The 6th suite is really something!

Well it depends quite what you mean by “romantic”. Sometimes it just means not like the classical period, but then there were quite a few things in the baroque that were not like the classical period.

Rhetorical is a good description I think, and that’s one of the things I like about it, especially in the preludes.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on December 16, 2021, 02:02:28 AM
Well it depends quite what you mean by “romantic”. Sometimes it just means not like the classical period, but then there were quite a few things in the baroque that were not like the classical period.

Rhetorical is a good description I think, and that’s one of the things I like about it, especially in the preludes.

Thinking about it, I think it is my way of saying that it reminds me more of modern performance than HIP practice - I think mainly in the sense that he plays quite freely not restricted by the dance rhythms.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on December 16, 2021, 03:51:33 AM
Listening to Beschi's 5th Sarabande, his playing is remarkably sober for this suite. The falling, highly chromatic lines feel very snakelike to me, much like what Leo van Doeselaar says about the manual lines in BWV 637 Durch Adams Fall.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slrlY1AdeyY
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on December 20, 2021, 12:51:21 AM
(https://img.discogs.com/G0tTncEdmigNVUm4624frdIdDDE=/fit-in/600x600/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-10643396-1501532484-3212.jpeg.jpg)

Another one that has grown on me (Wieland Kuijken on Arcana), something about how introverted it is, but also how he plays with our expectations a lot with agogics and wry departures from the beat.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: San Antone on February 23, 2022, 05:30:56 PM
The All of Bach YouTube channel has all of the cello suites done by different cellists.  IMO they are all excellent.

Bach - Cello Suite no. 2 in D minor BWV 1008
Steuart Pincombe | Netherlands Bach Society

https://www.youtube.com/v/_NvZRo-3wvU
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: pianoforever on April 02, 2022, 03:34:54 AM
Just finished listening to Alisa Weilerstein's fairly recent set of the 6 suites. I really liked it. Beautiful sound, and thoughtful phrasing. You can find it on Spotify as well. Worth sampling
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Olias on April 21, 2022, 05:03:12 PM
Just finished listening to Alisa Weilerstein's fairly recent set of the 6 suites. I really liked it. Beautiful sound, and thoughtful phrasing. You can find it on Spotify as well. Worth sampling

Yes! Alisa is my absolute favorite cellist and I really enjoy her Bach Suites.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: André on April 22, 2022, 10:33:37 AM
While shopping at JPC I noticed they are offering the cello suites in a transcription for french horn. If the audio samples do not deter the prospective buyer, then nothing will… ::)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Olias on April 22, 2022, 02:22:04 PM
While shopping at JPC I noticed they are offering the cello suites in a transcription for french horn. If the audio samples do not deter the prospective buyer, then nothing will… ::)

Yeah, back in my university days, I used the two Bourrees of the 3rd suite as my horn audition.  They accepted me into the program despite my playing.....
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: André on April 22, 2022, 03:12:39 PM
Yeah, back in my university days, I used the two Bourrees of the 3rd suite as my horn audition.  They accepted me into the program despite my playing.....

I can imagine the dances can be accommodated on a wind instrument, but the preludes, esp. that of the 1st suite, with its wave upon wave of sound are another thing. On that recording the horn player has some embarrassing (surely unavoidable) breath intakes that destroy the musical line  :-\
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: hvbias on April 22, 2022, 04:36:32 PM
I can't remember if I posted it to this thread or not, Colin Carr's GM Recordings have been my go to ever since premont brought them up on another board a few years ago. I've been so into this set that I haven't played many other recordings since getting it. I've been meaning to hear the Wigmore Hall set that was also mentioned but every time I hear this one I just forget about it. I am pretty sure this would make my top three.

edit: I should have re-read the thread before posting, I did mention it a few pages ago. Anyway since that post I did find Arnau Tomàs' recording and have enjoyed this as well, just not to the same extent as Carr on GM.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Olias on April 22, 2022, 05:45:57 PM
I can imagine the dances can be accommodated on a wind instrument, but the preludes, esp. that of the 1st suite, with its wave upon wave of sound are another thing. On that recording the horn player has some embarrassing (surely unavoidable) breath intakes that destroy the musical line  :-\

Yeah, some things just shouldn't be transcribed for other instruments.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 06, 2022, 12:59:52 PM
Hopkinson Smith in the Cello Suites - your thoughts and comments?

Now, I usually love this guy's performances - have enjoyed his recordings (own as an MP3 DL) in the Bach Violin Sonatas & Patitatas (first pic below) - today from PrestoMusic I received Smith performing the Cello Suites, a 2-CD set w/ the discs being quite different in their description (as are his notes in the booklet) - the first disc (BWV 1007-9) was recorded in 2012 on a 'German' theorbo; the second disc (BWV 1010-12) was played on several 13-course lutes w/ dates listed as 1980 & 1992 - WOW what a difference - however, despite their older recording dates, the lute works sound excellent.  Now I'm enjoying this set although the theorbo recording is rather 'sedate' - cannot find many reviews (some attached w/ a scolding from the Irish Times - important?).

So just wondering if others have heard these recordings and your thoughts - Dave :)

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/51SvBJeAVjL.jpg)  (https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71JD73uUvGS._SL1200_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on May 07, 2022, 12:14:56 AM
Hopkinson Smith in the Cello Suites - your thoughts and comments?

Now, I usually love this guy's performances - have enjoyed his recordings (own as an MP3 DL) in the Bach Violin Sonatas & Patitatas (first pic below) - today from PrestoMusic I received Smith performing the Cello Suites, a 2-CD set w/ the discs being quite different in their description (as are his notes in the booklet) - the first disc (BWV 1007-9) was recorded in 2012 on a 'German' theorbo; the second disc (BWV 1010-12) was played on several 13-course lutes w/ dates listed as 1980 & 1992 - WOW what a difference - however, despite their older recording dates, the lute works sound excellent.  Now I'm enjoying this set although the theorbo recording is rather 'sedate' - cannot find many reviews (some attached w/ a scolding from the Irish Times - important?).

So just wondering if others have heard these recordings and your thoughts - Dave :)

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/51SvBJeAVjL.jpg)  (https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71JD73uUvGS._SL1200_.jpg)

I think the 5th cello suite in that set is also an early recording -- check, I don't have the details to hand. I'd be interested to know whether you think Hopkinson Smith's approach changes with time, or with the suites.

You should also hear this I think

https://www.amazon.com/Partita-Bwv-1004-Sonata-10/dp/B000024F8G/ref=sr_1_1?crid=L3VUQBRV5Q6J&keywords=B000024F8G&qid=1651914698&sprefix=b000024f8g%2Caps%2C405&sr=8-1

Here's part of Smith's comment from the recording with the flute sonata and violin sonata

Quote
An arrangement arouses suspicion. It remains stubbornly defensive, arguing one point after another and proclaiming its very right to exist. Our age is always on the lookout for the "original" version: here we can rest assured of the legitimacy of what we are hearing.

With a few notable exceptions, the encounter of a violinist with Bach's solo Sonatas and Partitas has some of the elements of a stormy sea raging against a rocky coast broken occasionally by lagoons of eloquence. The technical demands are such that even on the violin, this music already has some of the aspects of an arrangement about it. We sense an "absolute" character which transcends the polyphonic precipices which the violinist is obliged to brave.

The lute moves inland. The music flows through other landscapes where a gesture otherwise gone awry instead aligns itself organically in the emanating equilibrium. The D minor Partita gains a new perspective from the lute's vantage point as it unfolds on a more intimate plane.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Madiel on May 07, 2022, 01:18:49 AM
Written like a man justifying his existence. I’m not sure why I would want music written for a bowed instrument to be played on a plucked one.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on May 07, 2022, 02:01:52 AM
Hopkinson Smith in the Cello Suites - your thoughts and comments?
(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/51SvBJeAVjL.jpg)  (https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71JD73uUvGS._SL1200_.jpg)

I purchased them (and his violin solo arrangements) several years ago, but found them unlistenable - the expressive (and often dramatic) string writing being reduced to polite pling-pluck - and I culled them soon. Arrangements like these (as well as many others) only seem to serve the performers purpose. For the listener nothing is gained compared to the composers original works.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on May 07, 2022, 02:36:23 AM
I purchased them (and his violin solo arrangements) several years ago, but found them unlistenable - the expressive (and often dramatic) string writing being reduced to polite pling-pluck - and I culled them soon. Arrangements like these (as well as many others) only seem to serve the performers purpose. For the listener nothing is gained compared to the composers original works.

This is true in the first three cello suites, less so IMO in the last three. He plays them like ballads, which I rather like. The violin sonatas and partitas are different again, and the early recording more visceral, less paired down and ascetic than the later from memory.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 07, 2022, 06:10:57 AM
Written like a man justifying his existence. I’m not sure why I would want music written for a bowed instrument to be played on a plucked one.

Well, we can certainly agree to be different -  8)  I like and have many transcriptions, some certainly work better than others but 'plucked vs. bowed' seems to be one of the more difficult transitions - would Bach approve (at least in the attempt)?  Plus, I have a half dozen versions on the cello so was looking for an alternate.  Dave :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 07, 2022, 06:24:03 AM
I think the 5th cello suite in that set is also an early recording -- check, I don't have the details to hand. I'd be interested to know whether you think Hopkinson Smith's approach changes with time, or with the suites.

You should also hear this I think

https://www.amazon.com/Partita-Bwv-1004-Sonata-10/dp/B000024F8G/ref=sr_1_1?crid=L3VUQBRV5Q6J&keywords=B000024F8G&qid=1651914698&sprefix=b000024f8g%2Caps%2C405&sr=8-1

Here's part of Smith's comment from the recording with the flute sonata and violin sonata

Yes, the 5th Cello Suite is on the 2nd disc (recording dates given in my post), also listed as BWV 995 & 1011 - Smith writes the booklet notes and agree attempts to justify the use of a 'German' theorbo (his name to an instrument from Weiss' time) which he uses on the 2012 first disc for Suites 1-3 - will do a re-listen but something I likely will not want to sample again (despite many of the Amazonians USA stating they put both discs on ALL day -  :o).  Just trying to get some comments because I'm not having a great likeness to Smith's recordings of these works; AND now I must relisten to my MP3 DLs of the Violin Sonatas and Partitas which I've not done in a while.  Thanks for your thoughts and the link.  Dave :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 07, 2022, 06:28:13 AM
I purchased them (and his violin solo arrangements) several years ago, but found them unlistenable - the expressive (and often dramatic) string writing being reduced to polite pling-pluck - and I culled them soon. Arrangements like these (as well as many others) only seem to serve the performers purpose. For the listener nothing is gained compared to the composers original works.

Hi : premont : - like your 'polite pling-pluck' description - kind of how I felt about the first disc w/ theorbo in addition to be rather sedate and not recorded w/ enough up-front presence; the second disc I was more receptive - now, the sonatas/partitas I must listen again, enjoyed in the past but may not now, don't know yet.  Thanks for your comments.  Dave :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Judith on May 07, 2022, 11:02:27 PM
Steven Isserlis has recently written a wonderful book about the Bach Cello Suites explaining the story behind them and each piece.

His recording is beautiful also.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on May 08, 2022, 02:04:03 AM
I think there's a world of difference between the Cello Suites and the Violin S&P, when it comes to amenabilty for transcription.  Without the cello tone, alternately gruff and singing, there just isn't enough in the music with its implied, rather than stated, harmonies.  This is obvious when you listen to Rubsam for example, plodding his way on his lute-harpsichord.   The violin works and obviously especially the Chaconne, have more overt polyphony built in and have been transcribed with more success.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on May 08, 2022, 02:24:44 AM
I think there's a world of difference between the Cello Suites and the Violin S&P, when it comes to amenabilty for transcription.  Without the cello tone, alternately gruff and singing, there just isn't enough in the music with its implied, rather than stated, harmonies.  This is obvious when you listen to Rubsam for example, plodding his way on his lute-harpsichord.   The violin works and obviously especially the Chaconne, have more overt polyphony built in and have been transcribed with more success.

You and your gruff and singing. You’re a cellist, you’re biased!

What  Hopkinson Smith makes of the the first three cello suites is purified, fluid, and beautifully understated. I find what he does the opposite of reductive - he somehow finds a feeling of childlike innocence in the music. I wish more cellists would play them like that. The instrument he uses for these suites is special, a theorbo which is very discrete and subtle lower notes.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Madiel on May 08, 2022, 03:48:12 AM
“Beautifully understated” = can’t  produce the drama and feeling of the works previously referred to by a different poster.

Seriously, we are talking about a work that is generally considered to have single-handedly shown the possibilities of the cello. The only reason to transcribe it is because the lute (and some other instruments) don’t have anything as famous or as jaw-dropping in their repertoire.

A transcription might make sense when you don’t have a cellist available, but in the age of recorded music, with the best cellists in the world at your fingertips, it just doesn’t stand up. And this is my beef with MOST modern transcriptions. They cease to have much function beyond fulfilling the desires of performers who aren’t satisfied with the repertoire available to them, and who either don’t want to commission new music or don’t think it would sell as jumping onto a popular bandwagon.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on May 08, 2022, 05:00:55 AM
Quote
Bach was a musical ecologist, the masterful recycler of his own compositions, arranging more than a few from one instrument or combination of instruments to another. Many of his works seem conceived on a somewhat abstract plane, above and beyond any specific instrument, and it was completely natural for the pragmatic eighteenth-century mind and ear to adapt them to the instrument of its choice.

Among the so-called 'official' lute works of Bach, there exist two such adaptations: from the solo violin repertoire, the Third Partita, BWV 1006, becomes BWV 1006a for the lute, and the Fifth Cello Suite is transformed into the Lute Suite in G minor, BWV 995. Of course, lutenists had been adapting music for their instrument for centuries. More than half of the continental lute music of the Renaissance is made up of adaptations of vocal works. In the French baroque, Robert de Visee couldn't stop making transcriptions for his theorbo of orchestral and keyboard works by his contemporaries. The great eighteenth-century German lutenist, Sylvius Weiss, a friend of Bach's, was said to have played violin concertos directly on the lute.

 These examples of adaptations are not given as a kind of 'justification' for the present project as if the idea needed to be defended historically. It is more to guide the modern musical thinker (who sometimes knows more about 'authenticity' than did the musicians of former times) to the state of experimentation and discovery that is completely natural for the musician: one sits alone with one's instrument without a score, playing melodies and harmonies that one has heard here or there and making them one's own. There is an alchemy to this creative moment which has been part of the musician's world from the beginning of time.


I am certainly not the first person to have rethought Bach's cello music on a member of the lute family. There have been some beautiful renditions of these works on the Baroque lute as well as on the French/Italian theorbo or chitarrone (the terms can be used interchangeably). For various reasons, neither of these instruments match the sound and aesthetic ideal that I find most appropriate for the first three of the six suites. On the Baroque lute, if one is to use the full range of the instrument, the suites must be transposed to a register where they lose the robust chest-voiced character which is an inherent part of the melodiousness of the works. On the lower pitched theorbo/ chitarrone, we do find this character, but since the instrument is almost universally single-strung, we lose some of the lute's nobility and eloquence that is derived from its double strings and notably, in the lower register, from the octave strings that are coupled with the basses and give them a ringing openness and transparency. Suites 4 and 6 lend themselves more convincingly to the Baroque lute, but my solution for the first three suites is a type of theorbo which was invented and developed by Sylvius Weiss in the 1720s. Interestingly enough, the Fifth Suite, which works well transposed one step higher on the Baroque lute, works equally well in its original key on the instrument Weiss created, which has the following tuning:

<snip.>

The 13 or sometimes 14 courses of strings have a close similarity with the standard Baroque lute tuning in that the top two courses are single-strung followed by 11 (or 12) double-strung courses and that the German theorbo retains the D minor tuning but without the f' string that is the top string of the Baroque lute. Weiss writes that he developed the instrument with greater body size and longer string length to produce a fuller sound for performance in chamber music and orchestras. There were Italians at the court of Dresden where Weiss was active who played the chitarrone, but Weiss disapproved of the rough and dry sound produced by these players who plucked the strings with their fingernails.

Weiss used the term 'chitarrone' referring to the foreign instrument and `Theorbe' in referring to the instrument that he had developed. In our present times, some variant of the word `theorbo' is almost universally used for a variety of deep-pitched lutes with extended bass strings which were common from the end of the sixteenth right through the eighteenth century. For lack of a better term, I have chosen to call Weiss's invention the 'German theorbo' in order to differentiate it historically, geographically and in its tuning from its better-known cousins.


 
Bach's writing in these suites is as varied and inventive as ever. Melodious, boisterous, amazingly delicate, expansively lyrical, then cleverly busy with detail in complicated figuration... I see my intention in arranging for a plucked instrument as a challenge to approach 'what Bach himself might have done' in adapting a piece from one medium to another. No one can ever know for sure, of course, but familiarity with his chamber music and keyboard works gives clues. Where the cello writing is melodious with occasional chords (places in the Allemandes and Sarabandes), the plucked instrument can provide a fuller accompaniment; where an unaccompanied melodic figure is repeated (Courante of the First Suite) a bass can be added that clarifies the harmonic sequences; where the capricious turns of phrase and wry humour (Gigue of the Second Suite) suggest polyphonic continuity, the lute-instrument can realize this; where a single melody seems to suggest the need for an independent bass line (Bourree II of the Third Suite), a bass can be created, and where one voice in the cello score suggests two or three (in the Allemandes), these voices can be further developed on the German theorbo, etc.


The three suites have been transposed a fourth higher and because of this, the top string of the theorbo fulfils the function of the top string of the cello, which is a fourth lower. This is an important detail in that Bach occasionally (for instance in the Prelude of the Second Suite) uses the open string as a pedal-point.
The tempos may occasionally be somewhat of a surprise to listeners used to the solo cello versions. With the resonance and fuller harmonies of the German theorbo, one tends to roll more with some of the more robust dance rhythms of these suites, with no need to rush through. The silence beyond the music is the constant friend and companion of any player of early plucked instruments.

Hopkinson Smith October 2012

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Madiel on May 08, 2022, 05:44:23 AM
Did you miss the part where I referred to recorded music, or just choose to ignore it?

Bach did not live in a time where you could make the sound of a cello emerge from your speakers. Any argument based on the transcription habits of Baroque composers is deliberately ignoring that the options for hearing music were completely different, and when used to justify a recording rather than a live performance are just hopelessly anachronistic.

Nor have I ever considered what composers do themselves equivalent to what others do later. If anyone is in a position to properly understand and translate the music, it’s the composer. Everyone else is just guessing. I will never forget Beethoven’s views on this and how he was partly driven to make arrangements by his dissatisfaction with arrangements done by others.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on May 09, 2022, 12:43:57 AM
Quote
Where the cello writing is melodious with occasional chords (places in the Allemandes and Sarabandes), the plucked instrument can provide a fuller accompaniment; where an unaccompanied melodic figure is repeated (Courante of the First Suite) a bass can be added that clarifies the harmonic sequences; where the capricious turns of phrase and wry humour (Gigue of the Second Suite) suggest polyphonic continuity, the lute-instrument can realize this; where a single melody seems to suggest the need for an independent bass line (Bourree II of the Third Suite), a bass can be created, and where one voice in the cello score suggests two or three (in the Allemandes), these voices can be further developed on the German theorbo, etc.

That seems to me to be a clear process of dumbing-down.   :-X  The music of the Cello Suites works so well because these harmonic cues are implied, not overtly stated.
Disclaimer - I haven't heard the H S recordings.  Yet.  (I have had some recordings by Nigel North for a very long time - but they don't sound very interesting to me.)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on May 09, 2022, 01:45:28 AM
That seems to me to be a clear process of dumbing-down.   :-X  The music of the Cello Suites works so well because these harmonic cues are implied, not overtly stated.
Disclaimer - I haven't heard the H S recordings.  Yet.  (I have had some recordings by Nigel North for a very long time - but they don't sound very interesting to me.)

I think that in a thing like these Hopkinson Smith performances of the first three suites, there are things lost and things gained. Every new performance is a reworking, a new glimpse from a new point of view. Every interpretation gives the works a renewed understanding and perspective. There are no absolute truths in music, rather every performance has its own immediate truth. As I said, what I value in the Hopkinson Smith is the restraint and the feeling of innocence. I find it alluring. For that reason, I’m very glad these recordings exist.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Madiel on May 09, 2022, 01:49:47 AM
There are no absolute truths in music, rather every performance has its own immediate truth.

Here's an absolute truth: Bach didn't write for the saxophone.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on May 09, 2022, 01:53:33 AM
Here's an absolute truth: Bach didn't write for the saxophone.

Yes but that’s at best a truth about Bach, not a truth about music.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on May 09, 2022, 02:40:44 AM
Yes but that’s at best a truth about Bach, not a truth about music.

It's courageous to separate Bach from his music.  :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Spotted Horses on May 09, 2022, 03:16:04 AM
Here's an absolute truth: Bach didn't write for the saxophone.

I'd better keep it to myself that I listened to this

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/51+A35j9K9L._SY580_.jpg)

:)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: San Antone on May 09, 2022, 04:58:22 AM
Here's an absolute truth: Bach didn't write for the saxophone.

Once these works entered the public domain, they are available to musicians to play them as they see fit.  What Bach thought, or intended (speculative), or which instruments were available to him, constitutes the floor, not the ceiling, of interpretation and performance.  However, when talented musicians transcribe the works for their instrument it opens up the music to a universe of other timbres and performance opportunities.

I completely understand and support someone's preference for cello performances; but it is hardly something worth debating since there is a long tradition of playing these works on other instruments.  The genius of Bach's composing is that the music can be successfully imagined for almost any instrument and a vociferous objection would appear to be misspent energy.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Spotted Horses on May 09, 2022, 06:00:09 AM
Once these works entered the public domain, they are available to musicians to play them as they see fit.  What Bach thought, or intended (speculative), or which instruments were available to him, constitutes the floor, not the ceiling, of interpretation and performance.  However, when talented musicians transcribe the works for their instrument it opens up the music to a universe of other timbres and performance opportunities.

I completely understand and support someone's preference for cello performances; but it is hardly something worth debating since there is a long tradition of playing these works on other instruments.  The genius of Bach's composing is that the music can be successfully imagined for almost any instrument and a vociferous objection would appear to be misspent energy.

Agree entirely. My personal rule is that will not listen to a transcription of a work that I have not already encountered in the original version. Any transcription (even playing the Goldberg variations on a piano) is at some level an original composition, and I want to be aware of where liberties are taken. One guilty pleasure is transcriptions of Bach Organ preludes and fugues on piano (Busoni and others). Those normally have a lot of extra notes added to evoke the registrations and rich overtones of a church organ.

The cello suites are a special case, in my view, since the wonderful thing about them is how they transcend the limitations of the instrument, through implied harmony and counterpoint. Filling in the implied bits just lets the air out of them. I listened to some samples from the Rubsam transcription for Lute Harpsichord, and it is the only thing by him that did absolutely nothing for me.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on May 09, 2022, 07:09:03 AM
Precisely.  It is the notes that are missing that make the music so interesting (at a subconscious level - ie stimulating to the brain) - use a polyphonic instrument to fill in those notes kinda misses the point, turns it into unstimulating or elevator music.   :blank:
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: amw on May 09, 2022, 09:55:47 AM
Precisely.  It is the notes that are missing that make the music so interesting (at a subconscious level - ie stimulating to the brain) - use a polyphonic instrument to fill in those notes kinda misses the point, turns it into unstimulating or elevator music.   :blank:
That's kind of my view as well with the Cello Suites. That said, I do have two transcriptions that I think work very well, and listen to often: Pandolfo on viola da gamba and Podger on violin. Both, obviously, non-polyphonic instruments as well. And Bach himself did arrange the C minor suite for lute, as BWV 995 I believe, so lutenists have some ground for arranging the remaining five, the problem is simply that they can't do so as well as Bach did.

(The violin sonatas & partitas are a different story, since they are a genuine compendium, an attempt to encapsulate all the music of Bach's time using the most popular instrument of his day. As a result, one can add material to them without it feeling like meaning is lost. Perhaps he felt he couldn't just explore the instrument in itself as he did with the cello suites.)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Madiel on May 09, 2022, 12:36:54 PM
Once these works entered the public domain, they are available to musicians to play them as they see fit.  What Bach thought, or intended (speculative), or which instruments were available to him, constitutes the floor, not the ceiling, of interpretation and performance.  However, when talented musicians transcribe the works for their instrument it opens up the music to a universe of other timbres and performance opportunities.

I completely understand and support someone's preference for cello performances; but it is hardly something worth debating since there is a long tradition of playing these works on other instruments.  The genius of Bach's composing is that the music can be successfully imagined for almost any instrument and a vociferous objection would appear to be misspent energy.

Given that I write laws for a living, I find it absolutely fascinating that your first port of call is to invoke that it’s legal, before any mention of whether it has artistic merit or whether it respects what are sometimes known as the moral rights of the composer.

It never occurred to me to bring LAWS into it, and I’ve never once suggested anyone was doing anything illegal. All of my suggestions are that someone is doing something that is either unnecessary or disrespectful. The main feeling that strikes me on most occasions is that it’s about the performer rather than the music. The change of instrument isn’t done to benefit the music, despite all of the justifications after the fact. It’s done to give the performer something to play, and more significantly something to sell.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on May 09, 2022, 01:11:59 PM
The main feeling that strikes me on most occasions is that it’s about the performer rather than the music. The change of instrument isn’t done to benefit the music, despite all of the justifications after the fact. It’s done to give the performer something to play, and more significantly something to sell.

This is precisely my opinion too as I wrote above with other words. I also agree with AMW that executions with other bowed string instruments (viola da gamba, violin, viola and maybe double bass) are acceptable because they don't change the essential structure of the music that much, but in the end I prefer the violoncello. In principle transcriptions for wind instruments which essentially are non-polyphonic too should be acceptable, but unfortunately they rarely are worth the listening effort and the word execution seems to me to take on a different meaning here. I also agree that modern arrangements for keyboard and lute suffer from not being up to the level of the composer, and the added notes are often so self-evident as to be superfluous. One of the worst examples are arrangements of the Sarabande from the fifth suite, where the monodic line is virtually disturbed by added harmonic notes. If one looks at the composers transcription for lute it's as well as monodic all the way.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: San Antone on May 09, 2022, 04:03:48 PM
Given that I write laws for a living, I find it absolutely fascinating that your first port of call is to invoke that it’s legal, before any mention of whether it has artistic merit or whether it respects what are sometimes known as the moral rights of the composer.

It never occurred to me to bring LAWS into it, and I’ve never once suggested anyone was doing anything illegal. All of my suggestions are that someone is doing something that is either unnecessary or disrespectful. The main feeling that strikes me on most occasions is that it’s about the performer rather than the music and to offer his vision of it and his artistry to the audience. The change of instrument isn’t done to benefit the music, despite all of the justifications after the fact. It’s done to give the performer something to play, and more significantly something to sell.

I did not refer to "laws" or legality in my post that you quoted.  My post was about the independent life a work has once it leaves the composer's desk and is available to performers. 

But I disagree with this statement: "The change of instrument isn’t done to benefit the music."  Every time an artist performs a piece of music his goal is to benefit the music, and offer his vision and artistry to the audience.  Many transcriptions are very successful interpretations of the music and offer the music with different colors and timbres, all which can benefit the music.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Madiel on May 09, 2022, 06:18:38 PM
I did not refer to "laws" or legality in my post that you quoted.  My post was about the independent life a work has once it leaves the composer's desk and is available to performers.

The very first thing you mentioned was work being in the public domain. Copyright is a legal issue. If you just meant that work was public, that’s different, but the phrase “the public domain” has a particular meaning and it isn’t a synonym for “published and accessible”.

If you just mean that performers can start ignoring the composer’s instructions straight away, while the composer’s still alive, that’s a different conversation. One where I might invoke Ravel’s retort that performers are slaves when someone complained about how exacting he was about people following what he’d actually written. Living composers can be bitchy like that.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on May 09, 2022, 11:20:29 PM
... That said, I do have two transcriptions that I think work very well, and listen to often: Pandolfo on viola da gamba and Podger on violin. Both, obviously, non-polyphonic instruments as well. ...

The Pandolfo recording is right up there as one of my very favourite versions of the Cello Suites.  Quite magical.  I also enjoy Edgar Meyer on double bass (3 suites only) but not some other double bass efforts I've sampled - perhaps it's just Meyer's tone is very special.  Podger I'm afraid seemed a bit pointless to me, and not a great advertisement for her artistry.  I just listened to part of 'her' Art of Fugue the other day ('her' ie Brecon Baroque) and found it hugely enjoyable.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: San Antone on May 10, 2022, 04:14:29 AM
The very first thing you mentioned was work being in the public domain. Copyright is a legal issue. If you just meant that work was public, that’s different, but the phrase “the public domain” has a particular meaning and it isn’t a synonym for “published and accessible”.

If you just mean that performers can start ignoring the composer’s instructions straight away, while the composer’s still alive, that’s a different conversation. One where I might invoke Ravel’s retort that performers are slaves when someone complained about how exacting he was about people following what he’d actually written. Living composers can be bitchy like that.

As a lawyer familiar with copyright laws you should know that there is no protection against performing a work on any instrument, not to mention that during Bach's lifetime there was no such concept as intellectual property and his music never benefitted from copyright protection. So there is no rational basis for your response to my post. 

You also appear to be engaging in the time worn debate on who is more important, the composer or the interpreter.  A question of no interest to me: they are both necessary to the act of realizing a work's performance.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Spotted Horses on May 10, 2022, 04:21:06 AM
The very first thing you mentioned was work being in the public domain. Copyright is a legal issue. If you just meant that work was public, that’s different, but the phrase “the public domain” has a particular meaning and it isn’t a synonym for “published and accessible”.

If you just mean that performers can start ignoring the composer’s instructions straight away, while the composer’s still alive, that’s a different conversation. One where I might invoke Ravel’s retort that performers are slaves when someone complained about how exacting he was about people following what he’d actually written. Living composers can be bitchy like that.

San Antone mention of public domain was not legalistic, in my view, but practical. If a work is not in public domain you can't freely perform it without potential unpleasant consequences.

And, of course, interpreters can ignore the composers instructions straight away. And of course interpreters ignore composers instructions at their own peril, since the composers presumably had unique insight into their own works, and ignoring composer instructions that can result in a performance that doesn't please the audience. But I certainly experience different skillful performers producing widely differing performances that are equally compelling, insightful and enjoyable.

Maybe the subject can return to the cello suites?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Spotted Horses on May 10, 2022, 04:23:35 AM
Precisely.  It is the notes that are missing that make the music so interesting (at a subconscious level - ie stimulating to the brain) - use a polyphonic instrument to fill in those notes kinda misses the point, turns it into unstimulating or elevator music.   :blank:

It doesn't really apply to the cello suites, but just once I'd like to hear the unaccompanied violin partitas and sonatas played on a piano, without any filling in of missing notes. Just to hear what is written, without excruciating triple stops, etc, would be illuminating. :)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: aukhawk on May 10, 2022, 08:43:28 AM
The 1st note of the 1st Sonata ...

(http://www.aukadia.net/pix/onenote.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Madiel on May 10, 2022, 12:35:31 PM
As a lawyer familiar with copyright laws you should know that there is no protection against performing a work on any instrument, not to mention that during Bach's lifetime there was no such concept as intellectual property and his music never benefitted from copyright protection. So there is no rational basis for your response to my post. 

You also appear to be engaging in the time worn debate on who is more important, the composer or the interpreter.  A question of no interest to me: they are both necessary to the act of realizing a work's performance.

Sigh. I really can’t be bothered anymore beyond pointing out that I agree both are necessary to realizing a work. And that’s the whole point. We have a performer having to write all this stuff about why they are NOT doing their part of the task in the way they were asked, and why we should all be okay with that in the name of artistic freedom.

If performers like this wrote that their performance was “inspired by” a score it wouldn’t be an issue. But they don’t. They claim to be performing it. They want people to buy their recording on that basis. And on that basis, the performance has to be marked down for the same reason that playing the wrong notes or the wrong dynamics or the wrong phrasing or singing the wrong words ought to be marked down when those things are in the score. They are not interpretative choices. They are errors.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: San Antone on May 10, 2022, 02:00:52 PM
Sigh. I really can’t be bothered anymore beyond pointing out that I agree both are necessary to realizing a work. And that’s the whole point. We have a performer having to write all this stuff about why they are NOT doing their part of the task in the way they were asked, and why we should all be okay with that in the name of artistic freedom.

If performers like this wrote that their performance was “inspired by” a score it wouldn’t be an issue. But they don’t. They claim to be performing it. They want people to buy their recording on that basis. And on that basis, the performance has to be marked down for the same reason that playing the wrong notes or the wrong dynamics or the wrong phrasing or singing the wrong words ought to be marked down when those things are in the score. They are not interpretative choices. They are errors.

We have a completely different view of these transcriptions.  Yours seems to be philosophical while mine is practical: a good performance is not defined by the instrument or restricted to the original conception of the composer, but by the musicality of the performer. 

While I listen to these suites performed on the cello the vast majority of the time, I have heard some transcriptions that I prefer to some performed on a modern cello (an instrument also not known to Bach). 
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Madiel 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.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Madiel 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.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: San Antone 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."
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Ras 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.

Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) 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
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Madiel 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.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) 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?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Madiel 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.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: Mandryka on July 30, 2022, 10:52:02 AM
Has anyone heard Annlies Schmidt? I ask because apparently she follows the Anna Magdalena phrasing.


https://www.jsbachcellosuites.com/recordings.html
https://forgottenrecords.com/en/Schmidt-De-Neveu--Bach--75.html
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2015/Sep/Bach_cello_FR118.htm
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) 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.
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: San Antone on August 01, 2022, 08:11:58 AM
Marianne Dumas (https://www.jsbachcellosuites.com/mariannedumas.html#FdWAJ3My)

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).

https://www.youtube.com/v/2NCwVVr4CkA
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) on August 01, 2022, 10:12:17 AM
Marianne Dumas (https://www.jsbachcellosuites.com/mariannedumas.html#FdWAJ3My)

Is she hot on the trail of something important, or has she been lead astray?
Title: Re: Bach Cello Suites
Post by: (: premont :) 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.