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Thread: Your Bach Cello Suites recordings

  1. #136
    Junior Member ramiot's Avatar
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    I have enjoyed Starker for many years (Mercury Living Presence) and Pablo Casals (EMI Classics) but lately I listen mostly to Joachim Eijlander (Navis Classics SACD DSF 256), I find the quality of the sound makes a real difference. I also enjoy Maurice Gendron's version (A little bit faster rythm)and Pieter Wispelwey, both in Flac 16-44, but sound wise, the Eijlander is hard to beat...
    Last edited by ramiot; Apr-15-2018 at 23:47.

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  3. #137
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    Those are some of my favorites too. In a fire, I'd grab Starker Mercury (haven't heard his later RCA set), Gendron, Fournier, Blysma I (don't know Bylsma 2), Wispelway 1 & 2 (haven't heard his 3rd recording), and not mentioned, Frans Helmerson, & on some days my top favorite, Ophélie Gaillard 2 (haven't heard Gaillard's first recording):





    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmOtz5bB-AA

    Among versions I'd like to hear at some point, Tanya Tomkins, Ophelie Gaillard 1, David Watkin, and Jean-Guihen Queyras.
    Last edited by Josquin13; Apr-16-2018 at 01:40.

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  5. #138
    Junior Member ramiot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ramiot View Post
    I have enjoyed Starker for many years (Mercury Living Presence) and Pablo Casals (EMI Classics) but lately I listen mostly to Joachim Eijlander (Navis Classics SACD DSF 256), I find the quality of the sound makes a real difference. I also enjoy Maurice Gendron's version (A little bit faster rythm)and Pieter Wispelwey, both in Flac 16-44, but sound wise, the Eijlander is hard to beat...
    This post has brought me me to listen to all my recordings of the Suites and I must admit the 1990 recording by Wispelwey is very good. The 2012 recording of Wispelwey, I did not like as much. So I'm a little hesitant to give my best recording as of now because the Janos Starker recording under Mercury Living Presence (2004) has me wondering... For the time being ( I've just ordered the Fournier's version and Ophélie Gaillard) I'll go with Janos Starker but I may change again...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Josquin13 View Post

    This is his second recording, much better vibrato than on BIS.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Apr-19-2018 at 19:49.

  7. #140
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    Mandryka writes, "This is his second recording, much better vibrato than on BIS."

    Actually, Helmerson had never recorded a complete set of the 6 Bach Cello Suites before, until the latest set. Although, in the mid-1970s, he did record the 3rd & 5th Suites, which were released on two separate BIS LPs (coupled with music by other composers). Then, later, with the emergence of the CD, BIS released these two recordings on a single CD in 1992: https://www.amazon.com/Bach-J-S-Cell...helmerson+Bach. My point being that Helmerson made these Bach recordings very early in his career, long before the influence of the period movement had become more widespread, or mainstream. Indeed, the mid-1970s isn't that far removed from the time when Bruggen, Schroeder, Leonhardt & the Kuijkens were still traveling around the Netherlands in a VW van, giving concerts.

    Yet I don't recall Helmerson using more vibrato on his early Bach recordings (& remember liking the playing), but if you've compared them, it doesn't surprise me, as I wouldn't expect them to sound HIP. Or, are you saying that you think he uses more vibrato on the more recent Bach recordings, & prefer that? (which would surprise me).

    I also remember that when Helmerson's first BIS recordings came out on LP (which included a terrific Dvorak Cello Concerto with Jaarvi & the Gothenburg S.O.), he was being talked about as a major new talent. I think of him as a musician's musician. & I also admire that he has championed the music of such contemporary composers as Aulis Sallinen & Arvo Pärt.

    https://www.amazon.com/Sallinen-Sinf...rans+helmerson
    https://www.amazon.com/P%C3%A4rt-Sym...rans+helmerson

    ramiot--I re-listened to parts of Ophélie Gaillard's 2nd recording again the other night, and don't think you'll be disappointed with your new purchase. She's remarkable in this music. What a talent.
    Last edited by Josquin13; Apr-19-2018 at 22:46.

  8. #141
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    Yes I listened to the prelude of the second suite from Helmeson, the new recording and on BIS. I found the BIS unpleasant because of the vibrato. Possibly a question of the quality of the vibrato rather than quantity, as it were.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Apr-20-2018 at 09:01.

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  10. #142
    Junior Member ramiot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josquin13 View Post
    Mandryka writes, "This is his second recording, much better vibrato than on BIS."

    ramiot--I re-listened to parts of Ophélie Gaillard's 2nd recording again the other night, and don't think you'll be disappointed with your new purchase. She's remarkable in this music. What a talent.
    Thank you, I received it and listen to it last night, I must admit that it is a great recording from a great artist. It will now rank as my no 1 along with Wispelwey and Janos Starker. She offers a 'softer' delivery/sound then Starker, but depending on my mood, I could rank the 3 of them as my No 1 recording of the Suites. Thanks for the recommandation to Joskin 13...

    Robert
    Last edited by ramiot; Apr-20-2018 at 14:58.
    Robert Amiot
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    "With or without religion, good people will do good, and evil people will do evil. But for good people to do evil, that takes religion."

    Le physicien et prix Nobel : Steven Weinberg.

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  12. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post
    Yes I listened to the prelude of the second suite from Helmeson, the new recording and on BIS. I found the BIS unpleasant because of the vibrato. Possibly a question of the quality of the vibrato rather than quantity, as it were.
    Okay, I've listened to both Helmerson recordings of the Prelude, and I agree. He only uses a tad less vibrato on the later recording of the Prelude to the Cello Suite No. 2, it's very slight, but the playing is so much more fluid & smoother, and the vibrato better integrated. So yes, I would agree that it's the "quality" of his vibrato that has changed, & not so much the "quantity" of it. I suppose Helmerson may be a tad more HIP influenced on the later recording, but not in any pronounced way.

    (By the way, obviously I made an oversight on my earlier post. As the 2nd Cello Suite is also included on Helmerson's earlier BIS recording, along with the 3rd & 5th Suites. Unfortunately, I can't correct it now.)

    I also listened to how several of the older cellists played the Prelude, and was surprised, as they sure do use a ton of vibrato. I hadn't listened to these recordings in a good while, and I can't say that I overly cared for what they do with the Prelude. For example, I normally like Maurice Gendron as a cellist (or at least I thought I did), but his use of vibrato in the Prelude seems excessive to me now. Here's a clip:



    For others to compare, here's Helmerson's later recording of the Prelude:



    and for a stronger contrast, here are two HIP performances of the Prelude, from Jean-Guihen Queyras & Ophélie Gaillard (her first recording?):




    Times have certainly changed.

    The more I hear of Queyras in the Bach Cello Suites, the more I like his playing. I'm going to purchase that set I think.

    ramiot writes, "Thank you, I received it and listen to it last night, I must admit that it is a great recording from a great artist... Thanks for the recommandation to Joskin 13"

    I'm pleased to hear that. You're most welcome.
    Last edited by Josquin13; Apr-20-2018 at 18:36.

  13. #144
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josquin13 View Post


    The more I hear of Queyras in the Bach Cello Suites, the more I like his playing. I'm going to purchase that set I think..
    Whilst I only own about 10 sets on disc and (as I said previously in the thread) of those Starker (RCA), Ma (83) and Schiff are my 3 go-to sets, there's a pile of excellent recordings that are close to those and 3 which I now feel are probably on par with those in my estimation. Amongst my favourites are Gendron, Bailley, Coppey, Gentile, Nyffenegger, Lipkind, Rostrpovich, Seleznev, Shaffran, Watkin, Wispelwey 3, Isserlis and Gailliard and all for a variety of reasons. I probably have way over 50 recordings of the suites digitally but these are ones I really rate above the rest (for now). Others may join he list soon (and some may disappear - Lol).

    However Queyras, Watkin and, particularly, Haimovitz now join my very top rank recordings. Just superb.

    Oh, and a special mention to Rysanov's wonderful set transcribed for the viola. I love it.
    Last edited by Merl; May-02-2018 at 02:26.

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  15. #145
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    I have the recordings by Tortelier and Rostropovich as well as the first two suites with Jacqueline Du Pre. My main problem with Rostropovich is that he recorded the suites too late in his career. While there are many good things about his recording, I always felt that it was a little bit on the heavy and aggressive side.

    I love Tortelier's performance of the suites. The dance movements dance in a way that they don't with Rostropovich and you feel that the cellist takes great joy in playing these works.

    The Du Pre recording of the first two suites is from early in her career when she was still a student. It is a very mixed bag and her direct approach to music doesn't work well for Bach. As a matter of fact, the interpretation feels rather romantic to me.

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    My only recording of Bach's Cello Suites are by Pablo Casals,but I will be adding Yo-Yo Ma very soon.

  17. #147
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agoukass View Post
    I have the recordings by Tortelier and Rostropovich as well as the first two suites with Jacqueline Du Pre. My main problem with Rostropovich is that he recorded the suites too late in his career. While there are many good things about his recording, I always felt that it was a little bit on the heavy and aggressive side.
    You might be interested to know that Rostropovich recorded the suites much earlier, when he was only 28:

    bach_mr.jpg

    It's a bit quicker and lighter, but I don't think that age was the problem - I just don't think that Rostrpovich had much of an affinity for Bach. I'm not a big fan of either set.

  18. #148
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRI View Post
    My only recording of Bach's Cello Suites are by Pablo Casals,but I will be adding Yo-Yo Ma very soon.
    You might want to sample Ma via Spotify or other streaming service, if you can. He plays immaculately and is beautifully recorded, but after listening to Casals (not to mention the dozens of recordings made over the past five decades), Ma is dull as dishwater.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wkasimer View Post
    You might be interested to know that Rostropovich recorded the suites much earlier, when he was only 28:

    It's a bit quicker and lighter, but I don't think that age was the problem - I just don't think that Rostropovich had much of an affinity for Bach. I'm not a big fan of either set.

    Yes, this is certainly the heart of the matter.

  20. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by agoukass View Post
    I love Tortelier's performance of the suites. The dance movements dance in a way that they don't with Rostropovich and you feel that the cellist takes great joy in playing these works.

    Tortellier's first or second recording? What you describe sounds like the first.

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