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Thread: The many varieties of Bach's Cello Suites

  1. #16
    Senior Member misterjones's Avatar
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    Variety is the key, I think. I used to have many versions, but some sort of sounded the same. I ended up keeping only the ones that seemed interesting and different. For example, Wispelwey's aggressive attack and Gendron's casual (lyrical? melodic?) style fit different moods. Regarding Casals, check out the Opus Kura version. Some swear by it, though it certainly has more hiss. (It's hard to get, too.) I'm not entirely convinced there isn't some artificial bass enhancement. I like the EMI version - it seems to sound more like a nicely remastered old recording should sound - but I suppose I should give the Opus Kura another listen.

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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    Now that I'm getting interested in Bach's cello suites, I think I'll get Jian Wang's recording. I've listened to the sound clips from Amazon and it seems to be my kind of recording: relatively broad tempi, presenting the pieces as they are without trying to make them larger than life, with wonderful phrasing and musicality. Nothing is excessive nor too spare.
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  3. #18
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    I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned Ralph Kirshbaum's recording for Virgin Classics.
    The tone he extracts is warm without being cloying, and the tempos just right - flowing, not hesitating - sprightly when needed, without being rushed.
    To my ears, Rostropovich tends to lose the plot at times and his tone can be harsh (heresy?).
    Try Kirshbaum.

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    Senior Member Kontrapunctus's Avatar
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    Has anyone heard Gavriel Lipkin? I like his set quite a bit. He's very passionate, and the sound is beautiful--it's a multi-channel SACD.

    Last edited by Kontrapunctus; Nov-24-2011 at 18:09.

  5. #20
    Senior Member Taneyev's Avatar
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    Favorites: first Starker, Fournier, Tortelier and Gendron. Have them also on viola and violin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kontrapunctus View Post
    Has anyone heard Gavriel Lipkin? I like his set quite a bit. He's very passionate, and the sound is beautiful--it's a multi-channel SACD.

    Lots of positives with this recording--good tone, good acoustic, good style. That's half the battle. In the other half...Gavriel's playing perked my ears when carefree, but pinned them back when trying to be technically correct. He needs to come back to these, speeding it up, and letting it fly.
    Last edited by Vaneyes; Nov-25-2011 at 02:24.

  7. #22
    Senior Member Kontrapunctus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaneyes View Post
    Lots of positives with this recording--good tone, good acoustic, good style. That's half the battle. In the other half...Gavriel's playing perked my ears when carefree, but pinned them back when trying to be technically correct. He needs to come back to these, speeding it up, and letting it fly.
    Is there some particular reason that you are attacking only my suggestions? (This recording and my Hammerklavier pick.) You don't even offer any of your own.

  8. #23
    Senior Member Ukko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kontrapunctus View Post
    Is there some particular reason that you are attacking only my suggestions? (This recording and my Hammerklavier pick.) You don't even offer any of your own.
    Tut-tut. I think Vaneyes has simply not generated the enthusiasm required to initiate a sub-thread. Please do not regard this to be another attack.

    If the performances recommended so far have not exhausted your (the collective 'your', not just thine, Kontrapunctus) spirit of adventure, I offer (if you can find it) consideration of the recordings by Paolo Beschi, the first three suites of which I have on the Winter & Winter label. This is baroque cello to a fare thee well, impossible to confuse with the 'modern' configuration. I find it difficult to listen to, but a correspondent has rated it as sublime. The recordings are from 1996.
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  9. #24
    Member userfume's Avatar
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    Jean Guihen Queyras

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  11. #25
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    Has anybody heard the new recording by acoustic guitarist Steven Hancoff: From Tragedy to Transcendence: The Six Suites for Cello Solo for Acoustic Guitar? It is amazing! I don't think there is anything else out there like it. Blue Wolf Reviews wrote: "Hancoff must have often wondered if the ghost of Bach was not sitting on his shoulder inspiring him." And there are lots of other critical responses just as good. If you love the suites -- or the guitar, or music -- "You owe it to yourself to also enjoy deeply these guitar transcriptions sublimely delivered by Steven Hancoff," as another reviewer put it.

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    Senior Member Eramirez156's Avatar
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    The one recording I go back to time and again is the Daniil Shafran. It is an old school interpretation. I also like the Truls Mork.

    image.jpg

    The Suites lend themselves to myriad of interpretations, each with their value. Vive la différence.
    Last edited by Eramirez156; Dec-19-2015 at 15:16.

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  15. #27
    Senior Member Casebearer's Avatar
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    I've not been listening to Baroque music that much since I was a young adult and first came into contact with classical music -learning to play the 'very sexy' recorder myself, ha ha (and failing at that).

    Most Baroque music is merely enjoyable but not interesting to my brain if you know what I mean. Often I find it hard to hear the music through the style of the period but when listening to Bach it's the opposite. I forget it's Baroque. Bach transcends his style period like no one else (excuse me for the cliché).

    The Cello Suites (and his Organ Works) do this for me even more than other Bach' works. Maybe because there's no orchestra with other instruments to distract you from the core of the music?

    Well, I'm already beside the point I want to make. I'm listening to Paul Torteliers performance of the suites right now (on vinyl). My only reference is Pieter Wispelwey's second interpretation of the Suites in 1998 that also impressed me a lot with their purity. So I can't really compare very well but Torteliers interpretation is also really worthwhile to listen to. I suppose it holds the middle ground so to say.

  16. #28
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    Pieter Wispelwey for me, recorded it several times and still always something to add
    For the purist Anner Bijlsma

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  18. #29
    Senior Member Heliogabo's Avatar
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    My first suites were by Antonio Janigro, but I first heard the ones by Casals, which I own too, with Fournier, Tortelier and (partially) Yo Yo Ma. In recent times my favorite is the Tortelier set (EMI/ Warner).

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  20. #30
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    These have always been a favorite of mine as well, a more recent recording by Sebastian Klinger is my new favorite

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