Ugh, I hate these threads. Going to have to make room on my shelf now for Queyras. Maybe Weilerstein as well.
My top 2 remain Casals (seamless spontaneity) and Fournier (authoritative artistry), but these recent recordings sound as if the cello is right in your living room. Queyras in particular is a consummate artist whose 2007 recording deserves all its accolades. Weilerstein plays with warm tone and beautiful sensitivity. Wispelwey is different, more clipped. Not my favorite, but interesting.
The Rostropovich seems unpopular here, but I listened to it just now and was reminded why I originally liked it. It’s kind of like a Klemperer version of the cello suites. He’s not interested in being interpretive or precious any way. It’s very elemental, and with his warm, deep tone casts quite a spell.
I remember I first played the Rosty while working at Tower Records in the 90s, and promptly bought it while selling away the Schiff, which had always left me a little cold.