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The set's detractors are mostly purists who complain that Kirshbaum mixes Baroque, Romantic, and Modern practices with impunity, which he does indeed do, but it's a complementary and musical mix to my ears.
The other issue with this recording is that there are some extramusical contributions by Kirshbaum, mostly audible breathing. It doesn't bother me at all - this is one of my favorite sets - but I feel obliged to point it out.

Glad to see that Dirge mentioned Bengtsson, an excellent cellist who deserves to be better known.
 

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Has anyone read Isserlis' book on the cello suites? I'm curious if it is too simplistic or too technical or, as Goldlicks said, just right.

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Have this book which I feel has given me a good insight into the suites. Being a non-musician, it has helped me by describing what to listen for. Yes a very good book.

Incidentally had my copy autographed recently after his recital. Will treasure that.
 

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Gendron's recording on Philips is my favorite. He creates rich, precise and clean sound throughout the recording, and keeps an excellent balance between the overall structure of the pieces and the subtle changes of tempos and timbres. He generally plays a bit faster than fournier (archiv) and tortellier (emi).
 

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I'm happy to have all these recommendations and will listen to many of them.

I've been a long-time fan of Starker's deeply emotional readings of these pieces, but I'm open to newer interpretations.
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Me too, I started to listen to and love this work through Starker's recording many years ago and now I have some other favorite versions, Fourier is top one.
 

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My only recordings are Yo Yo, and I’m not going to chuck them out, but I’ve recently started listening to Casals on Pristine Audio and its like the proverbial scrubbing of varnish from an old canvas
 

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Has anyone read Isserlis' book on the cello suites? I'm curious if it is too simplistic or too technical or, as Goldlicks said, just right.

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I am sure there is a lot of good information about the suites, but I am not a fan of his writing style. He constantly offers conversational asides which could be left out and improve the read.
 

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The thing here is that there are many different interpretations
Explore them, enjoy them at your pleasure
I certainly do
Some you will like better than others, it's a personal choice
 

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My only recordings are Yo Yo, and I'm not going to chuck them out, but I've recently started listening to Casals on Pristine Audio and its like the proverbial scrubbing of varnish from an old canvas
The Casals discs may not be up to modern recording technology...but I would say all who have recorded these works since have listened to them and been influenced by them, regardless of HIP or modern instruments. And it shows.
 

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Another avenue of Casals influence may be the performing/analytical edition of the suites by Diran Alexanian from the late 1920s. Alexanian was an associate of Casals and his edition may be the closest thing we have to a Casals edition, since they shared a lot of the same technical ideas. I'd say most advanced cellists have studied it, especially those born before 1990 or so. I'm not an advanced cellist (yet) but I have a copy and it's helpful, though it does take some liberties with the original manuscripts.
 

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Sergey Malov
Glad to hear that someone else enjoys this one, which Malov plays on a "shoulder cello" (violoncello da spalla). He favors brisk tempi and omits a lot of the repeats (and when he observes repeats, he ornaments tastefully), which explains why he's able to fit all six suites on a single CD with plenty of room to spare.

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Glad to hear that someone else enjoys this one, which Malov plays on a "shoulder cello" (violoncello da spalla). He favors brisk tempi and omits a lot of the repeats (and when he observes repeats, he ornaments tastefully), which explains why he's able to fit all six suites on a single CD with plenty of room to spare.

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I think he omits almost all repeats in this recording. However a few years ago he recorded suites 1, 2 and 6 for Pan Classics doing all the repeats. Except for suite 6 his playing is better and more committed in the recording without the repeats, but its truncated almost fragmentary nature can't be ignored. The repeats were of course indicated because they were meant to be done.
 

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One recording not mentioned (I think) is David Watkin on a baroque cello on the Resonus label. It doesn't disturb the supremacy of Casals, Tortelier, Navarra and Fournier, but it's transcendent: like listening to the music for the first time. A million miles away from the heavy handed indulgences of Maisky and Rostropovich.
 

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Bernd Alois Zimmermann
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One recording not mentioned (I think) is David Watkin on a baroque cello on the Resonus label. It doesn't disturb the supremacy of Casals, Tortelier, Navarra and Fournier, but it's transcendent: like listening to the music for the first time. A million miles away from the heavy handed indulgences of Maisky and Rostropovich.
Anyone who espouses Casals is either a pseud - who knows nothing about classical music - or is incontrovertibly deaf. It’s like an extended advert for Rice Krispies…

Watkin is both too fast and thin/reedy. Queyras is the best modern interpreter, but he lacks the colour palette of the still wondrous Fournier…
 
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