Bach Cello Suites

Larry, I agree entirely with your recommendation. He appears to be an improbable combination of Janos Starker and Steven Isserlis! By that I mean he plays Preludes and Gigues with the boldness and assertiveness of Starker but Sarabandes with the delicacy and sensuous tone of Isserlis. His sixth suite Allemande is possibly the best I have heard keeping the attention through all 10minutes of it and throughout, he reveals the contrapuntal nature and implied polyphony of the Suites like no one else.


1 Like

A neat video project in Cleveland:

1 Like

I can warmly recommend this serie;

I have the Bailey set on CD, purchased after we saw him perform the Elgar concerto with our Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra a couple of years ago.

I was intrigued by the mention earlier in the thread of the suite performed on double bass by Mark Bernat. I found it on CD from ArkivMusic yesterday and ordered a copy. That should be interesting.

But which Starker? I have the 1992 later recording (RCA Red Seal - Sony Classical Masters, released 1997) and it is excellent. Doesn’t seem to get the same attention as the Mercury recording that gets repressed a lot.

A review and comparison here:

I just received an email from Arkiv that said the order had been canceled because the restock process had “timed out.” Bummer.

I have not heard that vinyl boxset byt for me; the sacd version that you mention sound great!

The recording is so good that without comparison it always sounds kind of great. How much better it can sound can only be experienced by comparison with the available vinyl boxes,

1 Like

I understand;


The following masters did have wonderful recordings of Bach’s cello suites: János Starker, Mstislav Rostropovich, Alisa Weilerstein. Starker’s is my favorite!

1 Like

Don’t forget Pierre Fournier who does a virtuoso performance and lesser known but still good Zuill Bailey. Starker also my favourite

1 Like

You’re right. Fournier’s Bach Suits (Archiv Produktion) are remarkable :+1:. Also, his Beethoven Cello sonatas with Frierich Gulda are impressive.

My favorite performances of Beethoven Cello sonatas are Du Pre & Barenboim (EMI live recording), as well as Maisky & Argerich (DG studio recording).

I had another listen to the Rostropovich recording this morning and am always unsettled by what feels like a very quick tempo, particularly at the start, until one settles into the pace. Not that I want a slow approach …

1 Like

Interesting. I will have a comparative session for Starker & Rostropovich this week.

EMI’s live recordings are often quite good. Perlman’s and Argerich’s “Kreutzer” Sonata is very nice, performance and recording.

1 Like

I totally agree. I happen to have the “Kreutzer” by Warner Classics (acquired EMI Classics around 7 years back) great recording, and Perlman - Aregerich did a wonderful job. Have you listened to the Oistrakh - Oborin version (Decca, I think). You will love their special flavor. Quite different, even from Mutter - Orkis.


1 Like

I can confirm your observation. Pretty much like Karajan vs a few others.