Magazine article Gramophone

JS Bach: Six Cello Suites, BWV1007-1012

Magazine article Gramophone

JS Bach: Six Cello Suites, BWV1007-1012

Article excerpt

JS Bach

Six Cello Suites, BWV1007-1012

Nina Kotova vc

Warner Classics [B] [2] 2564 63941-1 (137' * DDD)

JS Bach

Cello Suites-No 2, BWV1008; No 4, BWV1010; No 6, BWV1012

Ditta Rohmann vc

Hungaroton [F] HCD32732 (73' * DDD)

If there is one thing all cellists agree on, it is that the Bach cello suites are not repertoire that should be committed to disc until you can produce a performance that is underpinned by a clear sense of musical intention and, to that end, Nina Kotova's playing is still a little inconsistent. When she hits her stride her playing shows considerable poise, but when she does not it sounds too angry to be artistically generous. There needs to be a good reason to add to the overstuffed catalogue of versions of the cello suites, and here the unhelpful proximity and brightness of the recording is so extreme that every subtlety that is missed is amplified to the point of unfair impression of artistic merit. There is a strong sense of individuality and strength in Kotova's playing but this is still manifest more as a desire to control the music than to allow it to control without a surrender of integrity. Moreover, it is a control that is exerted with such force that it also occasionally bends the tuning out of shape and loses a certain amount of precision and finesse in the phrasing. …

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