Magazine article Gramophone

JS Bach: Six Solo Cello Suites

Magazine article Gramophone

JS Bach: Six Solo Cello Suites

Article excerpt

JS Bach

Six Solo Cello Suites, BWV1007-1012

Matt Flaimovitz vc

Pentatone Originale [F] [2] [SACD] PTC5186 555

(135' * DDD/DSD)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The reverence with which some cellists choose to treat Bach's Cello Suites can produce results that disappear in opposite directions: some are simply rendered insipid, while others disregard accepted forms of performance with a belligerence that can place an equally frustrating barrier between listener and performer. Although Matt Haimovitz stops far short of that latter self-indulgence, his second recording of the Suites is not one for the fainthearted. There are spontaneity and unpredictability in both the tempi and rubato of the entirety of the first three Suites--in particular the Preludes of the First and Third--which rob them of any sense of direction to the extent of romanticising Bach's clean counterpoint to a degree that some might find cloying.

The tides begin to turn with the palate-cleansing Fourth Suite, however. The tension built up in the first three Suites should be released at this point, and in this performance there is far more of a sense of the dance element that should inform all the Suites but which is particularly important here. …

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