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Bach: Cello Suites
     

Bach: Cello Suites

by Heinrich Schiff
 
In the '80s there were those listeners who thought that Heinrich Schiff might redeem cello performance practice from fatal beauty and lethal elegance. Aside from the burly and brawny Rostropovich, more and more cellists were advocating a performance style whose ideals were perfect intonation and graceful phrasing. In some repertoire, say,

Overview

In the '80s there were those listeners who thought that Heinrich Schiff might redeem cello performance practice from fatal beauty and lethal elegance. Aside from the burly and brawny Rostropovich, more and more cellists were advocating a performance style whose ideals were perfect intonation and graceful phrasing. In some repertoire, say, Fauré, these are perfectly legitimate goals. In other repertoire, Beethoven and Brahms, say, it is a terrible mistake. In Bach's "Cello Suites," as the fay and fragile Yo-Yo Ma recordings make clear, it was a terminal mistake. Not so in Schiff's magnificently muscular 1984 recordings of the suites: Schiff's rhythms, his tempos, his tone, his intonation, and especially his interpretations were anything but fay or fragile. In Schiff's performance, Bach's "Cello Suites" are not the neurasthenic music of a composer supine with dread and despair in the dark midnight of the soul, but the forceful music of a mature composer in full control of himself and his music. Schiff's strong bow and incisive attack made joyful not fluffy music of the major-key suites and his robust mind and deep heart made soulful not morbid music of the minor-key suites. For listeners in the '80s, the contrast with Ma's pretty but vapid performances could not have been more stark. For later listeners, Schiff's manly and vigorous performances will be a tonic against the hollowness of contemporary cellists. EMI's early digital sound was perhaps too close and possibly too loud but nevertheless amazingly vivid and immediate.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/24/2005
Label:
Warner Classics
UPC:
0724358653427
catalogNumber:
86534
Rank:
25505

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Suite for solo cello No. 1 in G major, BWV 1007
  2. Suite for solo cello No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1008
  3. Suite for solo cello No. 3 in C major, BWV 1009
  4. Suite for solo cello No. 4 in E flat major, BWV 1010
  5. Suite for solo cello No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011
  6. Suite for solo cello No. 6 in D major, BWV 1012

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