Bach: The Cello Suites

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
One could, as cellist Steven Isserlis evidently does, consider Bach's six suites for solo cello to possess a hidden "inner" program following the Joyful, the Sorrowful, and the Glorious Mysteries of the Christian faith. One could thus hear the "First Suite" as the Nativity, the "Fifth Suite" as the Crucifixion, and the "Sixth Suite" as the Resurrection -- or not, depending on one's aesthetic tastes and spiritual inclinations. But whether with or without an "inner" program, these performances of the suites are still completely convincing. It's true that Isserlis isn't interested in showing off his technique; although his playing is essentially flawless, it never calls ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
One could, as cellist Steven Isserlis evidently does, consider Bach's six suites for solo cello to possess a hidden "inner" program following the Joyful, the Sorrowful, and the Glorious Mysteries of the Christian faith. One could thus hear the "First Suite" as the Nativity, the "Fifth Suite" as the Crucifixion, and the "Sixth Suite" as the Resurrection -- or not, depending on one's aesthetic tastes and spiritual inclinations. But whether with or without an "inner" program, these performances of the suites are still completely convincing. It's true that Isserlis isn't interested in showing off his technique; although his playing is essentially flawless, it never calls attention to itself the way, say, Yo-Yo Ma's playing sometimes does. And it's true that Isserlis isn't obsessed with wringing every last drop of emotion out of every note; although his playing is wonderfully expressive, it never drips feeling the way, say, Mischa Maisky's does. What Isserlis is interested in, and perhaps even obsessed with, is the intense beauty of the music. Rarely have the preludes sounded so free and so fantastic; rarely have the minuets sounded so light and so bright; and rarely have the sarabandes, especially the Sarabande of the "Fifth Suite," sounded so deep and so true. While anyone interested in the suites -- and that should include everyone who loves Bach, everyone who loves cello music, and everyone who loves music -- should first hear the classic recordings by Pablo Casals, this collection of the suites, augmented with three different versions of the opening Prelude from three different sources plus an arrangement of the Catalan folk song "The Song of the Birds" in Casals' honor, certainly deserves to be heard, particularly in Hyperion's warm, close, and full recordings.
Gramophone - Lindsay Kemp
This is also the most wonderful cello playing, surely among the most consistently beautiful to have been heard in this demanding music, as well as the most musically alert and vivid.... Few will fail to be charmed by Isserlis's sweetly singing tone.... A disc many will want to return to again and again.
BBC Music Magazine - George Pratt
[June 2007 Disc of the Month] His sense of style is matched by an outstandingly secure technique.
Philadelphia Inquirer - David Patrick Stearns
If you aren't the type who prefers alabaster-statue Bach, this two-disc set is one of the most notable additions to the Bach cello discography in the last five years. Beautifully recorded, too.
Dallas Morning News - Lawson Taitte
[Grade: A] A clear first choice for these much-recorded suites.
Newark Star-Ledger - Steven Isserlis
Isserlis has paid keen attention to the music's kaleidoscopic subtleties; what comes through, though, isn't reverence as much as freshness.
Classic FM Magazine - Emma Baker
[June 2007 Disc of the Month] This is an outstanding recording of some of the greatest works of classical music and a disc that every music-lover should own.

[June 2007 Disc of the Month] His sense of style is matched by an outstandingly secure technique.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/12/2007
  • Label: Hyperion Uk
  • UPC: 034571175416
  • Catalog Number: 67541
  • Sales rank: 66,371

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–6 Suite for solo cello No. 1 in G major, BWV 1007 - Johann Sebastian Bach & Steven Isserlis (16:13)
  2. 7–12 Suite for solo cello No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1008 - Johann Sebastian Bach & Steven Isserlis (17:29)
  3. 13–18 Suite for solo cello No. 3 in C major, BWV 1009 - Johann Sebastian Bach & Steven Isserlis (19:44)
  4. 19–24 Suite for solo cello No. 4 in E flat major, BWV 1010 - Johann Sebastian Bach & Steven Isserlis (21:30)
Disc 2
  1. 1–6 Suite for solo cello No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011 - Johann Sebastian Bach & Steven Isserlis (24:07)
  2. 7–12 Suite for solo cello No. 6 in D major, BWV 1012 - Johann Sebastian Bach & Steven Isserlis (27:27)
  3. 8 Song of the Birds (El Cant dels Ocells), folk song - Catalan Traditional & Steven Isserlis (2:52)
  4. 9 Suite for solo cello No. 1 in G major, BWV 1007: Prelude (from the Anna Magdalena manuscript) - Johann Sebastian Bach & Steven Isserlis (2:26)
  5. 10 Suite for solo cello No. 1 in G major, BWV 1007: Prelude (from the Johann Peter Kellner manuscript) - Johann Sebastian Bach & Steven Isserlis (2:25)
  6. 11 Suite for solo cello No. 1 in G major, BWV 1007: Prelude (from the Johann Christoph Westphal manusc - Johann Sebastian Bach & Steven Isserlis (2:29)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Steven Isserlis Primary Artist
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