J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

The 6 cello suites

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Pablo Casals
Individual Works:Suite No. 1 in G, BWV 1007
Suite No. 2 in d minor, BWV 1008
Suite No. 3 in C, BWV 1009
Suite No. 4 in E flat, BWV 1010
Suite No. 5 in c minor, BWV 1011
Suite No. 6 in D, BWV 1012
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:EMI
Catalog Number:7243 5 66215 2 7
Year Released/Recorded:1936
Total Playing Time:130.00
Comments:Bob Dunkley said:

This recording is the original recording of the Bach Cello Suites. This work had laid fallow, a work for conessieurs, until Casals took it up in the 30's. I have, in my collection, two other recordings of this work, by Fournier in the early 60's and Rostropovitch in the 90s - I have not heard Heinrich Schiff, but this recording (Casals) blows any that I have heard , way out of sight.

D.D. MartÝnez said:

The crispness and spontaneity of these recordings have yet to be matched. They are brimming with youth though the project began when Casals was 60 years old. Interestingly, the span of these performances (1936-39) coincides with the Spanish Civil War. Just months before the Abbey Road Studio sessions began, the poet/playwright Federico GarcÝa Lorca was killed. By 1937, Pablo Picasso had given us the rage of Guernica. In the midst of it all, Bach was being filtered through Casals. While other interpretations of BachÆs cello suites can seem rigid in some spots, Casals treats the score with the lightness and gravity of an autumn breeze: the extremes of the emotional range donÆt merely coexist; they depend on each other. These pieces may have been composed for an unaccompanied instrument, but what weÆre hearing is a dialogue across time: Bach speaks with Casals and Casals, through the violoncello, speaks with us. Transcendence and eloquence of this magnitude are, indeed, rare. Fortunately, this fragment of history has been preserved and restored.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Bob Dunkley
  • D.D. MartÝnez
Date First Submitted:06/18/2000