J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Bach / Golani

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Rivka Golani
Soloists:Rivka Golani, viola
Individual Works:Suite n° 1, BWV 1007
Suite n° 2, BWV 1008
Suite n° 3, BWV 1009
Suite n° 4, BWV 1010
Suite n° 5, BWV 1011
Suite n° 6, BWV 1012
Chaconne from BWV 1004
Chromatic Fantasy (arr. Kodály) BWV 903
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:CBC Records/Les disques SRC
Catalog Number:MVCD 1141-3
Year Released/Recorded:1999
Total Playing Time:170:37
Comments:Ernesto Ballesteros said:

Are you sure that Bach composed the six Suites for cello?
After the listening of this 3 CDs you begin to
place in doubt this question.
Ms. Golani is one of the great violist of this times and gives a intensely interpretation , over all from the Chromatic Fantasy (arr. Kodály from the harpsichord original score).
She plays a magnific instrument with a big tone and sound not specified in the booklet.

Peter Amsel said:

I read with interest the comment by Ernesto Ballesteros, and I agree, this recording is a marvellous document that anyone who is at all serious about Bach should take a look at. It has been a great joy for me to be able to collaborate with Ms Golani - I wrote the liner notes for this collection of discs and have composed for her as well - and I am about to write the notes for a new disc she had recorded (sorry, no Bach).

As to the question of her instrument, this is an interesting point for some, but Rivka didn't want to take up the space in the liner notes about the instrument (there is an article in a "Strad" magazine about her instrument). She plays on a modern viola which was made for her by an Hungarian born luthier named Otto Erdesz (he was also her husband). The amazing thing about this instrument is that, especially in Golani's hands, it has the ability to produce a sound that can compare with the finest Italian 16th century master's instrument, such as Zuckerman's Guarneri Del Jesu, or it can produce the types of sounds called for by some of the most extreme compositions that have been composed for her. She uses a composite bow that is perfectly balanced (she also has a beautiful wooden bow).

One other thing about Erdesz's design - he was one of the first to use the "cutaway" in violas, and that has been adopted by many makers, many of whom studied with him. Both of Rivka's Erdesz violas feature this innovation and it allows her to produce upper register tones without any strain - as well as being able to use the full range of the instrument with greater ease (something that composers appreciate).

So ... I hope that has answered some questions.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Ernesto Ballesteros
  • Peter Amsel
Date First Submitted:05/15/2003