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CD: Crotchet


Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
The Cello Suites

CD 1
Suite No. 1 in G major, BWV1007 [17:16]
Suite No. 2 in D minor, BWV1008 [19:43]
Suite No. 6 in C major, BWV1012 [29:40]
CD 2
Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV1009 [20:23]
Suite No. 4 in E flat major, BWV1010 [23:31]
Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV1011 [23:28]
Sebastian Klinger (cello)
rec. Himmefahrtskirche München-Sendling, Germany, June–September 2007
OEHMS OC718 [66:56 + 67:41]
Experience Classicsonline

Bach’s music – specifically his Cello Suites – excites and enthuses necessarily. And the extraordinary recordings of Jean-Guihen Queyras (Harmonia Mundi) and - brand new - Sebastian Klinger (Oehms) further contribute to making over two hours of non-stop solo cello unusually entertaining. Both sway the ears with impeccable technique and a wonderfully caught, natural tone. Klinger (on a 1736 Camillus Camilli) more by more means of dynamism and flexing his well oiled muscles – Queyras (on a 1696 Gioffredo Cappa) with beautifully controlled ardor.
Queyras, the former cellist of the Ensemble Intercontemporain has already made a name for himself outside France with performances and wonderful recordings – including Schubert’s Arpeggione with Alexandre Tharaud and the Dvořák Cello Concerto, where he set down one of the most moving slow movements on record. Klinger, who studied with Heinrich Schiff and Boris Pergamenschikow, became the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra’s first solo cellist at 27 and is as yet unknown to most American concert-going audiences. Judging from this recording, that will soon change … if his orchestral duties permit the occasional tour as soloist.
Both recordings are similar in many ways – superior technical quality, rich tone, generous acoustic (both were recorded in a church), tempos – but Klinger uses a six-stringed cello for the last Suite, which makes for a slightly calmer, more fragile impression and at 420 hertz Klinger also uses a slightly lower than usual tuning for a less edgy and, well, ‘high-strung’, sound. That points to Klinger having absorbed many lessons from the ‘Historically Informed’ school, even if his interpretation is decidedly not “HIP”; Peter Wispelwey would be the choice for that.
Anyone who wants to place a modern recording next to their Pierre Fournier in their collection but shies away from the wilful individualism of Gavriel Lipkind will be exceedingly well served by either of these interpretations.
Jens F. Laurson
Reviews of other recordings of the cello suites

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