Violoncello Suites 1 - 6, BWV1007 1012.
Peter Bruns - cello (Tononi
cello - Venice 1730).
Digital Recording, Recorded May 1996 at St. Jean de Grenelle Church, Paris.
OPUS 111 OPS202021
This disc has emblazoned on the cover "This is one of the best recordings
of the year - possibly of the decade." This tends to make this reviewer highly
suspicious. I would not agree with the comments, but this is not to criticise
the discs for they preserve very proficient and lively performances.
Born in 1963, Peter Bruns began studying cello, flute, guitar, piano and
organ at the Eisler Music School in Berlin with Peter Vogler. He subsequently
attended master classes with Tobias Kuhne, Siegfried Palm and Heinrich Schiff.
He is principal cellist in the Dresden Staatskapelle and also holds a similar
position of lead cellist in the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra.
He plays chamber music, as cellist in the Dresden Piano Trio, and is one
of the artistic directors of the Moritzburg Castle Chamber Music Festival.
His credentials are therefore first class and on the face of it should be
able to turn in good performances of these suites, a cornerstone of the solo
works for the cello.
This he does, and with stylish playing and very truthful recording quality,
why do I have reservations. These are to do with the microphone placement
with relation to the soloist. This is very close, indeed so close, that in
addition to the very musical sounds emanating from the instrument, the sounds
of the soloist's fingers on the finger board plus grunts and heavy breathing
are clearly evident. This tends to distract from the very musical sounds
If these distractions are not likely to affect you, then I can recommend
these performances - I enjoyed them very much. In today's very competitive
market however, when you can buy similar priced sets by Rostropovitch (EMI),
Yo Yo Ma (Sony) and mid-priced offerings by Fournier (DGG) and others, these
current discs are uncompetitive.
[The catalogue number and links above refer
to a mid-price re-release of the disc reviewed -LM]