Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 


 REVIEW


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
DVD: Crotchet


Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
The Complete Cello Suites

Paul Tortelier (cello)
rec. Abbaye St. Michel de Cuxa, Festival Pablo Casals of Prades, live performances, July 1990
Produced and directed by Peter Ammann
Audio - Mono; Video 4:3 Colour NTSC
Region Code 0 (all regions); Subtitles - None
VAI 4481 [156:00]
Experience Classicsonline

Moving and powerful, these performances given during July 1990 were made in exceptional circumstances. At the age of seventy-six and suffering from a heart condition Paul Tortelier nevertheless went ahead with recitals in the Abbaye St. Michel de Cuxa during the Festival Pablo Casals of Prades - the fortieth anniversary concerts of the first festival there. He was to die five months later.

Back in 1966 he’d published his own edition of the Suites for Galliard, in which decade he set down his first recorded thoughts on the complete solo cello works. He was to do so again in the 1980s and again in 1990, both times for EMI. Unlike his coeval Rostropovich the Suites held no destabilising fears for him. If one thinks of the French tradition in solo Bach then I suppose one could say that Fournier’s torch passed to Tortelier, only that would be too glib an approximation - and for all my great admiration for Fournier I think Tortelier’s Bach was the more consistent and expressively integrated.

There are some visual matters to discuss. There are several camera angle shots. One was ‘front left and under’ if you follow, so we look up at the cello. Another was close up from the right and yet another rather from the right side, so we can glimpse the audience beyond. These are unusual enough angles to note. They don’t intrude. The Abbey brickwork adds a gauntly beautiful backdrop to the performances. We can see music stands pressed up against a far wall, awaiting future performances. Tortelier himself sits enthroned, as it were, in all this - we see his face in riveting detail, the folds of his jacket, the burnish of the cello in the streaming light, the cool, white stone walls as they hold the secrets of the ages, and of Bach.

Each suite is a self contained unit so the credits roll at the end of each work. This might perhaps have been remedied for DVD but I don’t feel strongly about it and some might prefer the finality it affords, the sense of punctuation after so great a work has been played in so hallowed a place. The playing is not without flaw but these specks (the Menuet of the D minor, for example) are so insignificant as not to matter. The great spirit that communes with Bach is revealed in humility but also with a sense of projected self. The playing is deeply moving - he was one of the great Bach players of his generation irrespective of instrument, of affiliation or whatever - and this is revealed in every bow stroke and in the palpable intensity of his playing. He marries dancing lightness with brooding depth of utterance; at no time does one wish that the spirit of the dance might be stronger, so fluidly and excitingly does it course throughout the set. His courantes are an especial delight but this is to take one example from among so many.

Should you want a visual representation of Tortelier, or indeed of the Suites, this DVD is essential.

Jonathan Woolf 

Masterwork Index: all reviews of the Bach Cello Suites on Musicweb
 
 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools




Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.