One of the most grown-up review sites around

51,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


colourful imaginative harmony
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti

Bax Piano Music

Guillaume LEKEU

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases

Superior performance

Shostakovich 6&7 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem Thielemann

Marianna Henriksson
An outstanding recital

Arnold Bax
Be converted

this terrific disc

John Buckley
one of my major discoveries

François-Xavier Roth
A game-changing Mahler 3


Bryden Thomson


Vaughan Williams Concertos

RVW Orchestral


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Six Suites for Solo Cello (1720) [128:20]
No. 1 in G BWV1007 [15:53]
No. 2 in D minor BWV1008 [19:00]
No. 3 in C major BWV 1009 [20:19]
No. 4 in E flat Major, BWV 1010 [23:09]
No. 5 in C minor BWV1011 [22:38]
No. 6 in D major BWV 1012 [27:10]
Bruno Cocset (cello - cellos by Charles Riché)
rec. 2001, Chapelle de l’Hôpital Notre-Dame de Bon Secours, Paris
ALPHA CLASSICS 301 [55:12 + 73:08]

This is a re-issue of a 2001 recording which was distinguished by the fact that Bruno Cocset played four different cellos which were replicas of original instruments made by luthier Charles Riché. They have identifiably different “voices” and do indeed complement the suites for which they are employed. According to both Casals and Rostropovich, the first and fifth suites are generally identified with light and dark respectively and the cello replicating an instrument made by Gasparo Da Salò in 1600 has a round, warm, buzzing sound suggesting geniality. The second and fourth suites are in turn associated with sorrow and majesty; the instrument made after a 1734 Guarneri has a more nasal, humming quality, while the 1703 Stradivari has a deep, masculine resonance ideally suited to the heroic brilliance of No. 3. The 1600 Amati has a light, slightly wiry tone, apt for the sunlit idyll of No.6.

Most listeners will have decided that they prefer these suites played either on an authentic instrument or a modern cello; I am in the latter camp and most enjoy Casals, Fournier, Tortelier, Rostropovich, Starker et al, playing in a more Romantic style, but such is the nature of this music that it responds to a variety of treatments and is certainly well served by Cocset here. His tempi are by no means extreme and although he honours the Baroque sensibility by correctly emphasising both the theatrical and the dancing quality of these suites, he is also capable of generating a rapt and meditative ambiance. The deliberate lack of vibrato sometimes rather enervates the impact of the music; compensation lies in the focused poise of Cocset’s line.

However, there are corollary problems of a technical rather than and aesthetic nature. First, presumably because the instruments he plays are more muted and less resonant of tone than a modern cello, the microphones have been positioned very closely; as such, you hear every clunk, click and thump on the fingerboard and Cocset’s breathing, both when he anticipates a phrase and through it, is very obtrusive. This is accentuated by the resonant acoustic of the chapel and will represent a real obstacle to the enjoyment of some; others will be able to overlook it. I have to say that I find it distracting. It is also true that there are some slight slips in articulation which could grate on repeated listening.

The digipack packaging is attractive and the notes are stimulating, although I fail to see the relevance of the photograph taken in Moscow forming the cover artwork.

I am not familiar with other period recordings by such as ter Linden, Wispelwey and Bylsma but I suggest that this recording is an interesting and diverting introduction to anyone wishing to hear Bach played in historically informed and aware style.
Ralph Moore



We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger