One of the most grown-up review sites around

2019
52,000 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


Yes we are selling
Acte Prealable again!
£11 post-free


we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


TROUBADISC

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

WYASTONE releases



The Birth of Rhapsody in Blue
A superlative recreation


such a success


An outstanding performance


make acquaintance without delay


Violin Concerto
This is an impressive disc


Strong advocacy
for a British composer


Piano Music - Martin Jones
agreeably crafted


Piano Music 5CDs


Consistently fine


Rare and interesting repertoire


An excellent introduction


A Celebration on Record


An issue of importance


Richard RIJNVOS
A splendid disc


both enlightening and rewarding
additional review

 


Availability

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Six Suites for Solo Cello
No. 1 in G major, BWV 1007 [20:38]
No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1008 [23:26]
No. 3 in C major, BWV 1009 [26:08]
No. 4 in E flat major, BWV 1010 [27:12]
No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011 [ 30:13]
No. 6 in D major, BWV 1012 [36:07]
Jean de Spengler (cello)
rec. live, March-May 2018, Chapel of the Château de Lunéville
FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1575/7 [3 CDs: 163:52]

I know Jean de Spengler’s work as the cellist of Quatuor Stanislas. I have had the good fortune to review two of their recordings on the Timpani label. His latest release, Bach’s Six Cello Suites on Forgotten Records, was set down over the course of three public performances between March and May 2018. Spengler’s notes mention follow-up patching sessions. The venue is the magnificent chapel of the Château de Lunéville, an architectural gem contemporary with the composition of the Suites (1720-1725).

The booklet contains an interesting interview the cellist gave to violinist Alexis Galpérine. He shares fascinating insights into how his thoughts and practices of the Suites have evolved throughout his life as a performer. He studied them with two eminent but very different cellists, André Lévy and André Navarra. At one point he performed the Suites on a cello with gut strings and used a baroque bow, but gradually came to the realization that this was not for him. He justifies his decision to perform the Suites on a modern-sounding instrument, stating that "…the style should not triumph over the content and it is therefore better to play it on a modern instrument if you feel more comfortable on one than on a period cello (built with baroque specifications)".

The catalogue is awash with recordings of the Cello Suites. Some of my favorites are the first cycle by Paul Tortelier, Pierre Fournier’s DG recording and that of a relative newcomer David Watkin, whose cycle on the Resonus Classics label provides a compelling period-instrument account.

Spengler takes a restrained approach in general. Take the Allemande of the First Suite in G major, where he seems to savour and relish each phrase. This is similarly true of the Sarabande where he luxuriates in the resonance and darker hues of the instrument. This works very favourably in the opening measures of the Prelude of the Fifth Suite in C minor. The Sarabande of that Suite evinces a mysterious ruminative and meditative quality. By contrast, the opening of the Third Suite has a bold confidence, as does the Bourrée 1 of the Fourth Suite. Elegance and refinement define the dance movements in Spengler's performances. The Gigues of the Fourth and Sixth Suites, in particular, have an attractive rhythmic lilt. In the livelier movements, and I am thinking particularly of the Courantes and Minuets, there is never a feeling of hurriedness, yet they retain their buoyancy.

Overall, the end result of Spengler’s cycle is gratifying. Intonation is flawless, articulation is clean and tidy, and textures remain clear.

The conducive surroundings of the chapel of the Château de Lunéville provides the perfect backdrop for these captivating masterpieces. I did not detect any audience presence, and applause seems to have been edited out. Much thought has gone into the production of this release. The three discs are lovingly presented in a sturdily manufactured gatefold, which also houses a booklet in French with English translation. Those who, like myself, prefer this music performed on a modern instrument will not be disappointed.

Stephen Greenbank



We are currently offering in excess of 52,000 reviews


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



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


a vibrant slice of life


BRITISH CELLO WORKS
stylistically assured


About Every Hill and Valley
Swedish Songs


Hallberg and Dente
interesting and most welcome


An inspired partnership
additional review


TOSCA
A valuable document



Musicweb sells the following labels

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

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
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger