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Fournier on Bach

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Posted on January 3, 2017 at 18:54:58
banpuku
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I have a few of Bach's cello suites. To my ears, the Fournier on Archiv LP is just right. The tempo seems correct and the tonality is realistic. I like the fact that I can hear his breathing ever so slightly and the cello reverberates in the recording venue nicely. Rich tonality, but not overly so. Just right.

I found the starker on Mercury to be falsely large soundstage and distracting.

Any other thoughts on this or other recommendations?

 

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RE: Fournier on Bach, posted on January 3, 2017 at 19:52:26
fstein
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Watkins!

 

Check out the Starker on RCA (my fav) and this..., posted on January 3, 2017 at 20:30:36
musetap
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too:




I like the Fournier as well, but not as much as these.

"Once this was all Black Plasma and Imagination"-Michael McClure



 

I like 'em both, but I prefer Starker on Mercury myself, posted on January 4, 2017 at 00:06:07
Chris from Lafayette
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Especially in Suites 2 and 5. With regard to the soundstage, the Starker recordings sound close, rather than falsely large (to me anyway).

I'm also enthusiastic about a newer recording of the suites, from a couple of years ago, played along the same general lines as cellists from the previous generation, which is amazing, given the contagion of HIP over the last few decades:

 

Too many to single out..., posted on January 4, 2017 at 04:54:42
Kas
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...but among the ones I've heard (last time I checked, over 50 versions), the ones that get the most playing time are those of the late Heinrich Schiff, Pieter Wispelwey (his second recording), Ralph Kirshbaum, David Geringas (his recent third recording), Anner Bylsma (his first one), and Casals. All six are very different.

To be honest, many recordings of these works are worth hearing, which is probably why I've accumulated so many. When I first started listening to the suites 50 or so years ago, it was mostly to Fournier (Fournier, Casals, and Gendron were pretty much the only recordings available to me), but as the years have gone by, I've found him prosaic compared to modern cellists, however beautifully he plays. And I must confess that I find little to enjoy in some of the other "sacred cow" recordings, including those by Rostropovich, Starker (and I've tried at least four of his recordings),and Ma.

 

RE: My fav., posted on January 4, 2017 at 07:44:48
Travis
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2012.

Beautiful sound, the playing is thoughtful and immaculate.


"If people don't want to come, nothing will stop them" - Sol Hurok

 

RE: Fournier on Bach, posted on January 4, 2017 at 11:16:21
mes
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Jian Wang. For something a bit different.
I like the Casals but after I feel like I just went 3 rounds w Conor Mcgregor.

 

RE: Fournier on Bach, posted on January 4, 2017 at 12:10:30
jec01
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Of the dozen or so sets that I have, my favorite is the Zelenka set mentioned by musetap below. I'm also very fond of Truls Mork on Virgin. Both these sets emphasize the dance feel of the suites without becoming mechanical.

Casals is indispensable for historic reasons, but I almost never actually listen to it.

I have one recording that was made in a medieval French abbey. I'm at work now and can't remember/can't check the name of the cellist, but it's not a household name. The performance quality is adequate though not great, but the resonant acoustic is very satisfying.

Edgar Meyer recorded Suites 1, 2 and 5 on the double bass, which is an amazing feat and very cool to listen to.

Sets I have and don't care much for:

Matt Haimovitz: self-indulgent and emotional. What you might expect to hear if Young Werther was a cellist.

Yo-Yo Ma's 1983 set: this was my imprint set, but it now sounds mechanical and dry. Same problem with Zuill Bailey.

Janos Starker on Mercury, Steven Isserlis on Hyperion and Jaap ter Linden on Brilliant (from the Big Box of Bach): nothing particularly wrong with any of these, but they never seem to find their way to the top of my pile.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something...

Happy listening,

Jim

"The passage of my life is measured out in shirts."
- Brian Eno

 

RE: Fournier on Bach, posted on January 4, 2017 at 12:17:33
Travis
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I heard Wang on SiriusXM and bought it. Really didn't know the Suites. It served for a while.

Now I'm loving Wispelwey (3rd & latest) and Isang Enders. Both are in great sound.


"If people don't want to come, nothing will stop them" - Sol Hurok

 

RE: Fournier on Bach, posted on January 4, 2017 at 12:26:32
bald2
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I adore the Fournier. But for modern cello performances, I'd take Navarra, Gendron and Tortelier as well...

Harry

 

RE: Fournier on Bach, posted on January 4, 2017 at 12:38:20
mes
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I ordered the Enders based on your previous post. Haven't heard it so tx for the rec. The Wang isn't my fav by any stretch, I just like to play it now and again because it is so different......playful and optimistic sounding. As with Well Tempered Clavier, although I really like Richter, Gould, Periah and Felner, I occasionally put on Gulda for a similar change.

 

RE: Fournier on Bach, posted on January 4, 2017 at 12:43:59
Travis
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I hear you.


"If people don't want to come, nothing will stop them" - Sol Hurok

 

Starker/Mercury "soundstage", posted on January 4, 2017 at 14:12:35
pbarach
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I have the Starker/Mercury recordings on SACD. These were 3-channel originals, and when you listen to the surround layer, the cello is lifesize (not bigger) and dead-on-center in front of you. I like the performances, too. Unfortunately, copies of the SACDs now sell for outrageuos sums (and I'm hanging onto my copy).

Nobody's mentioned the Jian Wang set on DG. a fabulous performance by an artist that is too little known: http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=93709

And some other favorites of mine: Anner Bylsma's second recording of the suites, and EDGAR MEYER (I wish he'd record the other three suites on double bass).

 

I forgot Queyras!!! (nt), posted on January 4, 2017 at 14:24:56
Kas
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nt

 

RE: Starker/Mercury "soundstage", posted on January 4, 2017 at 14:40:05
bald2
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Jian Wang is a wonderful cellist, indeed. I enjoyed watching an interview with him on youtube recently, which I found after listening to performances by him on the Maria Joao Pires chamber music boxed set. I'd love to hear his Bach.

The Starker performances don't quite do it for me. I've heard some of the the Mercury on master tape and they do sound fine; nevertheless, Navarra's on SACD and Janigro on Westminster are more imaginative, soulful and beautifully played in my view.. One man's meat:)

Harry Z

 

RE: My fav., posted on January 4, 2017 at 14:44:56
banpuku
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Do you know if this is a digital or analogue recording?

 

RE: My fav., posted on January 4, 2017 at 16:09:42
Travis
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Digital. Even so, the sound is really excellent.

In truth, the Berlin Classics vinyl was not the quietest. The more I clean it, the better it sounds but I doubt if it will ever be dead quiet. I've not heard the CD set to compare the sound.

I'm including a link to the promo video which will give you an inkling of what I've been writing about. Even the youtube sounds pretty good.






"If people don't want to come, nothing will stop them" - Sol Hurok

 

The French guy I couldn't remember, posted on January 4, 2017 at 18:01:33
jec01
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is Lluis Claret. Who is actually an Andorran of Catalan descent, for whatever that's worth.


Happy listening,

Jim

"The passage of my life is measured out in shirts."
- Brian Eno

 

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