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Bach, J.S.: The Cello Suites

4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Composer: J. S. Bach
  • Audio CD (10 Sept. 2007)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Archiv Al Fresco
  • ASIN: B000V3OKW0
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 89,628 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.1 In G, BWV 1007 - 1. Prélude 2:50£0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.1 In G, BWV 1007 - 2. Allemande 4:17£0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.1 In G, BWV 1007 - 3. Courante 2:44£0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.1 In G, BWV 1007 - 4. Sarabande 3:20£0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.1 In G, BWV 1007 - 5. Menuet I-II 3:27£0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.1 In G, BWV 1007 - 6. Gigue 2:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008 - 1. Prélude 3:25£0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008 - 2. Allemande 3:25£0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008 - 3. Courante 2:06£0.99  Buy MP3 
10. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008 - 4. Sarabande 4:18£0.99  Buy MP3 
11. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008 - 5. Menuet I-II 3:16£0.99  Buy MP3 
12. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008 - 6. Gigue 2:30£0.99  Buy MP3 
13. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.3 In C, BWV 1009 - 1. Prélude 3:42£0.99  Buy MP3 
14. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.3 In C, BWV 1009 - 2. Allemande 3:58£0.99  Buy MP3 
15. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.3 In C, BWV 1009 - 3. Courante 3:10£0.99  Buy MP3 
16. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.3 In C, BWV 1009 - 4. Sarabande 4:59£0.99  Buy MP3 
17. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.3 In C, BWV 1009 - 5. Bourrée I-II 3:54£0.99  Buy MP3 
18. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.3 In C, BWV 1009 - 6. Gigue 3:14£0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.4 In E Flat, BWV 1010 - 1. Prélude 4:15£0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.4 In E Flat, BWV 1010 - 2. Allemande 4:31£0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.4 In E Flat, BWV 1010 - 3. Courante 3:45£0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.4 In E Flat, BWV 1010 - 4. Sarabande 5:07£0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.4 In E Flat, BWV 1010 - 5. Bourrée I-II 5:05£0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.4 In E Flat, BWV 1010 - 6. Gigue 2:40£0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011 - 1. Prélude 7:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011 - 2. Allemande 4:34£0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011 - 3. Courante 2:05£0.99  Buy MP3 
10. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011 - 4. Sarabande 3:28£0.99  Buy MP3 
11. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011 - 5. Gavotte I-II 5:04£0.99  Buy MP3 
12. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011 - 6. Gigue 2:34£0.99  Buy MP3 
13. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.6 In D, BWV 1012 - 1. Prélude 5:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
14. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.6 In D, BWV 1012 - 2. Allemande 5:42£0.99  Buy MP3 
15. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.6 In D, BWV 1012 - 3. Courante 3:48£0.99  Buy MP3 
16. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.6 In D, BWV 1012 - 4. Sarabande 3:46£0.99  Buy MP3 
17. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.6 In D, BWV 1012 - 5. Gavotte I-II 4:37£0.99  Buy MP3 
18. J.S. Bach: Suite For Cello Solo No.6 In D, BWV 1012 - 6. Gigue 4:03£0.99  Buy MP3 

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sid Nuncius #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 27 Aug. 2011
Format: Audio CD
This is deservedly regarded as a classic recording of the Bach Cello Suites. Fournier was one of the very greatest of 20th Century cellists, and this recording is among his finest. It is thoughtful and deeply felt, with generally measured tempi and enough rubato (speeding up and slowing down) to allow the music really to speak to us without becoming swamped in the cellist's own personality or swept away in Romantic fervour. It is marvellous playing in which Fournier's virtuosity is put entirely to the service of Bach, and the result is something really special. The great sweeping arpeggios of the Prelude to Suite No. 3 are resonant and deeply moving, for example, and the magical, numinous Sarabande from Suite No. 5 is simply spellbinding.

The recording quality (from 1961) is very good and the digital transfer seems to have preserved the fabulous sound of Fournier's cello beautifully. The notes are a little sketchy, but the music's the really important thing.

I have loved the Bach Cello Suites since I was a hopelessly bad teenage cellist (a long time ago now). Of all the recordings I have heard this stands with the very best. I couldn't possibly pick a single favourite, but if you want just one for your collection, this will do you very well indeed. Even if, like me, you already own more than one recording I would urge you to try Fournier. There is insight and beauty in abundance here, and I recommend this set without any reservation whatever.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
We heard this music on a Morse episode and checked out the multiple versions available on Amazon. Is this the best? Who knows and it seems that it depends what you want to hear; I have a fine Hi-Fi and a critical wife, and both seem more than happy - it's an atmospheric recording and quite a lively performance.

That probably makes this version an easy choice for the classical music novice.
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By Tup Ensworth on 6 Mar. 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Not a genre I am too familiar with but these recordings were recommended to me as I am learning a few of these pieces for electric bass. M. Fournier was a very talented player, irritatingly so, in fact :).
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. B. Orejas on 25 Jan. 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
PIERRE FOURNIER AND PAU CASALS WERE AND ARE THE BEST PERFORMERS OF CELLO'S BACH SUITES. EVER. YO YO MA IS NOT AT THAT LEVEL ALTHOUGH SOME PEOPLE LIKE HIS MORE DRAMATIC VERSION.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Buy It For The Bursts Of Joy. 21 Mar. 2010
By BigCityChicken - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Casals version is supreme in many ways but my ears have always drifted toward this effort by Fournier. Each listen brings a fresh nuance, a pleasant passage, a figment of X-factor that Casals' version doesn't. Fournier's emotional impact, sound and musical instinct sends chills down my spine, whereas Casals just seems too perfect. Can't lose with purchasing both versions.

I think Casals version would appeal to the stiff, astute, schooled, forceful, and clinical proto-types. Straight line thinking. Casals neurons fire like laser beams, accurate and timely. If you enjoy a fine drink, a good meal, little bursts of joy, spontaneity, staring into the clouds, then Fournier is your man. His neurons fire like a 4th of July Celebration, exploding here and there with pleasant surprises.

Extra added bonus- this version offers a superb sound mix of a Stradivarius cello up close. You can hear Fournier digging in and extracting fine sound.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The six cello Suites by J.S. Bach 5 Nov. 2012
By Dr. H. A. Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
These works are a formidable challenge for any cellist and there are several fine recordings available. I have the versions by Pierre Fournier (on Archiv DGG) and by Paul Tortelier (on EMI) in my collection and I am equally happy listening to either. I have also heard portions of the recordings by Mstislav Rostropovich and by Yo-Yo Ma, which to my ears are equally brilliant and absorbing. Each Suite is a collection of six Baroque dances: a Prelude, Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Gavotte or Bourée or Minuet, and a final Gigue. I would have to agree with the reviewer who said that these were very intense performances and that other interpretations do make the music 'swing' more - they are after all dances! But I use these for meditation, so no problem. These are 2CD collections with 3 Suites complete on each CD. I am sure you would find any of these interpretations equally spiritually uplifting, even in the slower movements.

Bach: Cello Suites
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful playing of great music 4 May 2014
By Sid Nuncius - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is deservedly regarded as a classic recording of the Bach Cello Suites. Fournier was one of the very greatest of 20th Century cellists, and this recording is among his finest. It is thoughtful and deeply felt, with generally measured tempi and enough rubato (speeding up and slowing down) to allow the music really to speak to us without becoming swamped in the cellist's own personality or swept away in Romantic fervour. It is marvellous playing in which Fournier's virtuosity is put entirely to the service of Bach, and the result is something really special. The great sweeping arpeggios of the Prelude to Suite No. 3 are resonant and deeply moving, for example, and the magical, numinous Sarabande from Suite No. 5 is simply spellbinding.

The recording quality (from 1961) is very good and the digital transfer seems to have preserved the fabulous sound of Fournier's cello beautifully. The notes are a little sketchy, but the music's the really important thing.

I have loved the Bach Cello Suites since I was a hopelessly bad teenage cellist (a long time ago now). Of all the recordings I have heard this stands with the very best. I couldn't possibly pick a single favourite, but if you want just one for your collection, this will do you very well indeed. Even if, like me, you already own more than one recording I would urge you to try Fournier. There is insight and beauty in abundance here, and I recommend this set without any reservation whatever.
41 of 60 people found the following review helpful
This is Still the Favorite of Many Bach Lovers... 25 Sept. 2009
By Reviewer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
... as one can quickly discover by looking at the reviews of this bargain re-release as well as other, older editions. Wondering why, I dug out my old Archive LPs of Pierre Fournier to listen to him once again after being recently "blown away' by the performances of the same six suites by Jean-Guihen Queyras and Ophelie Gaillard. I was eager to hear what people had heard in Fournier's performance that set it apart from performances by other 20th C cellists.

Okay... My Swedish grandmother had a massive oak dining table with claw feet, which could seat twelve full-sized Swedish uncles and great-uncles comfortably. I used to crawl under that table as a boy. It was the Platonic ideal for me of everything sturdy and imperturbable. Fournier's interpretation of Bach is like that: resonant, robust, grand, and muscular. His tone never sags. His tuning is as dependable as the return of wild geese in the spring. His bowing is reassuringly confident. His interpretation is thoughtfully grave throughout. But...

... his tempi are unbearably slow, especially in the double bourees and courants. His phrasing is stiff, arbitrary, and bluffly unaware of the polyrhythmic layers of 'counting', with the effect that he seems to play all the notes but none of the note-groupings. It's like listening to dance music but having no idea of the steps. I have a nagging sense of 'not knowing where we are' in the unfolding of these sublimated dance structures, of hearing the notes but not the 'composition' of them.

... his affect is solemn and resigned throughout, like the musical thoughts of a man focused on sorrow. Bach had other moods as a man, and I think he had other moods in mind for this music: humor, light-heartedness, graciousness, exuberance. I think old Bach would have considered Fournier a very dull companion.

But that's just one listener's frankly subjective opinion, friends. You needn't heap scornful comments on me, or unhelpful votes, if you disagree. "Each bird finds its own nest beautiful," as my Swedish grandmother would have said if she'd been Italian: A ogni uccello suo nido é bello.
One of the great Bach recordings 5 May 2015
By jt52 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This will be more like a paean than a review: of the couple thousand recordings in my collection, Pierre Fournier’s recording of the Bach cello suites is in the very top echelon. Its consistent excellence and beauty makes it a pleasure every time I listen to it. I consider it the reference for the Bach suites and, while I certainly haven’t heard every alternative, to me Fournier’s performance is superior to the highly-regarded cycles from Pablo Casals and Janos Starker.

Fournier’s interpretation emphasizes rhythmic flexibility, musicality and a relatively light touch. The deft sense of rhythm allows the music to flow naturally without ever dissipating into blandness. The Prelude of the 2nd suite is I think particularly fine and reflects Fournier’s many strengths. He manages to both present flexibly within individual phrases while creating a sense of long-term structure. This Prelude is built in a wave-like form, with the smaller eddies at times reaching a particular crest. So the music flows up and down the register and reaches a high F (measure 20) before subsiding, followed by a gradual build up to the higher range in a passage that concludes with an understated but climactic triple stop in the dominant. Fournier’s performance is affecting and perfectly judged throughout. The “tactical” phrasing is full of nuance without obscuring structurally-important pitches.

Another very fine moment occurs in the concluding Gigue of the 3rd Suite, a dance which shows Fournier is capable of great intensity when he thinks the score calls for it. This Gigue is relatively light-hearted and Fournier’s style fits it perfectly, allowing it to be light but with a rhythmic fluidity stemming from his always sensitive treatment of the downbeats. Within this calm and carefree external portion, though, the central section is built over a drone-like D. Fournier shifts wonderfully from a light, understated approach into playing this central section with passion and a sense of urgency.

The Fournier cycle combines rhythmic dexterity with emotional variety. His technique is assured with no intonation issues anywhere. The recording, dating from 1960, isn’t modern but it sounds very good. This is a landmark recording. I have heard alternative versions of the Suites that have impressed and pleased me greatly, but Fournier’s continues to stand as the exemplar.
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