Bach's gamba sonatas, not as famous as his solo-cello suites, receive an audaciously imaginative presentation on an 18th-century violoncello piccolo that captures the extraordinary beauties of the music as few others have done (the most intriguing alternative version is by violist Kim Kashkashian and pianist Keith Jarrett on ECM). The resulting flow of music, as if the sonatas and their curious companions (arrangements of other Bach) were one continuous reflection, is hypnotic in its appeal. The lighter, more agile tones of the violoncello piccolo, meanwhile, make what often sounds dense on the modern cello fantastic and poetical by turns. All this musical glory is complemented by a superb recording that captures every interpretive nuance, and absorbing liner notes by the cellist that pose but do not answer the riddles of the extra music. For those who find Wispelwey's brilliant playing addictive, his 16 other CDs for Channel Classics include equally compelling recordings of music by Bach, Beethoven, Haydn, and Vivaldi. --Laurence Vittes
CHN 14198; CHANNEL CLASSICS - Olanda; Classica da camera Viola
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com:4.2 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 starsCapturing the spirit21 April 2000
By "organaut" - Published on Amazon.com
Wispelwey, Egarr, and Yeadon have achieved a rare musical balance. They truly form parts of a whole. The playing is very spirited, and polypnony is absolutely beautiful. Of special note is the first track, Prelude in C from the Well-Tempered Clavier. Piano students, this is the way it should be played. Buy this CD while it's here!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 starsFuturistic Baroque5 Dec 2007
By Timothy D. Hinck - Published on Amazon.com
Pieter Wispelwey is perhaps not known for consistency at least as far as musical and stylistic interpretation are concerned. He is constantly changing, pushing, and evolving. He is not static and is often unpredictable. But isn't that what is so engaging about Baroque music? This is certainly what makes Wispelwey so much fun to listen to. Leaving the fascinating transcriptions aside (they are wonderful) the 3 gamba sonatas on this recording are a palate of colors and articulation and a showcase of virtuoso Baroque bow technique. Even the continuo playing is fresh and surprising with the first sonata accompanied on organ, the second on fortepiano and the third on harpsichord. Wispelwey managed to hold my attention while still remaining a true servant of the music. The lines are well drawn and the tempi well chosen. My only complaint is that this recording was perhaps mic'd a bit too close (see the few complaints on the 'too hot' recording of his bach suites). This makes for a bit too much fingerboard noise and an almost distractingly high mic level in places.
This is certainly the best recording I know of the sonatas, and one of the finest cello recordings I own.
0 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 starsYikes!29 Nov 2009
By Richard Pope - Published on Amazon.com
Sloppy and annoying to the ear! When I hear this I imagine sitting at the circus as child and watching midgets chase each other into a tiny car and seeing how many of them the ring-master can cram into it! Where is the care? This is all about the performer, not about Bach.