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Six Cello Suites (Paolo Pandolfo)

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2 used from £21.50

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Product details

  • Audio CD (9 July 2001)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Glossa
  • ASIN: B00005N8CS
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 491,998 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bob Zeidler on 7 Sep 2003
Johann Sebastian Bach wrote, arguably (or perhaps not even open to argument), some of the most sublime music for the principal solo instruments (keyboards, violin, cello) of all time. Certain of these works, as I've written elsewhere, are true "cornerstones of Western art": The Goldberg Variations (for keyboards), the Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, and the Suites for Solo Cello. Most lovers of this music have two or more (or several) versions of each.
Sometimes (as in the case of the keyboard works), the justification for multiple versions is that the work(s) may be heard on multiple (and different) instruments, such as harpsichord and piano, where the differences between instruments are obvious. On the other hand, the differences between a modern violin and its Baroque counterpart are somewhat more subtle: The use of metal - rather than gut - strings, and differences in bow and bridge design and violin construction, add up to differences in brilliance of sound.
The differences between the cello and the viola da gamba ("leg viol") lie somewhere in the middle of these extremes. Technically, the viola da gamba has six strings (all of gut) instead of four, the fingerboard has frets (as on a guitar or lute), the bridge is flatter (and closer to the fingerboard), and there is no foot peg. As a result, its sound is quite a bit brighter and less "assertive" than that of the cello. Its role is largely in the performance of music written for it (beginning with Renaissance music). Bach did not write his Suites for this instrument, but for its successor, the cello.
Then why did Paolo Pandolfo transcribe and perform the Cello Suites for viola da gamba, and why should we be listening to them?
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