Top positive review
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One of the pinnacles of Western classical music, played by a master
on 7 September 2008
It is difficult to know what to add to the many useful and intelligent reviews already posted on Amazon, but anyone who owns this recording feels the compulsion to share his enthusiasm with other music lovers. While other cellists - particularly Casals and Fournier - have made indispensable records of their interpretation of these sublime suites, this one comes as close as possible to offering everything you would require in a performance: full, deep recorded sound with the slight resonance and aura around it which the Burgundian gothic basilica of Vézelay provided (Slava chose this venue particularly for its rich acoustic); flawless playing by perhaps the greatest cellist ever; wonderfully illuminating notes which both enhance your understanding of the music and also of how Rostropovich finally felt ready to record his interpretation; in short, the finest possible account of these transcendent, spiritually profound masterworks. Obviously, you must respond to Rostropovich's more Romantic, unbuttoned interpretative stance, not mind some expressive slurs and not constantly be on the lookout for minor slips in intonation. If you desire a more restrained, inward, "classical" approach, go to Fournier, but anyone who seeks repose, truth and beauty in this troubled world needs to own this set; it will repay you with inexhaustible listening pleasure.