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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent arrangement for viola of cello works, 6 Feb 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The 6 Solo Suites (Audio CD)
Few are the works for a bowed instrument without accompaniment. This requires much skill from both the composer and the performer to produce a sufficiently rich sound, by means of broken chords and multiple-string effects, to make the instrument self-sufficient. Of the works extant of this type, J.S. Bach's are the most famous. These six cello suites conform to the model in use at the time: a collection of dances, typically an Allemande, a Courante, a Sarabande, slow and stately, and a fast Gigue to conclude, all in the same key. All those were ballroom dances of the time! To the above, Bach adds a Prelude at the beginning, and another dance (Menuet, Bourree or Gavotte) just before the Gigue.
This arrangement for the viola is particularly interesting, because of the character of the instrument: the viola does not have the flamboyance of the violin, or the deep tones of the cello, it has a lighter, more discrete but very beautiful sound. The excellent Japanese violist Nobuko Imai plays it with self-assured elegance.
High moments of this record: the Courante of Suite No.1, the Menuet of Suite No.2, the Sarabande of Suite No.3, all of Suite No.6 (the Prelude is amusingly similar to a bagpipe tune!).
P. Baudry
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The 6 Solo Suites
The 6 Solo Suites by Johann Sebastian Bach (Audio CD - 1999)
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