on 21 June 2012
Bach's Six Suites for Solo Cello are among the greatest works for the instrument; they represent a peak that every cellist feels the need to tackle. Pieter Wispelwey has played them on a number of occasions and has also made two magnificent recordings. Technically perfect, precise yet passionate, warm, colorful.
I listened to him in 2011 live and was able to find a seat very close, it almost felt like a private performance. Perfect! Just a few meters from the soloist. One heck of a concert to remember for life.
I have had these CDs of his second recordings for some time, and they are always a joy to listen, on par, or almost so, with those recorded by Rostropovich and Fournier, neither of whom however I ever had a chance to listen to live.
I am tempted to buy his first recordings now. It feels like I have to, just as I have both recordings of Beethoven's Goldberg Variations by Glenn Gould: some artists evolve considerably over time and can perform the same piece in two very very different ways as they grow.
Apparently Wispelwey intends to do a third recording some time soon... Looking forward!
on 18 August 2008
If you think that the Fournier version of these masterpieces is the all time standard then you will not like this interpretation, but if you think that the Fournier is heavy, intellectual, and bordering on the grave and ponderous, then you should try this interpretation. Here Wespelway breathes in great light and air into the spacious architectural structure of Bach, creating great spaciousness and delicacy of feeling. He concentrates on the melodic line at the expense of the harmonic structure often, but this is very refreshing and graceful. He seems to understand the melodic singing quality of these works and concentrates on this aspect instead of as in the Fournier version concentrating on the architectural and structural. This interpretation may even get you singing these pieces, which you may never have before heard so melodically or so freshly played. Night and day between this version (day) and the Fournier version (night).