Bach?

To listen press on the audio player below
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Casals was 77 when this was recorded. Some of the skills of the 30s recordings may be a little blunted, but it’s an invaluable document all the same …

1. Prelude – 0:01
2. Allemande – 2:06
3. Courante – 5:33
4. Sarabande – 8:08
5. Minuets 1 & 2 – 10:36
6. Gigue – 14:01


Seventh heaven for score-followers: you can follow both Anna Magdalena’s and a modern version of the work simultaneously! The cellist is Yo-Yo Ma.

1. Prelude – 0:17
2. Allemande – 2:50
3. Courante – 6:38
4. Sarabande – 9:04
5. Minuets 1 & 2 – 12:01
6. Gigue – 15:07


It dawned on me (too late, too late!) that I haven’t even mentioned Rostropovich, though I’m fairly sure this was because he’d always seemed, to me, to be more comfortable in later repertoire. This is me making amends:

1. Prelude
2. Allemande​
3. Courante
4. Sarabande
5. Minuets 1 & 2
6. Gigue


And, if you want to make the pilgrimage (well worth it!) …

1. Cello-Suites#1 BWV-1007 (0:00​)
2. Cello-Suites#2 BWV-1008 (18:39​)
3. Cello-Suites#3 BWV-1009 (37:44​)
4. Cello-Suites#4 BWV-1010 (1:00:56​)
5. Cello-Suites#5 BWV-1011 (1:26:26​)
6. Cello-Suites#6 BWV-1012 (1:51:20​)


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2 thoughts on “Bach?

  1. Very enjoyable session. Thank you. As far as the Prelude to Cello Suite 1 goes, I liked the tempo, clarity and subtle dynamics of Yo Yo Ma. I agree with you about the David Watkins performance. Your favourite, Pierre Fournier I thought a bit slow at first but I adjusted to the tempo and found it very clear too.

  2. A wonderful class, Chris, and isn’t it amazing that we can listen to and watch Casals playing almost 70 years after the event! I remember hearing Rostropovich play these Suites as a cycle in Edinburgh in 1961 and it was a revelation. Nowadays my preference would be more for David Watkin or the Dutch cellist Anner Bijlsma, who both make the music really dance.

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