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Bach: 6 Suites For Solo Cello / Pierre Fournier


Release Date: 02/11/1997 
Label:  Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog #: 449711   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Pierre Fournier
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 19 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Of all the great cellists I have heard playing Bach's six Cello Suites, BWV1007-12, either in the concert hall or in recordings of various kinds, Pierre Fournier came closer to the heart of the music, as I understand it, than almost any other. He made these recordings for Archiv between 1961 and 1963 since when they have seldom been out of the catalogue. Readers who prefer the charisma and extrovert flourishes of Tortelier (EMI), the penetrating though sometimes unstylish gestures of Casals, or the brilliant but too often superficial readings of Schiff (EMI) and Maisky (DG) may be hard to win over to these concentrated, personally unassuming interpretations by Fournier.

Fournier seems to me to have possessed all the virtues
Read more of his fellow cellists without yielding to any of their self-indulgences; irrelevant personal idiosyncrasies are never allowed to intrude these finely sustained performances. He could be brilliant in execution—his technique was second to none, as he proves throughout this set—profound in utterance, aristocratic in poise and wonderfully coherent in his understanding of Bach's articulation and phrases. We need look no further than the Prelude of the First Suite in G major to find the supreme artistry which characterizes each and every moment of these performances. To be sure, there are very occasionally notes which fail to reach their centre but they are few and far between and certainly Fournier's intonation compares favourably with that of some of his virtuoso companions. Fournier's rubato is held tightly in rein and when he does apply it it is in the interests of enlivening aspects of Bach's formal writing. Thus it is in the Preludes, where the music requires rhythmic freedom if it is not to be relegated to the ranks of mere study material, that Fournier demonstrates his intuition and fine sense of style most forcefully; the Preludes to the First and Third Suites provide good examples. Fournier can sparkle too, as he does in many of the faster dance-orientated movements such as courantes, gavottes, bourrees and so on; in the sarabandes, on the other hand, he invariably strikes a note of grandeur coupled with a concentration amounting at times—as in the sarabandes of Suites Nos. 2 and 3—almost to abstraction.

Above all, Fournier's Bach playing is crowned with an eloquence, a lyricism and a grasp both of the formal and stylistic content of the music which will not easily be matched. Curiously, perhaps, it is the baroque cellist, Anner Bylsma on RCA who often provides close parallels with Fournier. Bylsma's tempos tend to be faster than those of Fournier—that, after all has been a trend in baroque music over the past 20 years or so—but his conception of the music shares ground with that of Fournier. All things considered, it is hardly surprising that these readings seem as fresh and as valid today as they did 25 or more years ago. Out and out purists, poor devils, may not be able to adjust to modern pitch, modern instrument and, in the case of Suites Nos. 5 and 6, the wrong instrument, but if that is so they are deserving more of compassion than censure. Fine recorded sound and strongly commended on virtually all counts.'

-- Nicholas Anderson, Gramophone
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Works on This Recording

1.
Suite for Cello solo no 4 in E flat major, BWV 1010 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Pierre Fournier (Cello)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Length: 25 Minutes 28 Secs. 
2.
Suite for Cello solo no 1 in G major, BWV 1007 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Pierre Fournier (Cello)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Length: 18 Minutes 45 Secs. 
3.
Suite for Cello solo no 3 in C major, BWV 1009 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Pierre Fournier (Cello)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Length: 23 Minutes 4 Secs. 
4.
Suite for Cello solo no 5 in C minor, BWV 1011 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Pierre Fournier (Cello)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Length: 24 Minutes 51 Secs. 
5.
Suite for Cello solo no 6 in D major, BWV 1012 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Pierre Fournier (Cello)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Length: 27 Minutes 3 Secs. 
6.
Suite for Cello solo no 2 in D minor, BWV 1008 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Pierre Fournier (Cello)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Length: 19 Minutes 4 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Suite For Cello Solo No.1 In G, BWV 1007: 1. Prélude
Suite For Cello Solo No.1 In G, BWV 1007: 2. Allemande
Suite For Cello Solo No.1 In G, BWV 1007: 3. Courante
Suite For Cello Solo No.1 In G, BWV 1007: 4. Sarabande
Suite For Cello Solo No.1 In G, BWV 1007: 5. Menuet I-II
Suite For Cello Solo No.1 In G, BWV 1007: 6. Gigue
Suite For Cello Solo No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008: 1. Prélude
Suite For Cello Solo No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008: 2. Allemande
Suite For Cello Solo No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008: 3. Courante
Suite For Cello Solo No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008: 4. Sarabande
Suite For Cello Solo No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008: 5. Menuet I-II
Suite For Cello Solo No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008: 6. Gigue
Suite For Cello Solo No.3 In C, BWV 1009: 1. Prélude
Suite For Cello Solo No.3 In C, BWV 1009: 2. Allemande
Suite For Cello Solo No.3 In C, BWV 1009: 3. Courante
Suite For Cello Solo No.3 In C, BWV 1009: 4. Sarabande
Suite For Cello Solo No.3 In C, BWV 1009: 5. Bourrée I-II
Suite For Cello Solo No.3 In C, BWV 1009: 6. Gigue
Suite For Cello Solo No.4 In E Flat, BWV 1010: 1. Prélude
Suite For Cello Solo No.4 In E Flat, BWV 1010: 2. Allemande
Suite For Cello Solo No.4 In E Flat, BWV 1010: 3. Courante
Suite For Cello Solo No.4 In E Flat, BWV 1010: 4. Sarabande
Suite For Cello Solo No.4 In E Flat, BWV 1010: 5. Bourrée I-II
Suite For Cello Solo No.4 In E Flat, BWV 1010: 6. Gigue
Suite For Cello Solo No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011: 1. Prélude
Suite For Cello Solo No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011: 2. Allemande
Suite For Cello Solo No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011: 3. Courante
Suite For Cello Solo No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011: 4. Sarabande
Suite For Cello Solo No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011: 5. Gavotte I-II
Suite For Cello Solo No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011: 6. Gigue
Suite For Cello Solo No.6 In D, BWV 1012: 1. Prélude
Suite For Cello Solo No.6 In D, BWV 1012: 2. Allemande
Suite For Cello Solo No.6 In D, BWV 1012: 3. Courante
Suite For Cello Solo No.6 In D, BWV 1012: 4. Sarabande
Suite For Cello Solo No.6 In D, BWV 1012: 5. Gavotte I-II
Suite For Cello Solo No.6 In D, BWV 1012: 6. Gigue

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