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J.S. Bach - Cello Suites

Rachel Podger, violin

Rachel Podger

Johann Sebastian Bach

SKU: 41119

Year of release: 2019

Cello Suite No.1 in G Major, BWV1007 - transcribed by R. Podger (D Major) 16:36
1. I. Prelude Johann Sebastian Bach 02:08
2. II. Allemande Johann Sebastian Bach 04:19
3. III. Courante Johann Sebastian Bach 02:26
4. IV. Sarabande Johann Sebastian Bach 03:01
5. V. Menuet 1 & 2 Johann Sebastian Bach 03:01
6. VI. Gigue Johann Sebastian Bach 01:40
Cello Suite No.2 in D minor, BWV1008 - transcribed by R. Podger (A minor) 20:09
7. I. Prelude Johann Sebastian Bach 03:35
8. II. Allemande Johann Sebastian Bach 03:03
9. III. Courante Johann Sebastian Bach 02:30
10. IV. Sarabande Johann Sebastian Bach 05:00
11. V. Menuet 1 & 2 Johann Sebastian Bach 02:50
12. VI. Gigue Johann Sebastian Bach 03:08
Cello Suite No.3 in C Major, BWV1009 - transcribed by R. Podger (G Major) 20:10
13. I. Prelude Johann Sebastian Bach 02:54
14. II. Allemande Johann Sebastian Bach 03:19
15. III. Courante Johann Sebastian Bach 03:14
16. IV. Sarabande Johann Sebastian Bach 04:18
17. V. Bourrée Johann Sebastian Bach 03:28
18. VI. Gigue Johann Sebastian Bach 02:56
Cello Suite No.4 in E Flat Major, BWV1010 - transcribed by R. Podger (B Flat Major) 21:42
19. I. Prelude Johann Sebastian Bach 02:58
20. II. Allemande Johann Sebastian Bach 04:17
21. III. Courante Johann Sebastian Bach 03:03
22. IV. Sarabande Johann Sebastian Bach 03:48
23. V. Bourrée Johann Sebastian Bach 04:43
24. VI. Gigue Johann Sebastian Bach 02:53
Cello Suite No.5 in C minor, BWV1011 - transcribed by R. Podger (G minor) 22:20
25. I. Prelude Johann Sebastian Bach 05:47
26. II. Allemande Johann Sebastian Bach 05:23
27. III. Courante Johann Sebastian Bach 02:04
28. IV. Sarabande Johann Sebastian Bach 02:29
29. V. Gavotte 1 & 2 Johann Sebastian Bach 04:30
30. VI. Gigue Johann Sebastian Bach 02:06
Cello Suite No.6 in D Major, BWV1012 26:24
31. I. Prelude Johann Sebastian Bach 03:54
32. II. Allemande Johann Sebastian Bach 06:59
33. III. Courante Johann Sebastian Bach 03:23
34. IV. Sarabande Johann Sebastian Bach 04:22
35. V. Gavotte 1 & 2 Johann Sebastian Bach 03:54
36. VI. Gigue Johann Sebastian Bach 03:50
Total time: 127:24

About this album

(…) Since, I have spent a fair bit of time coaching cellists, both modern and baroque alike, and found myself playing along to demonstrate various points I gradually could feel these pieces joining the violin partitas and sonatas as another kind of ‘daily bread’; I started catching myself playing some of the movements I particularly loved while warming up, and realising that it was actually possible to play them on the violin, and to find a special expressive vocabulary at the higher pitch.
How could one possibly justify it, especially with works that have peppered the recording catalogue with some of the most iconic and adored string performances of all time, the Casals, Fourniers, Torteliers or Starkers? But what I was doing also seemed very much in keeping with Bach’s own habit of recycling his compositions for different instruments and different uses. The examples are endless but I immediately think of the concertos appearing as sinfonias in cantatas, or concertos for violins turned into harpsichord concertos.
The more I reflect, the less I feel the need to be defensive because Bach did far more outrageous things! Think of the Prelude of the E major Partita for violin turned into a full orchestral cantata movement with trumpets and drums…

– Rachel Podger (excerpt from liner notes)

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Reviews

BBC Music Magazine [Recording of the Month, July 2019]

Double 5-Star review for Rachel Podger's Bach Cello Suites, in the July 2019 issue! "A breathtaking interpretation of Bach’s Cello Suites. A spellbinding set that is arguably Podger's finest recorded achievement to date."

Bach Magazin

(...) tänzerischen Leichtigkeit ihres Spiels, mühelos wirkenden Akkordbrechungen, entspannten Fluss ihrer Melodiegestaltung (...)

Tribune de Genève

(...) sa relecture garde une puissance autoporteuse; elle parvient très vite à conquérir les pavillons du mélomane par l'élégance des phrasés dans les passages lents, par la virtuosité dans les danses et par la qualité de la captation. Voilà qui donne de la pertinence à cette aventure plutôt osée. (...)

MusicWeb International

(...) with Rachel Podger’s persuasive musicality it doesn’t take too long for the mind to adjust.

Classica

(...) Rachel Podger se montre parfaitement recevable – le violon étant historiquement l’instrument de la danse. (...)

Artalinna - Le Disque du Jour

(...) Elle en fait son miel, rendant non seulement l’expérience passionnante mais révélatrice de toute une part des six Suites : tout ce qui doit y danser fuse ici avec une prestance plus affirmée encore, le défi est donc plutôt du côté des pièces méditatives (...) tout est porté par une grâce solaire, et les textes si éloquents des six Suites semblent voler sous cet archet diseur, merveille dont vous ne pourrez vous déprendre.

Gramophone

Like Leonhardt and Kim Kashkashian before her, Podger adopts the Suites with bravura and the confidence that while their nature may change, their stature will not be diminished. (...) Freest in form, the Preludes undergo the happiest transformations – taken up the octave, the Prelude to the Sixth sounds more than ever like a shanty – whereas the sarabandes demand all of Podger’s bow control and even then their essential gravity is necessarily modulated with the smile of a more flowing pulse. (...)

Het Parool

Cellosuite op viool: grandioos (...) die lichte timbre-karakteristiek geeft de stukken opeens iets heel mooi zwevends; alsof de muziek is ontstegen aan het aardse . (...)

The Guardian [CD of the Week]

(...) Violinist Podger makes Bach’s suites sound as if they were written for her instrument, such is her buoyancy and agility. (...) Isn’t Rachel Podger a violinist? What’s she doing recording Bach’s Cello Suites? That’s the question if you see the cover before you hear this album. But do those things in reverse order, you might instead ask why you’ve never heard this Bach violin music before.

Opus Klassiek [CD van de Maand]

(…) dit is wellicht het mooiste cadeau dat luisterende en vioolspelende Bachliefhebbers zich kunnen wensen. (...) Het klinkende resultaat is niet alleen verrassend, het is meespelepend, wonderbaarlijk en intrigerend. Niet alleen door de manier waarop ze haar ontdekkingen laat klinken, maar vooral door het nieuwe inzicht dat ze deze noten meegeeft. Een topvioliste met het creatieve brein van een componist.

HRAudio.net

Rachel Podger has been described as the Casals of her time so it is not surprising that, having committed superb performances of Bach’s sonatas, partitas, violin concertos and much more to disc, she should turn her attention to the cello suites, and few would argue that the results of her efforts in transcribing these works for the violin is anything other than a triumphant success. (...) thanks to the superb efforts of Producer Jonathan Freeman-Attwood and Recording engineer Jared Sacks, one’s listening room is transformed into that venue whose fine acoustic wonderfully enhances the sound of the violinist’s 1739 Pesarinius violin to glorious effect. (...)

Diapason

L’acoustique très sobre permet d’entendre avec précision chaque coup d’archet, chaque prasé. (...) Lentes,effilées, amères souvent, ce sont les sommets d'une relecture paradoxale à bien des égards, qui fourmille de détails inattendus, et tient pourtant de l'épure. (...)

Technical Specifications

SpeakersGrimm LS1
Mastering EquimentAmplifier: Classe 5200 | Cables: Van den Hul (exclusive use of Van den Hul cables)
Mastering EngineerJared Sacks
EditingJared Sacks
CablesVan den Hul
Mixing ConsoleRens Heijnis, custom design
MicrophonesBruel & Kjaer 4006, Schoeps
Recording Notes

Rachel would like to thank Warren Day, Peter and Olwen Roberts, John and Jane Neville, and Anthony and Jo Diamond for their support.

Recording FormatDSD 256
Analog To Digital ConverterDSD Super Audio / Merging Technologies Horus­ 256FS
Recording Date2018
Recording LocationThe Angela Burgess Recital Hall at the Royal Academy of Music, London
Recording EngineerJared Sacks
ProductionJonathan Freeman-Attwood