Ulrich Heinen

Bach+

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

The influence of J.S. Bach's Six Suites for Solo Cello extends through the whole of the instrument's solo repertoire, inspiring composers even today and providing a basis of comparison for virtually all compositions that followed them. Cellist Ulrich Heinen, principal cellist of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Simon Rattle and co-founder of the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, juxtaposes the first five Bach suites (the Sixth Suite omitted because of its unusual request for a five-string cello) with modern works that were inspired directly or indirectly by Bach. For their own part, Heinen's performances of the Bach suites are solid, nicely in tune, and unfettered by overly romantic gestures or alterations in tempo. Heinen's interpretation is a bit bland, though, and by themselves the five suites would not make for an overly successful album. What's most interesting are the modern works interspersed between them. From the prelude-like Six Figures for Solo Cello of Howard Skempton to the serial writing of Bernd Alois Zimmermann, to the Webern-like succinctness of Hans Werner Henze's Serenade for Cello Solo, Heinen demonstrates to his listeners just how far the cello has come and ways in which it has remained the same. His playing in the modern works is much more imaginative and energetic than in the Bach. It is in part this contrast that makes this two-disc set an enjoyable, engaging offering.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Cello Suite No. 1 in G major, BWV 1007
1 2:00
2 3:58
3 2:43
4 2:02
5 3:04
6 1:54
Sonata for cello solo
7 2:36
8 3:59
9 3:22
10 3:50
11 2:07
Cello Suite No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1008
12 3:44
13 3:20
14 2:06
15 3:44
16 2:59
17 2:35
Six figures for solo cello
18 0:59
19 1:16
20 0:51
21 2:06
22 0:29
23 0:28
Cello Suite No. 3 in C major, BWV 1009
24 3:19
25 3:56
26 3:33
27 3:10
28 3:48
29 3:12
blue highlight denotes track pick