Mstislav Rostropovich

Bach: Cello Suites Nos. 1, 4, 5

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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson

Owners of Rostropovich's 1995 set of Bach's cello suites should note that this EMI Classics issue matches the box's first disc and offers nothing different. Rostropovich's interpretations may be considered reverent but idiosyncratic, based as they are on his subjective associations of emotions and spiritual qualities with the musical characters of the suites. This may appeal to listeners who like rapt, mystical readings, though skeptics may find that expression can be elusive in Bach and harder to identify than Rostropovich supposes. Even so, Rostropovich's innate musicianship and sincerity make these performances fairly enjoyable, and one need not take his intentions too seriously. One drawback of the recordings, however, is the resonance of the Basilique Sainte-Madeleine, Vézelay, a live acoustic that covers a few sins of intonation and scratchy bowing, but unforgivably blurs Bach's rhythms and contrapuntal voicings. Its aural halo is a distraction on the CD.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Suite for solo cello No. 1 in G major, BWV 1007
1 Mstislav Rostropovich 02:04 Amazon
2 Mstislav Rostropovich 03:20 Amazon
3 Mstislav Rostropovich 02:34 Amazon
4 Mstislav Rostropovich 03:21 Amazon
5 Mstislav Rostropovich 01:17 Amazon
6 Mstislav Rostropovich 02:03 Amazon
7 Mstislav Rostropovich 01:41 Amazon
Suite for solo cello No. 4 in E flat major, BWV 1010
8 Mstislav Rostropovich 04:25 Amazon
9 Mstislav Rostropovich 03:32 Amazon
10 Mstislav Rostropovich 03:39 Amazon
11 Mstislav Rostropovich 05:09 Amazon
12 Mstislav Rostropovich 03:24 Amazon
13 Mstislav Rostropovich 02:45 Amazon
14 Mstislav Rostropovich 02:39 Amazon
Suite for solo cello No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011
15 Mstislav Rostropovich 07:23 Amazon
16 Mstislav Rostropovich 05:11 Amazon
17 Mstislav Rostropovich 02:26 Amazon
18 Mstislav Rostropovich 03:51 Amazon
19 Mstislav Rostropovich 02:46 Amazon
20 Mstislav Rostropovich 02:55 Amazon
21 Mstislav Rostropovich 02:25 Amazon
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