Roel Dieltiens

J.S. Bach: Complete Cello Suites

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Performing on Baroque cello and bow, cellist Roel Dieltiens offers his second recording of the Bach complete cello suites on this Et'Cetera album. With so many recordings of the suites available, and many cellists even committing different versions of their own playing across their career, it can be difficult to find anything new and worthwhile. Dieltiens puts the focus of this two-disc set on the effect of each suite created not only by the notes themselves, but on the key chosen by Bach. Such a focus certainly presents a potential pitfall of the playing becoming overly emotional and distorted, but Dieltiens generally avoids this. The six preludes have an appropriately improvisatory feeling and rhythmic freedom while the dance movements typically maintain their rhythmic integrity without being rigid or stodgy. Only the occasional Sarabande (from the Second Suite in particular) becomes a little indulgent with the liberties taken with rhythm and tempo. Dieltiens also incorporates his own ornamentation to various degrees, a custom perfectly in line with his performance practice. Some suites, such as the Fifth, get very little of this extra stylization, while the First and Third suites have many added trills, turns, and mordents. This adds extra interest to Dieltiens' technically superb playing and keeps listeners' ears tuned into what might come next. Et'Cetera's sound captures the rich depth of Dieltiens' playing, but also unduly emphasizes many powerful fingerfalls that can be somewhat distracting.

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