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Bach: Sonatas for Viola da gamba & Harpsichord

3.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 26, 1984
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Product Details

  • Performer: Yo-Yo Ma, Kenneth Cooper
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (June 26, 1984)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • Run Time: 42 minutes
  • ASIN: B0000025PV
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,837 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Unfortunately, even though the artists here are of the highest calibre, this CD of Bach's beautiful Sonatas for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord is not self-recommending. I say unfortunately because these performances are curiously pedestrian, utterly routine and continuously lacking charm, grace and anything close to depth. It's all quite a terribly dull affair at Bach's expense--- and ours. To add insult to injury, the recording itself is heavily weighted in Ma's favor, which is hardly a bonus; Cooper's harpsichord sounds as if it's in another room somewhere in the distance... droning on and on and on. Even at mid-price, these renditions are simply not competitive.

[Running time: 42:24]
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By A Customer on September 30, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This CD is what originally got me into classical music years ago and it continues to inspire me and be my favorite album.
Despite what the other reviewer said, i believe this recording contains huge depth and is interpreted beautifully.
A must have for ANY classical music lover(or non-lover).
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
enjoyed but had hoped yo yo would have played a viola da gamba.... that is why i bought it......to hear it as it was written
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I purchased this recording on LP 25 years ago. I loved the music then, and I love it now. The problem with the recording is the lack of balance between the two performers. Ma's playing is emphasized to the point that Cooper is reduced to a mere accompanist rather than being an equal partner. It is as if Ma sits at the very edge of the stage while Cooper and his harpsichord are tucked away in the far rear corner. For this reason, I recommend buying a clean used copy of the CD rather than a new copy.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is my 3rd CD of Bach's 3 sonatas for cello and harpsichord (see my review of the recording by Daniel Shafran). Though originally written for the viola da gamba and harpsichord, these sonatas more often than not are now recorded by the cello and the piano. The cello's timber is slightly stronger than that of the viola, but it is a perfectly acceptable substitute. It is the use of the piano which, in my view, is very objectionable, due to its huge difference from the subtle and delicate harpsichord.
Yo-Yo Ma's interpretation of Bach's 3 masterpieces is superb, and Kenneth Cooper's performance at the harpsichord is excellent. Though recorded in 1983, the sound (on CBS records), is good, though the harpsichord sounds somewhat faint.
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