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Cello Suites


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Audio CD, March 11, 1997
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$13.94 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 16 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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This is Janos Starker's fifth recording of Bach's cello suites. His third set, for Mercury (423 756-2), is even more perfectly played. But the musical maturity, the subtlety of inflection and expression, in this set is truly incomparable. Unlike his earlier recordings, Starker now plays all the marked repeats in the score, making them an even richer experience. This playing satisfies all requirements of the head and the heart; it makes every point you want to hear, and it's profoundly moving. This recording is one of the best Bach sets in the catalogs, and one of the most justified Grammy awards ever. --Leslie Gerber

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Suite No. 1, BWV 1007, In G: Prelude 2:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Suite No. 1, BWV 1007, In G: Allemande 5:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Suite No. 1, BWV 1007, In G: Courante 2:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Suite No. 1, BWV 1007, In G: Sarabande 3:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Suite No. 1, BWV 1007, In G: Menuet 1 And 2 3:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Suite No. 1, BWV 1007, In G: Gigue 1:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Suite No. 3 In C, BWV 1009: Prelude 4:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Suite No. 3 In C, BWV 1009: Allemande 4:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Suite No. 3 In C, BWV 1009: Courante 3:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Suite No. 3 In C, BWV 1009: Sarabande 4:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Suite No. 3 In C, BWV 1009: Bourée 1 And 2 3:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Suite No. 3 In C, BWV 1009: Gigue 3:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Suite No. 5, BWV 1011, In C Minor: Prelude 6:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Suite No. 5, BWV 1011, In C Minor: Allemande 7:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Suite No. 5, BWV 1011, In C Minor: Courante 2:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Suite No. 5, BWV 1011, In C Minor: Sarabande 3:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Suite No. 5, BWV 1011, In C Minor: Gavotte 1 And 2 4:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Suite No. 5, BWV 1011, In C Minor: Gigue 2:39$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Suite No. 2, BWV 1008, In D Minor: Prelude 3:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Suite No. 2, BWV 1008, In D Minor: Allemande 4:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Suite No. 2, BWV 1008, In D Minor: Courante 2:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Suite No. 2, BWV 1008, In D Minor: Sarabande 5:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Suite No. 2, BWV 1008, In D Minor: Menuet 1 And 2 2:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Suite No. 2, BWV 1008, In D Minor: Gigue 2:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Suite No. 4 In E-Flat, BWV 1010: Prelude 4:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Suite No. 4 In E-Flat, BWV 1010: Allemande 4:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Suite No. 4 In E-Flat, BWV 1010: Courante 3:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Suite No. 4 In E-Flat, BWV 1010: Sarabande 4:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Suite No. 4 In E-Flat, BWV 1010: Bourée 1 And 2 5:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Suite No. 4 In E-Flat, BWV 1010: Gigue 2:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Suite No. 6 In D, BWV 1012: Prelude 5:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Suite No. 6 In D, BWV 1012: Allemande 6:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Suite No. 6 In D, BWV 1012: Courante 3:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Suite No. 6 In D, BWV 1012: Sarabande 4:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Suite No. 6 In D, BWV 1012: Gavotte 1 And 2 4:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Suite No. 6 In D, BWV 1012: Gigue 4:13$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Performer: Janos Starker
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (March 11, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: RCA
  • ASIN: B000003FD9
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,653 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

157 of 167 people found the following review helpful By Snow Leopard on November 26, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
To review a performance of Bach's work always seems like something I should prepare for by getting a musicological degree. As it is, I have only my ear and my experience and (what is most helpful) other performances of the same piece to go by. The purpose of this review isn't to prove, then, better or best, but to try to clue others into the specific character of this performance.
The Suites for Solo Cello by Bach are exactly that--one performer, and nearly everything possible on the instrument (until composers discovered more tricks for the instrument in the 20th century). It is six suites, each comprised of six pieces (all various dance forms, though Bach's genius so refines the form that tempo tends to be the only aspect of each dance that is readily obvious). As compositions, just about all of the pieces are captivating; from a technical aspect I'm told that they are even more amazing still. (Sometimes Bach arranges contrapuntal phrases so that the cello becomes a one-man chamber orchestra.) For the dabbler, there is a slight chance that the first prelude of the first suite might be familiar--it has been recorded on all kinds of other instruments, and warrants such a spotlight given its ceaseless charm. Buried more deeply in the collection, the Allemande from the Suite in C Minor is a literally heart-wrenching piece deserves to stand alongside the much more famous Erbarme Dich from Bach's Saint Matthew Passion.
As to the performance itself, one could go on endlessly comparing one performer to another, specific performances to a preferable one somewhere else, or even (in the present case) of Starker's 1992 recording with his four earlier ones. In fact, I have performances by Ma, Starker, Gendron, Rostropovich, Wispelwey, Bylsma and the one that started it all, Casals.
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74 of 77 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 13, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Bach's suites for solo cello were dismissed by his first biographer as technical exercises!: their profound beauty only gained notice when Pablo Casals first began playing them as integral suites, early in this century. Casals' performances of these pieces, for all the shortcomings of the recordings, are still some of the most remarkable musical statements I have ever encountered. Many superb cellists have recorded them since, but Starker's may be at the top of my pile. He possesses a dazzling technique that lies totally at the service of the music. Every time I listen to these performances I find myself breathless in astonishment at the beauty of the phrasing. These are not "original instrument" performances, but at the same time Starker maintains a kind of reserve that seems completely appropriate to this noble music, and quite different from other modern performances. Altogether, there is something magisterial about his ability to express true emotion without lapsing into exaggeration. All music lovers should know the Bach cello suites, disarmingly simple in places and full of rhythmic and tonal complexity in others. This recording is a superb statement by an artist who is in total control: technically of his instrument, and emotionally of the music itself.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By laroja on September 9, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As always, opinions vary in terms of who is the master at recording timeless pieces of music such as these Bach cello suites. Starker himself pronounced in the sleeves of this CD that this edition, the 4th recordings of these music by himself is not "technically perfect", but in many ways, his most mature interpretation. You can spend hundreds trying to find a Mercury copy of "the perfect" rendition; or you can appreciate the little imperfections of an aged artist, at the height of his humanistic understanding of music, and of life.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By D. M. Ohara on April 29, 2013
Format: Audio CD
The very recent death of Janos Starker prompts me to repeat here a review I posted on Amazon UK 2 years ago

"Janos Starker was born in 1924 in Budapest, Hungary. Two of his older brothers perished in the Nazi holocaust, and he himself was interned. A child prodigy, he made his debut aged 11, and caused a sensation when he played the Dvorak concerto aged 14, standing in at short notice for an indisposed soloist. After the War, he went to America at the invitation of Antal Dorati, and was first cello in several prominent orchestras there before branching out as a chamber player in 1951 [most memorably in the 1960s, with Joseph Suk and Julius Katchen], and as a soloist and teacher. He became an American citizen, and was widely recognised as one of the greatest cellists of his generation. He recorded virtually all the great works of the cello repertoire, many of them several times. He has always been closely associated with the Kodaly sonata for solo cello, and has made five sets of recordings of the Bach suites, the pinnacle of the cello repertoire, though only three have been widely available. These are the early 1950s set for Period [just suites 1,3,4 & 6], issued on LP in the UK by Nixa and re-issued by Saga; the mid-60s set for Mercury; and this version for RCA. [In addition, there was a late 1950s EMI set [1, 2, 3 & 5 in mono: 4 & 6 in stereo], and a 1984 digital set for Sefal.]

This set, his last, was apparently recorded in 1992, but not released until 1997, originally by RCA. In its present incarnation, it represents astonishing value for money, despite the lack of any notes about the artist or the music.
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