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Suites Nos 1 3 5

J.S. Bach Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Suites Nos 1 3 5 + Chaconne
Price for both: $34.54

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  • Chaconne $17.60


Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 26, 2013)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naive
  • ASIN: B009ETI3ZW
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #373,390 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Antoine Tamestit's history with Bach's Suites BWV 1007-1012 began long ago, when these very works won him to the viola from the violin at age 10. Tamestit's playing and the exceptional sound of his Stradivarius bring an amazing new light to those eternal masterpieces, showing clearly why he is considered one of the greatest violists in the world.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ***** Stunning! March 27, 2013
Even though I knew Antoine Tamestit was one of the best violists these days, I was unprepared for the unalloyed joy this recording brought me. Familiar through many years with Bach's Cello Suites, I don't recall ever hearing them on viola. The arrangement for viola keeps the pieces in their original keys but an octave up from the cello originals; the viola's strings are tuned to the same pitches (C G D A) but are each an octave higher than the corresponding cello strings. This difference makes the pieces sound considerably different than the originals. The most obvious thing for me is that the suites, made up as they are mostly of dances [prelude, allemande, courante, sarabande, minuet, bourrée, gavotte and gigue] do seem more lively, more exciting, more youthfully ebullient. Add to this Tamestit's absolutely secure and sensitive playing, and you have a marvelous listening experience. The usual impression with cellists that these are extraordinarily difficult pieces to play is absent in Tamestit's viola version, allowing one to pay attention to the music rather than the player's physical struggle.

Tamestit plays a Stradivarius viola (the 'Mahler') one of only about six that Stradivari made. In Tamestit's hands it make a glorious sound. He also uses a modern baroque-style bow.

A word about the packaging. Each of the pairs of facing pages of the booklet is printed in a different color. Text on some of those pages, particularly the ones in yellow, is almost impossible to read. Further, the translation of Johann Mattheson's 18th-century explication of the dance forms is needlessly artsy and obscure. But Tamestit's little article about how he fell in love with the viola as a youngster is touching.

This one is definitely a keeper. (It will immediately be placed on my iPod, perhaps my highest accolade.) I eagerly await a second volume that presents Suites 2, 4 and 6.

Scott Morrison
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