Bach: The 6 Unaccompanied Cello Suites Complete
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This is Yo-Yo Ma's first recording of Bach's Cello Suites, digitally recorded in 1983 and first issued on LP. He has since made a second recording of the Suites in 1998, taken from the soundtrack of a video series, so it's interesting that the earlier set remains available. If you've been lucky enough to hear Ma play this music in concert, you'll realize that neither set represents his Bach at its best. This rendition is generally quite straightforward, beautifully played and musically sound but sometimes not very emotional. The second set is more expressive but frequently seems self-conscious. Either of these recordings is a worthy representation of Bach's superb music, but neither attains the mature eloquence of Starker's final recording, a level Ma will probably reach himself in his third recording. --Leslie Gerber