My first reaction was disappointment that this recording does not seem to be offered in the SACD format. Upon listening, however I do not feel it needs any help there. It is absolutely an audiophile quality recording. Perhaps the best one ever of a solo cello. It is recorded so closely miked that it almost sounds like the mike was actually inside the cello! Listening to this on a high quality set of headphones is quite an experience. By the time the intro to the 2nd suite was playing I realized I had tears in my eyes.
I own over a dozen recordings of this work...it is my favorite bit of music. Is it the best? Perhaps yes, Perhaps no, amazingly the set by Matt Haimovitz must still be reckoned with. It certainly is the most exciting bit of cello recording since DuPre's Elgar or Harrel's rococo Tchaikovsky.
I do bemoan the paucity of liner notes...I'd really like to know about the recording equipment used and if it was played on the Davidoff, for instance.
I thought it played a bit to quickly at first, but I seem to have become acclimated to it...or it slowed in later selections... difficult to say. At any rate, if you are a fan of this piece of music, this is a must have. It occupies a unique place in the repertoire. Need I say how interesting it is to have a musician of Ma's stature explore so thoroughly such a monumental work?