J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Unaccompanied Cello Suites

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Edgar Meyer
Individual Works:Suite for Cello No 1 in G major, BWV 1007
Suite for Cello No 2 in D minor, BWV 1008
Suite for Cello No 5 in C minor, BWV 1011
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Sony
Catalog Number:89183
Year Released/Recorded:2000
Total Playing Time:61'09
Comments:The Serious Listener said:

What an exquisite treasure this is! Edgar Meyer is powerful, bold and exhilarating with his magnificent instrument purring, growling and celebrating the beautiful harmonies that seem (to this listener) more than ever to have been written for the deepest of the string instruments - although the pamphlet text suggests more.

I like the album cover: a modern art-sculpture mimicking the instrument with Edgar half-toned in the background. The so-so text within basically describes Meyer's technical challenges and personal interpretations of these works. It does gives a warm and deserved dedication to the revered instructor of the double bass - Master Professor Stuart Sankey. (Well done, Edgar)

But the good stuff is on the CD itself. This recording is among the cleanest I've ever heard. The microphones are relatively close which gives an especially personal feel; you can hear Edgar's finger-work and breathing -- perfectly acceptable in my book. The lower registers offer MASSIVE dynamics that will rattle your listening room. Why, I was tempted to turn down the bass because the response was so overpowering - but wait, I don't have any bass or treble controls! (I'm an audiophile!) Only select organ works are able to challenge the Richter rating from this CD, and it had me cheering for more - - -

Ed-gar! Ed-gar! Ed-gar!

As one would expect from a Grammy winning artist, Meyer performs flawlessly and seemingly effortlessly throughout the three Suites presented. I only wonder why he didn't record the complete entire set?? No listener fatigue, very soothing, just fabulous. I usually try to uncover and report any flaws or dislikes in any CD, but I just can't find any here.

For those of you who have any standard cello recording (IE; Pieter Wispelwey, Yo-Yo Ma) be forewarned there is no comparison to this recording because the coloring is drastically different - in a very positive way. If you enjoy the cello suites, this is a MUST HAVE for your collection.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • The Serious Listener
Date First Submitted:04/15/2001