J.S. Bach: The Cello Suites

J.S. Bach: The Cello Suites

Regular price $21.10
Total playing time [145:01]

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David Watkin (baroque cello)

Renowned cellist and interpreter of Baroque music David Watkin records the Cello Suites by J.S. Bach, BWV 1007-1012, rightly considered as the pinnacle of writing for solo cello. Juror of the Leipzig Bach Competition; former principal cellist of the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique & the English Baroque Soloists, as well as the cellist of the critically acclaimed Eroica Quartet, Watkin gives a captivating and truly individual account of the six suites, the result of decades of performing and studying these compelling and fascinating works.

The six Suites are recorded on gut strings and on two original historic instruments of note, including the unique five-string cello by Brothers Amati, dating from c. 1600, and a four-string by a likely pupil of Amati, Francesco Rugeri, dating from c. 1670.

Album Booklet (PDF)


'Familiar works these may be, but truly exploratory, technically refined and strongly personal performances – as here – can help us hear them anew. A triumph for David Watkin and the Resonus label.'

- Gramophone (Editor's Choice)

'David Watkin’s profound musicianship [...] is more than enough to accelerate this recording of Bach’s Cello Suites to the top of the tiny league of ‘definitive’ recordings [...] It is as if all the work that Watkin has ever done on these pieces has been absorbed absolutely and then reproduced in a performance that is able to be completely original in its voice at the same time as never producing a phrase that jars in its unsubtlety, or presents an ego that overarches the music.'
Gramophone (Editor's Choice)

'[...] this, to me, feels like the set I've spent waiting years for [...] his performances are alive with a rare joy, effortless spontaneity, technical precision, and imaginitive fluency [...] There couldn't be a better testament to a remarkable musician.'
BBC Music Magazine (Instrumental Choice, 5 stars performance & recording)

'For sheer verve, variety and spontaneity, Watkin's period instrument recording is a must [...] David Watkin gives a definitive period instrument account of Bach’s six solo Cello Suites. It should be in any Bach lover’s collection.'
The Observer (5 stars)

'David Watkin doesn’t make the Suites sound easy. He does, though, play them with a conversational intimacy that suggests how, over the years, they have become friends to feel at home with rather than teachers to consult or monuments to admire. The idea of implied harmony seems redundant when he finds so many voices in the notes Bach wrote [...] There are stories everywhere, informed but not confined by theories of rhetoric or harried by a strict pulse: the gigues in particular confide and wonder, and rock back with the belly-laughs of a man comfortable in his own skin [...] This is a very special disc'
The Strad (The Strad Recommends)

'If this deeply considered and vitally conceived set of the Old Testament of the cello is an envoi to his instrument, it is a lasting one, well worthy of comparison with the high watermarks in the long history of the Cello Suites on record'
The Amati Magazine (5 stars)

'Watkin finds the most illuminating balance between meditation and dance, exuberance and humility, head and heart, you can't play Bach like this unless you've communed with the scores for an age [...] the effortless musicality of the performance makes it a special experience [...] definitely one of the most rewarding accounts on baroque cello.'
BBC Radio 3 CD Review (CD of the week)

'Performances are simply first-rate. David Watkin elicits a positively rubicund sound from his baroque cello, and the Resonus recording captures his expansive rhetorical gestures in a sympathetically open space.'
Classical Ear (5 stars)

'A great disc'
Rondo (5 stars)

'[...] Both [instruments] sound exquisite in Watkin's hands with the Rugeri's resonance so well captured that chords hum for a seeming eternity. These are subtle performances of self-effacing integrity and need to be savoured in quiet surroundings where they will work their hypnotic magic.'
Limelight (5 stars)

'Watkin's playing is breathtaking: poised, tender, searching, eloquent. The fast movements really dance, the slow movements really sing. The sound is gorgeous [...] There is grit and solemnity, pain and resolve [...] Watkins shapes his phrases with all the time and love in the world.'
The Herald

'It is seemingly spontaneous yet well controlled, and it is intimate in a way that big concert-hall performance cannot be [...] The Resonus label backs Watkin up with engineering in a small chapel that fits the slightly antique tone. If this is Watkin's swan song on the cello, it's a fine one. '

'[...] there’s certainly some very fine playing here from a very versatile cellist whose output in the works of other composers I have found consistently excellent [...] I see no reason not to place Watkin somewhere near the top of the pile'
MusicWeb International

'[...] this recording is precise, crisp and beautifully articulated'
Lark Reviews

© 2015 Resonus Limited
Ⓟ 2015 Resonus Limited
Catalogue No. RES10147
EAN: 5060262790519
Producer, engineer & editor: Adam Binks
Cover image: © Susan Torkington