Bach: Suite for solo cello in G; Suite for solo cello in D minor, Suite for Solo Cello in C, BWV 1007, 1008, 1009

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COMPOSERS: Bach
LABELS: Edel
WORKS: Suite for solo cello in G; Suite for solo cello in D minor, Suite for Solo Cello in C, BWV 1007, 1008, 1009
PERFORMER: Paolo Beschi (cello)
CATALOGUE NO: 910001-2 (distr. Harmonia Mundi)
With an already bewildering choice of the Bach Cello Suites on disc – including classic accounts by Casals and Fournier, and more recent performances on period instruments by Bylsma and Ter Linden – it seems a bold venture for a little-known cellist to attempt these works. But the great joy of the Suites is that they stand up to constant reinterpretation; every performance offers new insights. Beschi’s approach is hinted at in the Tiepolo detail on the CD cover, showing the feet of a dancing couple; sure enough, the regular and vigorous rhythms of dance lie at the heart of these accounts. From the outset, in the brisk, muscular reading of the Prelude in G, Beschi eschews any poetic lingering or Romantic reflection. Yet his playing is by no means always hard-driven: the Allemande from the same Suite meanders freely as if improvised; the sarabandes are dark hued; and, here and there, Beschi even throws in an eccentric dash of exotica à la Boccherini.

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Any slight flaws in intonation only go to show that these are no patchwork performances pieced together in the recording studio. Enjoyable. Kate Bolton