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Bach: The Cello Suites [DVD Video]
Bach The Cello Suites
DVD Video
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2007     2hr 42min


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Movie Details

Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: DTS, Classical
Studio: Deutsche Grammophon
Format: DVD - Color - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 06/12/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 2hr 42min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Classical
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Subtitles: Chinese, English, French, German, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

Analytical and powerful Bach beautifully recorded
Mike Birman | Brooklyn, New York USA | 09/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Johann Sebastian Bach composed his Six Suites for Solo Cello in the early 1720's. Unlike the Six Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, composed around the same time, there is no extant autograph manuscript. Only four copies exist, of which one made by Anna Magdelena Bach is the standard performing edition. Bach's wife was somewhat careless when transcribing the articulation marks that Bach had indicated quite precisely in his music of the time. That, in combination with conflicting details in the other three copies, creates room for speculation as to dynamics, slurs, tempo and vibrato. Performers can exercise substantial freedom in performing these Suites. The choices made substantially color the nature of the performance. In Rostropovich's DVD performances on EMI, he elects to perform a more liquid and emotive Bach with a dash of vibrato along with an expressive portamento. His performance is splendid but harkens back to an older, more Romantic style of Bach.

Maisky has acknowledged the period instruments style of Bach in these performances. His playing is slightly more reserved, somewhat analytical, very broad and powerful with a rich and deeply resonant string sound. I was immediately enamored with his sound, which is helped immeasurably by this recording made in a fresco decorated stone room in a Palladian Villa. The sound is reverberant and well-focussed. Because of the venue, vibrato seems less necessary, so Maisky can easily adopt what one may consider a more "authentic" performing practice. He uses less vibrato but Bach's long, singing lines don't suffer in the stone room's limpid and bell-like acoustics. This is a slightly more refined and Classical performance than Rostropovich. Having both of them seems ideal in order to truly appreciate Bach's masterful Suites. Maisky provides an Apollonian view of these pieces, playing with insight and splendid technique. In combination with an excellent recording which is especially resonant when played in the DTS 5.1 format, this region code 0 (worldwide) two disc set lasting 162 minutes is terrific Bach and well worth the investment.

Mike Birman"
Who would want to watch this DVD?
Robert Baksa | new york state | 12/25/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Answer: Anyone who wants to experience the music to its fullest. To begin with Maisky is a superb cellist. Just watching the ease with which he negotiates this complex music is a joy unto itself. Moreover, most people, myself included, do not always give full attention to the music. In particular, visual images are very powerful and can distract one's attention. This is the main reason that I chose Maisky's performance over Rostropovitch's. There is a trancendent power in Slava's playing but other reviewers have noted that his performance is "enhanced" with scenes and views of the chuch where it is performed and the artworks connected with it. The visual elements in Maisky's DVD are spartan but, aside from moving from long and short views of the cellist, that's all you get. Perhaps this approach is not for everyone but then Bach is also not for everyone. To me, Bach is almost always overwhelming so I welcome any DVD which encourages me to concentrate fully on the music.

I can't wait until someone comes out with a performance of the Sonatas and Partitas for Violin. That will add to my collection of music that you wouldn't think of watching on your TV screen."
Bach Cello Suites played to Perfection
Joseph Barba | Pollock Pines, CA USA | 12/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If you have a really good stereo/surround system or just great headphones, this DVD of the Bach Cello Suites is a must have to add to your collection. The sound is rich and pure, and the technical excellence and musical intelligence of Mischa Maisky sublime. Mr. Maisky may not get the exposure of the big name cellists, but he is their peer in every way. Buy this DVD! You won't be dissapointed!"
Acceptable Bach
Robert Young | West Bloomfield, MI | 01/27/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This performance of the Bach Cello Suites is O.K. but comes in second to the incredible live performance by Tortelier whose emotional force is breathtaking. The poor quality images of the Tortelier disk are an irritant but his performance (mistakes and all--remember this was a live performance) clearly overshadows all others available on DVD in my opinion. Maisky once again, gives a competent performance with excellent image quality on the disk, lacking only a tinge of the visceral impact I would like with these Bach Suites."