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The Bach Choral Dilemma

Dear Sigurd Saue:

Rostropovich has always been my favorite interpreter of anything
cello-like.  He has recorded these Bach suites..though his sound is
"beginning" to thinness (an unfortunate turn in string playing of
the current day), it is not as thin as Ma's...and his interpretation is
stellar.  You might also check about Jacqueline DuPré recordings - of
course these are superior to anything of our time.

It's interesting to note that what you all are calling "streaming
effect" is really a pedal tone effect, much like if one were playing
an organ with the pedal tone sustained underneath melodic
fancies...this is the way Bach wrote for strings and single line
instruments...please note he was an organist.  It's an agogic
approach - a way of accentuating a note by holding it for a long
time, rather than by playing it forcefully, and on a stringed
instrument which is capable only of playing one line, it's really
difficult because you have to put the lower (pedal tone) down and
then extrapolate above it with this understanding and hope that the
lower note is either sustaining or is perceived to be sustaining
underneath everything...it is a time thing.

Also, folks, by the way,  Bach Chorale has an "e" on the the end of
it..to refer to it as Choral, means it's not a noun any longer!

Susan Allen

My wife has a recording of the cello suites by Morten Zeuter, a Danish
cellist, in which he pauses slightly before and after every bass note
and thereby destroys the streaming effect. I have always been annoyed
by that performance (I even think it got a Danish music award). Is
there a recommended recording of the cello suites?

Best regards.
Sigurd Saue

Susan Allen, Associate Dean
Instructor of Harp & Improvisation
School of Music
California Institute of the Arts
24700 McBean Parkway
Valencia, CA  91355  USA
phone   661-222-2780
fax     661-255-9430
email   susie@shoko.calarts.edu
web     http://shoko.calarts.edu/~susie