The Bach Choral Dilemma (susan allen )

Subject: The Bach Choral Dilemma
From:    susan allen  <susie(at)SHOKO.CALARTS.EDU>
Date:    Tue, 28 Jan 2003 09:28:15 -0800

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 is a time thing. Also, folks, by the way, Bach Chorale has an "e" on the the end of 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(at) web

This message came from the mail archive
maintained by:
DAn Ellis <>
Electrical Engineering Dept., Columbia University