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I'm soooo confused.

Even considering only the CD's that you can find without lot s of serching, we have: 2 Starker's, 2 Bylsma's, 2 Wispelwey's, Casals, Schiff, Gendron, Tortelier, the highly regarded Fournier, Queyras, Gaillard, Mneses, The deen, Navarra, Maisky, Mork, Isserlis, Rostropovich, Bailey, Gastinel, Ter Linde n, Harrell, Istomin, Kirshbaum, Pergamenshikow, Kliegel, Lipkind, Onzay, Haimovi tz, Harnoncourt, even McCarty and Imai (viola), uh... Antonio Meneses's recording on AVIE Truls Mork lipkind Robert Cohen Phoebe Carrai on Crear Classics Heinrich Schiff Zuill Bailey Roel Dieltiens Paolo Pandolfo ter linden Paolo Beschi - Cello suites - EDEL Winter Edition du Pre,Bernard Greenhouse Vito Patternoster Jaap ter Linden on Brilliant Classics Steven Isserlis Pierre Fournier - Archive Rostropovich - EMI Isserlis - Hyperion Bylsma - can't remember, maybe Sony Torleif Thedeen (BIS) and Queyras (HM), as well as Wispelwey's (Channel Classics ). From what I have sampled, they all sound beautiful. I have also sampled a cur ious recording by Edgar Meyer of the 1st, 2nd, and 5th Suites being performed on a double bass. Matt Haimovitz Maria Kliegel Yo Yo Ma's first recording William Skeen Wen-Sihn [sinn?] Yang Gendron, Maisky (1st one), Ralph Kirshbaum (Virgin Classics) Mustonen Frst Steven Isserlis Mstislav Rostropovich Pierre Fournier Pablo Casals Jean-Guihen Queyras A baroque cello,or "authentic" instruments used by Wispelwey,Linden and Bylsma d o sound wonderful. Jacqueline du Pre (sadly not a complete set)

The Baroque Suite The Suite was the first purely instrumental form of music. Out of it grew all th e others; the sonata, the symphony, the concerto etc. It had its origins in the Middle Ages when lutenists fashioned a cycle out of th e popular dances of the time. Gradually the movements became more abstract and s tylized, but still retained the rhythms and structures of the original dances. By Bach's time, these works had become so abstract that they were never meant to be literally danced. Except perhaps as dances of the mind.

The traditional baroque suite contains four sections: Allemande - German dance in 4/4 time with an ornamental melodic line. Courante - A light and quick French dance. Courante means flowing. Sarabande - a slow, almost mournful Spanish dance. Gigue - a lively dance from England in triple time. To this unvarying structure, Bach added an artistically free Prelude to the begi nning and a bright, fast moving movement between the Sarabande and the Gigue. In the first two suites, this is a Menuet, in the next two it is a Bourree and in the final two it is a Gavotte. Bach's Six Suites for Solo Cello Describing in detail each of the six movements from each of the six Suites is to o big a task for this page. Instead, just a few highlights and observations. Of the six Suites, four are in a major key and two in a minor key, increasing in technical complexity and emotional richness from the first to the last. Suite no.1 in G major The Prelude from the first Suite in G major, now a popular work on its own, is a reminder of the Prelude in C major from Book 1 of the Well-Tempered Clavier. Bo th pieces have no melody, but rely on that great Bachian technique of creating a complex work from a single voice using just flowing rhythms and building harmon ies both actual and implied. Suite no.2 in D minor The second Suite, in D minor, is in stark contrast to the breezy first, full of dark undercurrents, tagedy and a dramatic Beethovian defiance. Its Sarabande esp ecially is deeply moving. Suite no.3 in C major With the third Suite we return to a happy Bach. Perhaps the sunniest and most po pular of the Suites. Suite no.4 in E flat major Venturing further than anyone before him on the cello, Bach uses the fourth Suit e to show us what the instrument is capable of. Elaborate melodies, contrapuntal and harmonic complexity beyond anything written before for a single instrument! Suite no.5 in C minor The fifth Suite continues the progression, the jewel in the crown being the Sara bande. It is simply 100 solo notes, no harmony, no rhythmic structure. Yet Bach brings out a depth of feeling in this piece that is unparalleled on any instrume nt. Suite no.6 in D major The final Suite is the most ambitious of all. Bach takes the cello beyond the co nstraints of the dance forms to the most abstract sonic heights. The Gavotte use s a ground bass note, which brings to mind the peasant hurdy-gurdy or even bagpi pes. The final Gigue is an elaborate duo(!) for solo cello(!!) with two melodies interlinked, climbing and falling to bring the cycle to an end. Antonio Janigro Ulrich Heinen studies: Hugo Becker Diran Alexanian

Pierre Fournier Casals-Foley Janos Starker August Wenzinger Dimitry Markevitch Richard Tunnicliffe Ryo Terakado Quirine Viersen Hidemi Suzuki Martin Ostertag Friedrich Kleinhapl Maxim Rysanov (viola Andr Navarra Jan Vogler Sigiswald Kuijken on the Accent label Sara Sant'Ambrogio Jaap ter Linden on Harmonia Mundi Richard Hartshorne has a recording of the suites on double bass Colin Carr Grard Causs Ophlie Gaillard Robert Cohen William Butt Carmine Miranda Peter Martens Michael Kevin Jones Winona Zelenka Frans Helmerson Tanya Tomkins Martin Rummel Ovidiu Marinescu Dmitry Badiarov Roel Dieltiens Luigi Piovano Angela East Jrg Baumann Andrs Diaz Tatjana Vassiljeva Sigiswald Kuijken Phoebe Carrai Wolfgang Boettcher Sebastian Klinger Adolfo Gutierrez Arenas Anne Gastinel Antonio Meneses David Kenedy Martin Ostertag Mikls Pernyi Roel Dieltiens Maria Kliegel Esther Nyffenegger Andrzej Bauer Jian Wang Sergei Istomin Marc Coppey Torleif Theden Lynn Harrell Erling Blondal Bengtsson

Maurice Gendron Bruno Cocset Julius Berger Alexander Rudin Ralph Kirshbaum Gaspar Cassado Nikolaus Harnoncourt Filippini Rocco Boris Pergamenschikow Paolo Beschi Richard Markson Susan Sheppard Daniel Shafran Viviane Spanoghe Antonio Janigro Karine Georgian Alexander Kniazev Bruno Cocset / Alpha Jian Wang Emanuel Feuermann ??? Gregor Piatigorsky ??? Truls Mork Enrico Mainardi Suren Bagratuni Brian Bowman Carter Brey Morten Zeuthen Ralph Kirshbaum Julian Lloyd Webber sebastian klinger tanya tomkins martin zeller friedrich kleinhapl Morten Zeuthen Colin Carr William Butt Iagoba Fanlo Phillipe Mller Dmitri Badiarov Ryo Terakado Erling Blndal Bengtsson (1984, Danacord)

Yo-Yo Ma first recorded the suites 20 years ago and revisited them in 1998 on a set of interpretations used for a series of dance videos. Sony reissued that latte r set a few months ago. But Ma says his current conception of the suites is rath er different. I think that priorities change at every stage of life, he says. As a person grows up, the way he or she interprets information changes. Bach has a un ique way of coding infinite variety. At each stage in life you can make differen t specific choices of what to highlight in melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic struc tures.