White Coat Underground

Casals plays Bach

Bach’s first solo cello suite looks deceptively simple on the page. It doesn’t call for virtuosity as such, but to sound like more than an ├ętude requires someone like Pablo Casals.

Comments

  1. #1 Candid Engineer
    July 12, 2010

    Gorgeous. I miss playing the piano so much it hurts.

  2. #2 Josh J
    July 12, 2010

    Amazing. I’ve recently hit sort of a classical music phase, but I haven’t branched much past Chopin and Debussy yet (I’ve been leaning more towards piano solo). I’ve generally not been fond of Bach, but this piece (as played) is one that I can appreciate.

    Thanks for posting this!

  3. #3 Toast
    July 12, 2010

    You can’t beat a good bit o’ Bach:

    “I would vote for Bach, all of Bach, streamed out into space, over and over again. We would be bragging, of course, but it is surely excusable to put the best possible face on at the beginning of such an acquaintance. We can tell the harder truths later.” Lewis Thomas

  4. #4 Cuttlefish, OM
    July 12, 2010

    I genuinely admire Yo-Yo Ma, but I never missed Casals so much as while seeing Ma in concert.

  5. #5 k8
    July 12, 2010

    Oh. I miss my cello so very much. I listened to the whole thing. If only to remind me of who I used to be. What a treat. I love Casals. None of the dramatics of Yo Yo Ma. The soul is in the music. Not in the showmanship. Sigh. I miss it so, so much.

  6. #6 David
    July 13, 2010

    Casals is fantastic. Thanks for finding this video.

  7. #7 Mu
    July 13, 2010

    Damn you, I have 12 h of work to cram into a 9 h day, and all I’m doing is surfing youtube for more Bach. Tocata and Fuge playing right now. Evil PAL!

  8. #8 gaiainc
    July 13, 2010

    My dad loved Bach. He was more into the violin pieces though. This piece of music is one of my favorites. I play it when I need a pick me up. My recording, though, is of Rostapovich. Not too shabby himself on the ole fiddle, as my aunt calls it. She used to play cello for the Seattle symphony.

  9. #9 madder
    July 13, 2010

    It’s been a long time since I listened to Casals. Thanks, Pal. This performance reminds me that the quality of a performance is not merely equal to the sum of its expressiveness and technical mastery. Sometimes a little sloppy bow-work is just what the doctor ordered.

    k8– right there with you.

  10. #10 24fps
    July 13, 2010

    Thank you for posting this. My daughter is a cellist – I am going to show her this video.

    I wonder if she can talk her teacher into working on this in the fall!

  11. #11 SKM
    July 14, 2010

    Thanks for this.

    On February 1st, 2003–the day of the space shuttle Columbia disaster–I had tickets to see Mstislav Rostropovich play with the Pittsburgh Symphony. The house was absolutely packed, with folding chairs added for extra seating. Before the concert proper began, Rostropovich came wordlessly onto the stage, alone, and played this very piece. When he finished, he stood with his cello. The audience stood, no applause. We all stood there for a long silent minute.

    And now we’ve lost Slava as well.

    Excuse me; I think there’s something in my eye…

  12. #12 gaiainc
    July 16, 2010

    Rostropovich… not Rostapovich. Gah!

    Still a beautiful piece of music.

  13. #13 DLC
    July 17, 2010

    always good to hear one of the greats at work.
    Thanks.