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 étude requires someone like Pablo Casals.

More like this

A couple of the shinier stones I've come across on the web lately: Somatosphere is a new blog about medical anthropology (think sociology and politics of medicine, only with a bit more critical distance; it's about how culture shapes medicine) written by McGill University post-doc Eugene Raikhel…
Friday Not-So-Random Five I decided in honor of the new year, I'd do something a bit different this week. Instead of doing a random shuffle on my IPod, I separated out my favorites of the modern classical pieces that I discovered this year. Some of these are brand new recordings just released this…
To me, few things are more annoying than someone who nitpicks about grammar. Grammar is important, to be sure, but how much does it really matter if your sentences are grammatically "correct," as long as your message is communicated clearly? Michael Bach recently emailed me lamenting that often…
Reading Matt Ruff's new novel about black Americans in the 50s. Annoyed to find that nothing in the dialogue would sound out of place if spoken by a white American sci-fi fan in 2017. Feared 45 would be the sort who gets the trains running on time and starts wars. Actually can't get trains running…

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!

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

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.

Casals is fantastic. Thanks for finding this video.

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!

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.

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.

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!

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...

Rostropovich... not Rostapovich. Gah!

Still a beautiful piece of music.

always good to hear one of the greats at work.