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Monday, April 5, 2010

A peaceful battle: Starker vs. Bylsma vs. Fournier

Yes, folks... Yo-Yo Ma is a fantastic musician and his Bach's Cello Suites, like Rostropowitsch's and Pablo Casals', ALL are superb and beautiful and lively...

... but the above three versions are so different from each other they're a perfect threesome for my purpouses: same score in different hands gives a different final result... new, uh;-))) - really strong, seldom heard stuff, don't you?!?!

Seriously, pals... I'm not a musicologist and feel me quite inadequate to describe the different interpretation praxis the three stellar soloists applied to their Bach's Cello Suites...

My feelings, as a passionate music lovers, that's it, plainly, humbly said... as we all know and appreciate this masterpiece, I'll mostly talk about sonics and overall enjoyment; sure good for matchbox boxes, more than an essay;-)

... but, anyway...

Starker's Philips/Mercury's sounds so powerful, round and containing a lot of room information, also if it wasn't recorded in typical three microphones Cozart/Fine's technique... it's a very nice, easy record, where music easily flows.

Bylsma and Fournier are both using two centuries-old (Mattio Goffriller from Venice) cellos - a 1699 for Anner Bylsma and a 1722 for Pierre Fournier... the two instruments are similar in tone, BUT in Bylsma's hands the older sampler is harsh, gut-stringed and VERY "nervous" sounding, while in Fournier's the sound is superbly rich and never harsh, deeper in tone and frequencies and the old 1961 Archiv's recording has the right amount of room information, less than RCA Seon's Bylsma and Philips' Starker... but the sound, better, the instrument is more "in the room", better dimensioned and presence is never exagerated, natural.

Simply right and beautiful as it can be.

So, again - as in Starker/Sebok vs. Rostropowitsch/Richter's - a possible winner can be the easier, both to the ear and the soul, as well... Fournier, like Starker, owns that magic, that great, rare skill to give easiness also to the most tremendous scores... the technique must be learned, digested and forgotten...

The greatest musician is the one who'll let you listen to the more Bach it's humanly possible... less Bylsma, Rostropowitsch, Casals, Yo-Yo Ma, and the like - and more J.S. Bach... not everyone's task.

Fournier simply disappears for the sake - and in the name - of those esoteric math-like masterpieces written by a German genius, father of many sons and... of Western music.

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