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BACH, J.S.: Cello Suites Nos. 2, 3 and 6, BWV 1008, 1009 and 1012 (arr. for viola) (Rysanov)

The Classical Shop
release date: April 2014

Originally recorded in 2014


Maxim Rysanov



Lanna kyrka, Sweden


Record Label




Total Time - 64:49
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BACH, J.S.: Cello Suites Nos. 2, 3 and 6, BWV 1008, 1009 and 1012 (arr. for viola) (Rysanov)

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Cello Suite No. 3 in C Major, BWV 1009 (arr. S. Rowland-Jones for viola)

1 I. Prelude 03:00
2 II. Allemande 04:01
3 III. Courante 03:12
4 IV. Sarabande 03:27
5 V. Bourree I-II 03:22
6 VI. Gigue 03:17

Cello Suite No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1008 (arr. S. Rowland-Jones for viola)

7 I. Prelude 03:24
8 II. Allemande 02:41
9 III. Courante 01:35
10 IV. Sarabande 04:04
11 V. Menuet I-II 02:25
12 VI. Gigue 02:27

Cello Suite No. 6 in D Major, BWV 1012 (arr. S. Rowland-Jones for viola)

13 I. Prelude 04:35
14 II. Allemande 07:50
15 III. Courante 03:37
16 IV. Sarabande 04:04
17 V. Gavotte I-II 03:14
18 VI. Gigue 04:34
 Maxim Rysanov Soloist

It was with three of Bach’s cello suites, transcribed for the viola, that Maxim Rysanov made his début on BIS in 2010 – an album which was greeted with critical acclaim: in The Strad it earned the magazine’s prestigious recommendation, and to the reviewer on the German web site it ‘clearly demonstrated that Rysanov knows how to decipher Bach’s musical language with the assurance of a master’. His colleague in The Sunday Times agreed, but had one reservation: ‘Rysanov’s recording of Bach’s suites is near perfection; the only flaw being that he did not perform all six.’ With the present album that flaw has been rectified, and the set is complete.

During the time that passed between the two albums, and also between the two sessions in which Suites Nos 2, 3, and 6 were recorded, Rysanov’s conception of how to perform and record Bach did not remain static – as Rysanov commented in connection with the first album: ‘it shows my approach to Bach playing at this point in time, with its mix of different backgrounds, schools, and experiences from working with other musicians.’

Four years later, the same can be said about its sequel – a testament to the infinite possibilities that these works hold in terms of interpretation and performance. For the sixth suite, which is usually transposed a fifth down, to G major, when performed by violists, Rysanov has opted to remain faithful to the original key: ‘the purity of D major reminds me of being on top of a mountain, that clear air and a silence so powerful that it makes the ears start to buzz...’ The suite was originally written for a five-stringed instrument, but is heard here on Rysanov’s own four-stringed viola, built by Giuseppe Guadagnini in 1780.

                        Performance ****          Recording *****

"...Technically Rysanov is virtually faultless, allowing him added expressivity as he indulges in small but telling rhythmic nuances... Excellent SACD sound places the solo instrument in the glorious acoustic of a large Swedish church."

George Pratt - BBC Music magazine - September 2014

                          Instrumental Choice

"...This, [No 2] of all the suites, is surprisingly easy to acclimatise the ear to: no, it’s not like listening to the Cello Suites on a viola but, as Rysanov plays it, it’s like listening to and falling in love with the piece for the first time.  And that should be taken a the rare and beautiful opportunity it is."

Caroline Gill - Gramophone magazine - July 2014

"... his [Rysanov] astounding performance of the Sixth Suite is a remarkable achievement. The BIS SACD recording is brightly lit and somewhat clinical but never over-resonant, capturing the timbre and tonal heft of Rysanov’s Guadagnini insrument with uncanny realism."

Michael Jameson - International Record Review - June 2014

                              Music **** (Very Good)      Sound ****(Very Good)

Arnd Richter - Fono Fourm magazine (Germany) - June 2014

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