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Bach, J S: Cello Suites Nos. 1-6, BWV1007-1012
Gérard Caussé (cello), Laurent Terzieff (reciter)

Gérard Caussé, one of the world’s great viola players, takes on the epic musical challenge of the six suites that Bach composed for cello. Joining Caussé is another distinguished French artist, the actor Laurent Terzieff, who died in 2010. Between each suite, Terzieff reads poems by the poet Rainer-Maria Rilke, Bohemian-born, but deeply influenced by French culture.
The distinguished French viola player Gérard Caussé has made a number of appearances in the Virgin Classics catalogue, notably as a colleague to Renaud and Gautier Capuçon in music by Brahms and Schubert. Here, he is the sole musician, playing Bach’s Six Cello Suites, works of inexhaustible fascination and depth, in a version for viola. “Playing them on the viola is an almost unprecedented adventure,” he says. “My instrument, a 1560 Gaspard Da Salo, my musical companion for life, is resonating in these Bach suites for the first time.”
Caussé is, however, joined by another performer on this 2-CD set. He is the French actor and director, Laurent Terzieff, reading poems (in French) by Rainer-Maria Rilke, the Bohemian-Austrian poet (1875 –1926), who spent a highly formative period in Paris, especially notable for his contact with the sculptor Auguste Rodin.

This is not, of course, a period performance. Causse freely indulges in rubato, treads warily through the chordal passages and is sparing with ornamentation. The rubato is most successful in the expansive preludes and less so in the smaller-scale movements styled as dances.

Causse's approach is strangely old-fashioned. The Preludes are aptly rhapsodic: a glorious acoustic gathers up the harmony and counterpoint hidden within Bach's single line...Alluring for fluent French-speakers; less so for the rest of the world.

Brand New /sealed 2CD
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