Bach: Six Cello Suites On Viola / Hellen Callus

Audio Samples

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Suite for solo cello no 1 in G major, BWV 1007
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Suite for Cello solo no 2 in D minor, BWV 1008
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Suite for Cello solo no 3 in C major, BWV 1009
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Suite for Cello solo no 4 in E flat major, BWV 1010
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Suite for Cello solo no 5 in C minor, BWV 1011
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Suite for solo cello no 6 in D major, BWV 1012

Album Summary

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Suite for solo cello no 1 in G major, BWV 1007
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Suite for Cello solo no 2 in D minor, BWV 1008
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Suite for Cello solo no 3 in C major, BWV 1009
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Suite for Cello solo no 4 in E flat major, BWV 1010
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Suite for Cello solo no 5 in C minor, BWV 1011
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Suite for solo cello no 6 in D major, BWV 1012
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The cello suites have been part of the viola repertoire since the beginning of the 20th century. In 1916 G. Schirmer published a viola transcription edited by Louis Svecenski (principal violist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and violist of the Kneisel Quartet), following it with another edition by Samuel Lifschey (principal violist of the Philadelphia Orchestra for thirty years) in 1936. Helen Callus plays from the critical edition by Simon Rowland-Jones, but has made her own decisions about articulations, dynamics and ornamentation based on the original sources. She plays the Fifth Suite with the scordatura tuning requested by Bach, tuning her top string down from A to G (this suite can be played with a normally-tuned instrument, but at the expense of leaving some notes out of Bach’s chords and of different timbres for some notes). Callus plays the Sixth Suite in G major, rather than Bach’s D major. Although this involves changing Bach’s key, it also means that the viola version is closer in tessitura to Bach’s original than it would be in D major (a fourth higher rather than an octave), and it allows for more of Bach’s effects with open strings to be preserved.

"Add Helen Callus' stunning viola and you have a CD that you will play over and over." -Gramophone

"Helen Callus might just be the best friend the viola world ever had." -Strings Magazine

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Salle Françoys-Bernier, Domaine Forget (09/2010).



Reviews

No viola jokes, please
The viola is a much more nimble instrument than the 'cello, and it shows in Helen Callus's playing of these suites. The dances actually dance, instead of lumbering. Only God would get a perfect score (hence the 4.5 instead of 5 stars), but this is a performance you can actually enjoy and get lost in, instead of simply marvelling that it can be played at all.
Submitted on 07/01/11 by MarkF 
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Works Details

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Suite for solo cello no 1 in G major, BWV 1007
  • Performer: Helen Callus (Viola)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1720

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Suite for Cello solo no 2 in D minor, BWV 1008
  • Performer: Helen Callus (Viola)
  • Running Time: 15 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1720

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Suite for Cello solo no 3 in C major, BWV 1009
  • Performer: Helen Callus (Viola)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1720

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Suite for Cello solo no 4 in E flat major, BWV 1010
  • Performer: Helen Callus (Viola)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1720

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Suite for Cello solo no 5 in C minor, BWV 1011
  • Performer: Helen Callus (Viola)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1720

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Suite for solo cello no 6 in D major, BWV 1012
  • Performer: Helen Callus (Viola)
  • Running Time: 23 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1720