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Pergamenschikow plays the
Bach solo cello suites -
appreciated by

'... he goes beyond what is written ...'

Bach Suites for Solo Cello BWV 1007-1012. Boris Pergamenschikow. © 1998 Haenssler Classics

When Boris Pergamenschikow, who stemmed from Russia and came to the West in 1977, made his New York début, the New York Times wrote of him: 'A world-class cellist in every respect. His performance on a technical, acoustic, musical and interpretational level is reached by only very few cellists.'

In the case of Bach, Pergamenschikow has once more risen to the occasion and shows just why he managed to stay on the top of the cello world for so long.

'Love, humility and respect are probably the most important virtues the treatment of this music demands of us,' Boris Pergamenschikow said of the Bach Solo Cello Suites and on this CD set, he has put his theory into practice. Unlike some other performers, he refrains from capping his own ego over his interpretation of what are probably the most famous and significant works for solo cello. Throughout his life, Pergamenschikow was the master of understatement. Without promoting himself, the way many musicians do, he still managed to be counted among the world's top twelve cellists while he was alive. Now that he has left the cello sky, Pergamenschikow's star is one of those few rare ones whose light keeps shining on, and one of the works through which it shines is his magnificent interpretation of the Bach Cello Suites.

He uses the same approach to Bach as he did to his entire life, and music: understatement and sensitivity. The six preludes are, technically and musically, the most demanding parts of this work. In the first, the G major suite, Pergamenschikow has a field day with the prelude's arpeggiated chords and semi-quaver chains that lead into a chromatic ascent spanning more than an octave [listen -- CD 1 track 1, 0:00-2:01]. These suites were recorded over a time-span of two months, in 1998 at Heidelberg, during a time when the Russian cellist was at the height of his musical powers. He had made his name by playing at important festivals like Salzburg and Vienna and was already established as one of the most sought-after soloists and chamber musicians of his time.

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Copyright © 21 September 2004 Tess Crebbin, Germany


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