Tabea Zimmermann: Solo II

Tabea Zimmermann

23.9937.49
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Original Recording Format: DXD

“We need Bach’s music, regardless of the instrument” – Tabea Zimmermann

Ten years after her acclaimed album “Solo” with the first two cello suites of Johann Sebastian Bach, violist Tabea Zimmermann now sets her sights on Suites Nos. 3 and 4. She pairs them with excerpts from György Kurtág’s cycle “Games, Signs & Messages”, selecting six numbers to form her own personal homage to Bach.

For what kind of instruments did Bach write his solo suites BWV 1007-1012? How did they sound, what did they look like? This subject still gives rise to much speculation. Johann Peter Kellner’s manuscript copy from the early 1700s is one of the two main sources for the six solo suites, and it indicates a viola basso. The violoncello had not yet become standardized in terms of size, construction, and playing technique; Bach probably had instruments in mind such as the violoncello piccolo or the viola da spalla. The latter was a viola attached in front of the body by a strap: Bach performed the viola da spalla in public himself – possibly these suites. Tabea Zimmermann has not switched her musical hardware for this recording: here she plays her 1980 Vatelot viola with a classical bow.

In 2009, the album “Solo” (MYR003, also available at NativeDSD) launched Tabea Zimmermann’s collaboration with the myrios classics label. The release was crowned with a multitude of international awards: Gramophone Editor’s Choice, “Stern des Monats” in Fono Forum, 4f in Télérama and 5 Stars in the Italian magazine Musica; moreover, in response to that groundbreaking recording, the jury of the coveted German ECHO Klassik Prize selected Tabea Zimmermann as “2010 Instrumentalist of the Year”.

“The original Solo I album from 2009 was the start of our collaboration and turned out being one of the most successful viola albums. 10 years after this album, Tabea and I met in the studio again (this time in the Jesus Christus Kirche Berlin) to record two more Bach cello suites (on viola of course), interwoven this time by a „suite“ of 6 pieces from the cycle „Signs, Games & Messages“ by György Kurtág, including the piece Kurtág dedicated to Tabea (…eine Blume für Tabea…/ a flower for Tabea).” 

— Stephan Cahen, Producer & Recording Engineer

Tracklist

1.
J.S. Bach Suite No. 3 in C major BWV1009 - 1. Prelude
03:03
2.
J.S. Bach Suite No. 3 in C major BWV1009 - 2. Allemande
03:14
3.
J.S. Bach Suite No. 3 in C major BWV1009 - 3. Courante
02:43
4.
J.S. Bach Suite No. 3 in C major BWV1009 - 4. Sarabande
03:30
5.
J.S. Bach Suite No. 3 in C major BWV1009 - 5. Bourree I - II - I
03:23
6.
J.S. Bach Suite No. 3 in C major BWV1009 - 6. Gigue
02:52
7.
Kurtag Signs, Games and Messages - Panaszos nota
02:23
8.
Kurtag Signs, Games and Messages - Kromatikus feleselos
01:17
9.
Kurtag Signs, Games and Messages - Doloroso
01:44
10.
Kurtag Signs, Games and Messages - Nepdalfele
00:44
11.
Kurtag Signs, Games and Messages - ... eine Blume fur Tabea ...
01:01
12.
Kurtag Signs, Games and Messages - In Nomine - all'ongherese
05:08
13.
J.S. Bach Suite No. 4 in E-flat Major BWV1010 - 1. Prelude
03:53
14.
J.S. Bach Suite No. 4 in E-flat Major BWV1010 - 2. Allemande
04:01
15.
J.S. Bach Suite No. 4 in E-flat Major BWV1010 - 3. Courante
03:13
16.
J.S. Bach Suite No. 4 in E-flat Major BWV1010 - 4. Sarabande
03:37
17.
J.S. Bach Suite No. 4 in E-flat Major BWV1010 - 5. Bourree I - II - I
04:28
18.
J.S. Bach Suite No. 4 in E-flat Major BWV1010 - 6. Gigue
02:21

Total time: 00:52:35

Additional information

Label

SKU

MYR026

Qualities

, , , ,

Channels

, ,

Artists

Composers

,

Genres

,

Digital Converters

Merging Technologies, HAPI

Editing Software

Merging Technologies, Pyramix

Mastering Engineer

Stephan Cahen

Microphones

Sonodore RCM402, Sennheiser MKH800

Original Recording Format

Producer

Stephan Cahen

Recording Engineer

Stephan Cahen

Recording location

Jesus-Christus-Kirche Berlin, Germany (2018)

Recording Type & Bit Rate

DXD

Release Date October 9, 2020

Press reviews

Classique HD 5 out of 5

Ten years after her acclaimed solo album with J.S. Bach’s first two Cello Suites, violist Tabea Zimmermann performs Suites Nos. 3 and 4, plus extracts from Gyorgy Kurtag’s cycle “Games, Signs and Messages”.

To interpret these Bach suites, you need a great virtuoso. Tabea’s playing is perfectly fluid and perfectly gives the illusion of a counterpoint or / and a low figure. It is very pleasant to revel in such an interpretation on a viola.

Artistic Quality: 4.5 out of 5
Sound Quality: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Independent 5 out of 5

It comes as a revelation to hear Bach’s cello suites performed on a viola by this great German musician, Tabea Zimmermann. Here they have a dynamism never achieved on the cello, and her playing has a wonderful eagerness and persuasiveness.

But the six works by the enigmatic Gyorgy Kurtag – who devotedly plays Bach on the piano – are no less of a revelation: with the shortest lasting just 45 seconds and three just over one minute, Their grouping (by Zimmerman) into a suite to echo Bach’s six-movement works creates a brand-new sound-world. With no bar-lines and almost no speed markings, they present big challenges: at one point, says the violist, the left hand must be so tense that it hurts. Tersely suggestive, and at times emotionally explosive, these little pieces open intriguing new landscapes.

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