The theorbo is a sort of big brother to the lute, with a set of long, unfretted bass strings in addition to the fretted courses. This gives the instrument a wonderful, rich mellow sound which is beautifully evoked and captured in these recordings (from 1992 and 1999). Montailhet is an excellent theorbist and the music, too, is a delight.
This set includes two of the rarest and hardest to find of all recordings: the 1958-59 version of the Bach Cello Suites by Janos Starker – the one everyone says his later recordings cannot match – and the extremely beautiful performance of Bach's unaccompanied violin sonatas and partitas – the one that Japanese collectors pay 3-digit dollar prices for – in outstanding EMI Digital Re-Masterings.
It was with three of Bach’s cello suites, transcribed for the viola, that Maxim Rysanov made his début on BIS in 2010. The Sunday Times 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 disc that flaw is now being rectified, and the set is complete.
The young violist Maxim Rysanov makes his debut on BIS with three of Bach’s suites transcribed for viola by Simon Rowland-Jones. Recognised as one of the world’s finest and most charismatic viola players, Maxim Rysanov performs worldwide as a concerto soloist and chamber musician. Rysanov is a past recipient of both the Classic FM Gramophone Young Artist of the Year and the BBC New Generation awards and is a prizewinner of the Geneva International Music Competition and Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition among others. Originally from the Ukraine, he studied with Maria Sitkovskaya in Moscow and with John Glickman in London, his adopted home town.
Janos Starker was one of the 20th century's best cellists, known for his warmth and expression, as well as a thorough knowledge of the instrument. On these historic recordings, Starker delivers Bach’s six suites for solo cello and sonatas with technical expertise and authenticity. Accompanied by pianist György Sebök, this re-release is captured with the pristine sound associated with the Mercury Living Presence series.