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JS Bach Cello Suites - Nathaniel Rosen, cello HDTT12877

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JS Bach Cello Suites - Nathaniel Rosen, cello

This release is based on a new transfer from the original 1994 edited digital master tape, which was created from the 1993-94 session master tapes. All of these tapes were recorded on a Nagra D digital tape recorder recording at a 44.1 kHz sampling rate, 20 bits, on quarter-inch tape, which at the time was considered by many as state of the art (a Nagra D recorder retailed for c. $27K in the early 1990s). Of necessity, this same machine was used for the recent transfer made in preparation for the instant release. Since the recording was digital, the 1994 edited master tape did not degrade the sound of the session tapes. The original unedited session tapes were available to us but unusable.

 The recent transfer employed a 44.1 sampling rate (same as the original), but with 24 bits, to be sure nothing was lost since the original 20 bits have become non-standard. While higher def files than 44/24 serve no purpose here, the fact that this digital recording comes to you without DA conversion, from the recording sessions nearly three decades ago until you play the files to listen to them now, means that the excellent sound quality recorded at the original sessions, fully capturing Mr. Rosen’s glorious playing and stunning musicianship, has been retained without compromise by reason of intervening duplication or DA/AD conversion. With today’s technology, we can now carry out DA conversion with noticeably better audible results than what could be achieved by the DA convertors of 30 years ago, meaning that you can now hear these great recordings like they have not been heard before.


… no one makes this music more riveting than Rosen, and in certain pieces—the tragic Second and monumental Fourth, for example—he sets a standard for the cellists who will follow him. –THE BALTIMMORE SUN

[Rosen’s] Bach solo cello suites combine elegance of articulation with an imaginative flair that blows the scholarly dust off these pieces. –THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE

[The Suites] unfold beautifully and lyrically, impelled by a technique that is at once virtuosic and unselfconscious … –STEREOPHILE [Recording of the Month]

Mr. Rosen’s interpretations are daring and free-spirited, an approach that is evident nearly from the start. …there is something persuasive about the broad strokes in which he paints. –THE NEW YORK TIMES

Rosen’s view of the Bach moves from a highly charged atmosphere at the opening Preludes to a cold sobriety in the slow movements. Yet one is never in doubt that he feels passionately about these works … –THE STRAD

Nathaniel Rosen’s recording of the six Bach cello suites are the kind of deeply considered readings we’d expect of a mature artist, but there’s no lack of the technical sparkle and shameless electricity that helped Rosen win the 1978 Tchaikovsky Competition. –STEREO REVIEW

Even in a market crowded with performances of the Bach cello suites, I can certainly recommend this production highly. … there’s no doubt that these are interpretations from a first-rate cellist and musical thinker. –FANFARE

Rosen conquers [the Suites] with performances of dark-toned, probing intensity without neglecting to convey the dance inspiration of the quicker movements. –THE LOS ANGELES TIMES

Title: Johann Sebastian Bach Six Suites for Violoncello Solo, BWV 1007-1012
Violoncello: 1738 Domenico Montagnana, ex-Servais (A=440 Hz).
Recorded December 18-19, 1993 (Suites 4-6) and July 6-7, 1994 (Suites 1-3) at Music Division Recital Hall, Purchase College of the State University of New York.

Producer: Doris Stevenson. Cover photo of Mr. Rosen: Bahman Soltani. Recorded by Jerry Bruck, Chief Engineer and Owner, Posthorn Recordings, NYC, with Richard Brause, Assistant Engineer, in Nagra D format (44.1 kHz, 20 bits).

(P) © 1994 John Marks d/b/a JMR/John Marks Records (recordings and Mr. Marks’ essay).
Reissued 2021 by High Definition Tape Transfers, Inc. under license from John Marks;
2021 restoration and remastering (P) © 2021 by High Definition Tape Transfers, Inc.
Original editing and mastering by Gabe M. Wiener, Quintessential Sound, Inc., NYC, 1994.
New transfer from the digital master tape, restoration and remastering by John H. Haley, Harmony Restorations, LLC, 2021.


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