J.S. Bach: Préludes & Sarabandes Thomas Demenga
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- Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): Cello Suite No.4 In E-Flat Major, BWV 1010:
- 1Cello Suite No.4 In E-Flat Major, BWV 1010: 1. Prélude03:47
- 2Cello Suite No.4 In E-Flat Major, BWV 1010: 4. Sarabande03:11
- Cello Suite No.1 In G Major, BWV 1007:
- 3Cello Suite No.1 In G Major, BWV 1007: 1. Prélude02:13
- 4Cello Suite No.1 In G Major, BWV 1007: 4. Sarabande02:28
- Cello Suite No.3 In C Major, BWV 1009:
- 5Cello Suite No.3 In C Major, BWV 1009: 1. Prélude03:08
- 6Cello Suite No.3 In C Major, BWV 1009: 4. Sarabande03:29
- Cello Suite No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011:
- 7Cello Suite No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011: 1. Prélude05:40
- 8Cello Suite No.5 In C Minor, BWV 1011: 4. Sarabande03:17
- Cello Suite No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008:
- 9Cello Suite No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008: 1. Prélude03:55
- 10Cello Suite No.2 In D Minor, BWV 1008: 4. Sarabande03:51
- Cello Suite No.6 In D Major, BWV 1012:
- 11Cello Suite No.6 In D Major, BWV 1012: 1. Prélude04:34
- 12Cello Suite No.6 In D Major, BWV 1012: 4. Sarabande04:57
Info for J.S. Bach: Préludes & Sarabandes
Swiss cellist Thomas Demenga returns to Bach’s suites. “To me, Bach is the greatest musical genius who has ever lived. His music is pure, sublime. It possesses something divine and each musician has a lifetime in which to discover new ways of interpreting it.” Demenga previously recorded the cello suites for ECM between 1986 and 2002, juxtaposing them with contemporary composition in albums that count as milestones in the early history of the New Series. This new double album however is devoted entirely to Bach and the six suites. Many years of playing and studying every aspect of them, from source manuscripts to different tempos, embellishments, fingerings and bowings, have brought Demenga to the heart of the music – which Bach himself described as the only goal. This new account of the music was recorded at the Hans Huber Saal in Basel.
Recorded at the Hans Huber Saal in Basel, this double album documents Thomas Demenga’s second reckoning with the Bach cello suites on ECM. The Swiss cellist previously recorded them between 1986 and 2002, juxtaposing them with contemporary composition (by Elliott Carter, Heinz Holliger, Sandor Veress, Bernd Alois Zimmermann, Toshio Hosokawa and Isang Yun) in a series of albums which count as milestones in the early history of the New Series. (Elliott Carter wrote that he had “never heard the Bach C Major suite played so understandingly and so convincingly.”)
Demenga has spent many years playing and studying every aspect of the Bach cello suites pieces, from source manuscripts to different tempos, embellishments, fingerings and bowings, in the quest to interpret the works faithfully. His considerations and findings are discussed in the liner notes by Thomas Meyer, translated into English by Paul Griffiths.
Thomas Demenga, cello
was born in 1954 in Berne, Switzerland, and studied with Walter Grimmer, Antonio Janigro, Leonard Rose and Mstislav Rostropovich, among others. Important chamber music influences were Claus Adam, Felix Galimir and Robert Mann at the Juilliard School in New York.
He has performed at important festivals and musical centres around the globe and shared the stage with fellow musicians such as Heinz Holliger, Gidon Kremer, Thomas Larcher, Paul Meyer, Aurèle Nicolet, Hansheinz Schneeberger, Thomas Zehetmair and Tabea Zimmermann. As a soloist he has collaborated with, among others, the Berliner Sinfonie-Orchester, Berner Symphonie Orchester, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Bern, Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, Kammerorchester Basel, L’Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Nieuw Ensemble Amsterdam, ORF- Symphonieorchester Wien, Sinfonieorchester Basel, Sinfonietta Basel, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Westdeutsches Rundfunk Symphonie-Orchester, and Zürcher Kammerorchester.
Much of Thomas Demenga’s work addresses different historical eras and styles of interpretation and composition. His individual voice as a composer and interpreter of 20th and 21st century works (among them important prèmieres) gives a new and complementary dimension to both the historical performance practice of baroque music and his interpretations of the classical and romantic repertoire. In 1991 he was the first Swiss composer to be awarded first prize for his composition Solo per due by the congress of the Tribune Internationale des Compositeurs.
From 2000 Demenga was composer-in-residence at the Davos Festival, “Young Artists in Concert”, and subsequently appointed artistic director of the festival, a position he gave up in 2006 to commit himself fully to performing and composing again.
Thomas Demenga’s playing has been heard on twenty ECM New Series recordings to date. In addition to his albums of Bach and contemporary composition, he can be heard together with brother Patrick Demenga on Lux aeterna (playing music of Alexander Knaifel, Jean Barrière, Roland Moser and Barry Guy, as well as Thomas Demenga’s own music) and on 12 Hommages à Paul Sacher (with music of Conrad Beck, Luciano Berio, Pierre Boulez, Benjamin Britten, Henri Dutilleux, Wolfgang Fortner, Alberto Ginastera, Cristóbel Halfter, Heinz Holliger, Klaus Huber and Witold Lutoslwaski). His album Chonguri with Thomas Larcher and Teodoro Anzellotti, includes his own music alongside compositions of Bach, Chopin, Webern, Liszt, Milhaud, Fauré and more. Cellorganics features Demenga as improviser in duets with Heinz Reber. He also appears on Reber’s Mnaomai, mnomai, on Heinz Holliger’s Lauds and Lamentations: Music of Elliott Carter and Isang Yun, Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Canto di speranza, Thomas Larcher’s Ixxu and Naunz, Giya Kancheli’s Diplipito, and Arvo Pärt’s Arbos, where he plays Stabat Mater together with Gidon Kremer, Vladimir Mendelssohn and singers Lynne Dawson, David James and Rogers-Covey Crump. An earlier encounter with Gidon Kremer, in performances of Shostakovich, is documented in the Edition Lockenhaus series.