Hyperion’s record of the month for May is a major milestone for a performer at the zenith of his career—described recently in The Independent as ‘the stuff of legend’. Steven Isserlis’s award-winning discography spans his diverse interests in repertoire and his musicological enthusiasm, as well as demonstrating his supreme artistry and uniquely beautiful sound, and his first recording of the complete Bach cello suites is an indelibly important addition to the set.
Steven writes that ‘the Bach suites are works of such total perfection, such sublimity, that it is well-nigh impossible to feel ready for them’. He has proved more than adequate to the task and this release is a triumphant conclusion to an artistic pilgrimage.
Steven’s eloquent booklet notes reveal his personal thoughts about the suites, as well as extensive academic research. His is an interpretation that has come from his passionate involvement in the music rather than from following the various theories that abound in Bach scholarship, and he discusses it fully in an article which is a perfect complement to this wonderful release.