Alisa Weilerstein’s “Bach Cello Suites” is out now
After her acclaimed PENTATONE debut with Transfigured Night, Alisa Weilerstein returns with a complete recording of Bach’s Cello Suites. These pieces present the highest mountain to climb for any cellist, and one of the most transcendent and rewarding experiences for listeners alike. With his suites, Bach crafted — essentially without direct precedent — a body of solo cello music that forever defined the genre and brought the Baroque cello on par with its more popular cousin, the viola da gamba. Since Pablo Casals put them in the limelight again after 150 years of relative oblivion, Bach’s suites have become the alpha and omega for generations of cellists. To Weilerstein, the joy of this music — vibrant, contemporary, unquestionably alive — is the joy of discovery. Having heard and studied these pieces for years, she now entrusts her interpretation to the listener.
Since signing an exclusive contract with PENTATONE, Alisa Weilerstein has released Transfigured Night (2018), and featured on Inon Barnatan’s Beethoven Piano Concertos Part 1 as well as Old Souls, an album with music for flute and strings (both released in 2019).
“One such artist is the cellist Alisa Weilerstein, whose #36DaysOfBach project has her streaming a daily live performance on social media of one movement of the six cello suites — often following the music by chatting with those tuning in. And two weeks ago, Pentatone released Ms. Weilerstein’s richly emotive studio recording of the suites, made in Berlin last year.”
Read the full interview in The New York Times
“If you’re longing for the familiar, the steady, the permanent, you could do a lot worse than Bach, whose six beloved cello suites come alive anew in Alisa Weilerstein’s new recording. The 2011 MacArthur fellow has been delivering gorgeous performances and leading lively discussions about the suites on Facebook Live as part of her #36daysofbach project (and she also recently offered an elucidating walk-through of the prelude of Suite No. 1 in G major — a.k.a. “that famous cello song” — for Vox); but these accounts feel like a master class all by themselves. And even if you don’t know them all by heart, just the familiar routine of moving from the tonic to the dominant and back can restore some sense of much-needed normalcy. (It actually feels a little like leaving the house.)”
The Washington Post