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Robert Battey
The Washington Post, March 2007

For a radically different approach to the same literature, try "J.S. Bach; Die Kunst der Fuge and Cello Suites 1 & 5" (EuroArts 2050758). Here the Dutch virtuoso and early-music specialist Anner Bylsma sets forth his unique, quirky views on two of the suites. It is a total contrast to the Perényi (and everyone else); he plays on a low-tension period instrument with gut strings and no endpin; uses a baroque bow, held well past the frog; and employs a freedom of tempo that would be inconceivable in any other repertoire.

Oddly, his instrument is tuned to modern pitch, which is apostasy in his school. But no performer uses a wider palette of articulation, color, dynamics and phrasing; some would say too wide. It is good to have these intense, thought-provoking performances (filmed in 2000) captured for posterity, as we shall not see his like again.

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8:32:10 AM, 10 October 2015
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