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This recording has been reissued in the Essential Baroque Masterpieces collection with an exclusive interview of Bruno Cocset:
"Johann Sebastian Bach is a composer who has accompanied me since I first started learning music and has never left me. I come back to him regularly, in concert and on disc. Naturally, that’s bound up with the Suites for solo cello, but it goes further than that, because the entire output of Bach expresses so many different things for me that he could be sufficient unto himself and he would still satisfy me.
Bach stands at the cusp of two centuries, the seventeenth and eighteenth – two worlds that lie at the heart of the repertory I play. From the seventeenth century, or sometimes earlier, he took the richness of his musical language, of his grammar – forms, harmony, rhetoric, diminution which becomes melisma – to give us compositions that look more towards the eighteenth century. In my attempt to understand and explore repertories and instruments, I am constantly shuttling back and forth between the two sides of the reflecting mirror of these two centuries. If that’s true of the textual material, it’s equally true of the instruments. One senses in Bach a search for colour, elocution, diction, in order to convey all the sentiments or give the musical discourse both force and variety. In this approach he makes use of a very rich instrumentarium, which draws extensively on the variety of the seventeenth century, as if he needed all this diversity of a different era from his own to express everything he had to say. Paradoxically, he seems very modern to us today, probably through the chords he manages to touch in us at a distance of nearly three centuries: spirituality, humanism, intense feeling, probably also the need for a reassuring structure.
In the face of such organological diversity, I ask myself, every time I tackle a work of Bach’s again, what the ideal instrument to play it is. It’s an obsessive quest, which constantly prompts me to rethink my approach; despite all one’s ingrained reflexes, there’s always a different way of moulding the sound matter and expressing things. And, beyond that certainty that there will always be something to renew or discover with Bach, I’m fascinated by the fact that his music concentrates within it something unique that touches at once the heart, the body and the intellect."
- Bruno Cocset