October 16th, 2010
There are so many complete sets of the Bach unaccompanied Cello Suites that it's tempting to roll one's eyes when another comes along. And yet, it's hard to think of any other repertoire that so gracefully responds to performers' individual personalities.
On Winona Zelenka's set of the six suites, there is a freshness of approach that seldom wanders into idiosyncrasy. A few of the movements, the prelude of the Suite in E-flat for example, require a second hearing to grasp the aptness of her interpretations, but they are convincing in the end. Perhaps the most notable feature of this set is the sheer beauty of sound she brings to the sarabandes and other lyrical movements.