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My Daily Bach

Episode 6: Pierre Fournier Plays Bach's Cello Suite No. 1

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Each weekday during November, WQXR offers a free, daily download of a noteworthy Bach recording. Today: The "Aristocrat of the cello."

Album Details:
Prelude to Bach's Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major

Pierre Fournier, cello
Available at

Bach, so far as we know, wrote his six unaccompanied cello suites as private exercises for budding performers. But they gained worldwide exposure during the 20th century, thanks to Pablo Casals and later, to Paul Tortelier, Mstislav Rostropovich and the artist we’re featuring today: Frenchman Pierre Fournier (1906-1986). Fournier had a lengthy and distinguished career and spent much of it playing the Bach suites. This recording, released in 1961, was a classic when it came out, and remains so to this day. The Archiv reissue captures the remarkable poise, control and tonal beauty of his playing. Listen above to the prelude to the Suite No. 1 to get a sense of what we mean.

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