PRESSE

Published in ‘La Scena Musicale,’ Vol. 9, No. 8 of , May 2004
Publié dans dans ‘La Scena Musicale,’ Vol. 9, No. 8 , Mai 2004

Après tous les enregistrements déjà existants, après de nombreuses versions historiques sur intruments modernes ou anciens… pourquoi refaire, encore une fois, les Suites pour violoncelle seul ? Il faut être un peu fou, peut-être, ne pas avoir peur de la comparaison… et avoir quelque chose à dire. Et cette musique de Bach est tellement belle, tellement riche, qu’il est facile de comprendre le désir de la jouer des interprètes. Sergei Istomin a visiblement quelque chose à dire. Violoncelliste et gambiste, il a fait partie du noyau de l’orchestre Tafelmusik et a joué avec de nombreux ensembles de musique ancienne à travers le monde. Son interprétation des Suites de Bach, sur instrument ancien, est superbe. On reconnait on grand musicien, avec des idées et la capacité de les transmettre. Les intentions sont claires, appuyées par un rythme souple et un jeu subtil de nuances. Il n’a pas un son propre, parfait, aseptisé, mais un son vivant et riche, toujours dans le mouvement. Même dans les préludes plus lents, on ne s’ennuit pas du vibrato romantique. Istomin réussit à donner de l’ampleur à ses phrasés sans artifice. Ce disque est une version remasterisée (en 24 bit.) d’un enregistrement de 1997.

Link to La Scena Musicale

Isabelle Picard

WETA — Television and Classical WETA 90.9 FM, the Washington area.
WETA is also a major producing station for PBS.

In February our CD Pick of the Week featured Mendelssohn’s works for cello and piano, and it was then we were first introduced to the talents of Sergei Istomin. For his latest release he’s joined by the Dutch period instrument group Apollo Ensemble.

Istomin’s cello is a model of sweetness and rich tone, and Haydn is obviously revered by these well-matched players. It’s a lovely and loving expression; Haydn’s music at its best.

WETA link

The Victoria Times (British Colombia, Canada) www.classical.net

«… Istomin’s sound is very fine… It is a rich, vibrant sound, yet clear and bright. A model, in fact, of period performance at its very best.»

www.classical.net link

The Globe and Mail (Canada’s National Newspaper)

«… Sergei Istomin’s fine recording is the best I’ve yet heard on a period instrument… This Russian-born ‘cellist has absorbed the reformers’ precepts about tonal weight and clarity of bowing without becoming formulaic about how he applies them.»

The Globe and Mail link:

The Globe and Mail’s ten noteworthy classical discs from 1997

«… Playing on low-pitched gut strings, with a grainy, breathy sound, Istomin takes a lingering approach.»

The Gazette (Montréal, Quebec, Canada)

«… Istomin prefers a less tensile attack, drawing the listener into the sonority rather than thrusting his sound into a hypothetical concert hall.»

Link to the Gazette

The Strad (United Kingdom)

«… Sergei Istomin is not only assured technically, with largely impeccable intonation and admirable control, but he is also musically alert and stylistically perceptive.»

The Globe and Mails ten noteworthy classical discs from 1997

«… Playing on low-pitched gut strings, with a grainy, breathy sound, Istomin takes a lingering approach.»

Répertoire des disques compacts (France)

«… Istomin prefers a less tensile attack, drawing the listener into the sonority rather than thrusting his sound into a hypothetical concert hall.»

Audiophile Audition

Istomin’s performances are a good introduction to the music for a student just learning about Bach, or a welcome addition to a collection rife with garden-variety Bach interpretations. Istomin’s reading is arresting. It is patiently conceived, well reconstructed, and consistently period-correct throughout. These are exceptionally well played, well-recorded cello suites. Istomin is a rare musician. His Bach, quite revelatory. A must-have if you like Bach.

– Max Dudious

Link to the review Audiophile Audition

Gramophone (United Kingdom)

Solo Bach modern and ‘ancient’ — and it’s Baroque Bach that catches the ear

When it comes to the cello, the difference between the sound of a Baroque model and a modern one is not always as marked as it is with other instruments, especially when the music coming out of it is Bach’s Cello Suites. Their unique nature, together with the highly personal response they tend to provoke, confounds the interpretative preconceptions we lazily bring to them, forcing us to open our ears, concentrate hard, and make real value judgements.

Istomin attends precisely to the smaller details showing more rhythmic and tonal variety, making the music really dance — try the Gavottes of Suite No 6 to see what I mean — and adopting a more rhetorical approach. Phrases are often marked out with a generously free rubato which, while it can endanger forward momentum, also gives the music a refreshingly improvisatory feel.

In fact, by the time I reached the end of it, I realised that this unassuming release (recorded as far back as 1997) offers one of the most attractive and satisfying ‘Baroque’ recordings of these pieces yet made.

— Lindsay Kemp

link to Gramophone

BBC Music Magazine, February, 2004

These are, above all, thoughtful and beautifully poised performances (Virtuoso Solos for Viola da Gamba), imbued with expressive breadth and a wistfulness that is thoroughly fitting for this glorious musical ‘Spätlese’. Istomin’s sound is silken and lustrous, though at times he can also produce a hauntingly stark, spectral quality to enhance moments of austerity and tristesse. The Analekta team has produced a fine recording — detailed without being oppressive, and wrapped in a halo of church space.

©2007-2020 Sergei Istomin