"What better time than during a period of self-isolation and social distancing could there be to explore Bach’s 'Suites For Unaccompanied Cello'? Arguably, there’s no finer recorded performances than the ones Janos Starker performed for Mercury Records April 15 and 17, 1963, September 7-8, 1965 and December 21-22, 1965. ... The finest version of these historic recordings, is without a doubt, this latest one from Analogue Productions and the sound is unassailable." — Music = 11/11; Sound 11/11 — Michael Fremer, AnalogPlanet.com, July 3, 2020.
"The original LP has now been reissued by Analogue Productions on 200gm vinyl, mastered at Sterling Sound by Ryan K. Smith and stamped at . I compared my review copy of the AS release to my IS/IS original and found the two to be very, very close; if anything, I believe most listeners would prefer the AS reissue for its very slightly more rounded-off sound, which sacrifices nothing of the original's presence yet pulls the dry sound back an inch or two from the brink of brightness. Also, the reissue has a somewhat wider dynamic range: After matching its volume to the original during a quiet passage, forte passages on the reissue seemed to go louder than on the original. All around, a well-done reissue of a recording that deserves your love." — Revinylization by Art Dudley, Stereophile.com, June 2020
"After receiving the final package, I am so proud of this product! I knew we hit a home run sound-wise when I heard the test pressings, but this packaging is super-deluxe and well manufactured, a whole other level. The production pressings are as good as the test pressings. This is just what you want in an all-analog vinyl reissue: superb sound and a collector-grade physical artifact. Great craftsmanship all around!" — Thomas Fine, remastering supervisor
These newly remastered Mercury Living Presence reissue LPs represent the state of the art of all-analog technology and production. Led by remastering supervisor Thomas Fine, son of high-fidelity recording pioneers C. Robert Fine and Wilma Cozart Fine of Fine Recording Inc. in New York City, these reissues were cut at 45 RPM directly from first-generation 3-track master tapes. A 3-2 channel mix was made directly to the cutting lathe, no "cutting master" tape stage, digital source or digital delay was used.
Thomas Fine made the 3-2 mixes with mastering engineer Ryan K. Smith at Sterling Sound's new facility in Nashville, Tennesee. Smith manually controlled groove margin and depth on his Neumann VMS-80 lathe, working with no preview signal and bypassing the lathe's margin-control computer. In doing so, he cut these sides the same way the original LP was cut by George Piros, who was Fine Recording Inc's VP and head of mastering. As with the original LP, no "sweetening" equalization or dynamic range control was used.
The definitive recording and perrformance of these works by JS Bach was originally released as a 3LP Mercury Living Presence Stereo SR3-9016, original mint copies of which command hundreds of dollars on the preowned LP market. Hungarian-American cellist János Starker epitomized refined elegance and superbly subtle bow work. Starker, who died in April 2013, was one of the 20th century's most renowned cellists.
Starker's recording of the Suites from 1965 makes a lasting impression on the listener, and even record producers who are well used to recorded excellence have been highly impressed. Starker's full-bodied sound and technical brilliance are complemented by his finely chiseled interpretation that lends immense expression to Bach's thrilling harmony and verve to the strict rhythmic construction of the movements.
This 6LP set, cut at 45 RPM, allows for the full dynamics present on the master tapes to shine through masterfully, as the wider-spaced grooves across the six sides, instead of three, let your stereo cartridge track more accurately. Housed in a glossy lid-style box reproducing the original artwork.