JS Bach's Suites for Unaccompanied CelloComplete performed by Janos Starker
Six 200-gram QRP-pressed LPs!
Cut directly from the original 3-track, first-generation master tapes at 45 RPM by Ryan K. Smith at Sterling Sound using an AMPEX ATR-100 tape machine customized with 3-track flux magnetic heads!
"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. Read the whole review here.
"The original LP has now been reissued by Analogue Productions on 200gm vinyl, mastered at Sterling Sound by Ryan K. Smith and stamped at Quality Record Pressings. 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. Plated and pressed at Quality Record Pressings, makers of the world's finest-sounding LPs.
Customer Reviews(4.88 Stars) 17 person(s) rated this product.
posted on 03/12/2021 3 Stars
I’m sorry, but this set is overrated. While the recording is high quality, the artist’s interpretation and the compositions are what count the most. In fact, the composer rules no matter what.
So for me the interpretation is good, but also sounds academic.
As for Bach’s Six Cello Suites, this is some of the greatest music ever written. So I naturally want the finest interpretation from the greatest musicians possible and for me those musicians are Yo-Yo Ma, Pablo Casals, Rostropovich.
With respect, Starker is good, but lacks what makes a performance great.
A Production to Match the Price
posted on 12/16/2020 5 Stars Reviewer: Tom the Teach
Though I am not within an economic stratum that allows for many extravagances, I gambled on this set, my having wanted Starker's Bach on vinyl for some time. Listening now as I write, I am stunned (as I have been each listening these last five months) at the warmth and closeness of the cello. Starker, of course, matches his fame in these suites. This set just makes that seem right there.
posted on 07/31/2020 5 Stars Reviewer: Chris McKee
I got this set a couple of weeks ago and have been playing and replaying it. Each time is more of a revelation than the last. The sound is so rich and clear and lifelike. The vinyl is dead quiet and the performances are, of course, superb. So glad I picked this up. Highly recommended!
posted on 07/11/2020 5 Stars Reviewer: Horacio Jervis
Nothing more can or needs to be said about both the music and performance. The real achievement here is in the mastering, elegant packaging, and in the perfectly pressed, dead quiet 12 sides of beautiful vinyl. A stunning, and absolutely heirloom quality box set.
Stunning! Reference material
posted on 07/10/2020 5 Stars Reviewer: Brent
All I can say is WOW! Amazing. This is definitely something to show off your hifi system. Starker is a legend and this box set is something every audiophile should own in a collection. If you still aren’t sure just go read Michael Fremer’s review of this set. He rarely ever gives a record 11/11 rating for both music and sound.
Simply The Best
posted on 04/14/2020 5 Stars Reviewer: Jeffrey Possum
It is well known that these 1965 Starker recordings are among the greatest recordings of all time. Anyone who was ever in Janos Starker's orbit is aware of what it was like to be in the same room he was playing in. It was cello wizardry. This is THAT sound. Playing that was impossibly good, beautifully phrased with a purity of sound that is still today peerless, made anew here. I did not think what you have here was possible, those who were present for the recording sessions must have gone mad with delight if this was what they heard. This is head and shoulders above the most recent vinyl re-issue. Here you have removed the humming and the low roar to reveal the sound of the cello, in a word you did the impossible and purified the recordings. Incidentally Mr.Starker used two different instruments on these particular recordings. He told me he liked his last interpretation of these works best of all the five he made. Hmmmm. THANK-YOU this was a gift for those who miss him. Bravo!
posted on 04/10/2020 5 Stars Reviewer: Ant Simon
Absolutely beautiful. Janos Starker playing in my lounge.
The Best Reissue I have Heard
posted on 03/29/2020 5 Stars Reviewer: Greg
I have around 500 audiophile reissues going back to the classic records reissues of the 1990s, Music Matters Jazz, MoFi One Step, etc. This set is quite simply the best sounding music I have ever heard on my system. Period. Wow! Thank you Chad and Analogue Productions!!!
posted on 03/02/2020 5 Stars Reviewer: Martin Grant
This recording took me back so many years....I felt like I was there. A masterful recording and packaging. Someone said it will surely increase in value..only to me as it will never leave my collection until I leave this world. Thank you for this gift. Well worth the price!!!!
posted on 02/27/2020 5 Stars Reviewer: Brandon
I can literally smell the rosin dust coming off of his bow when he digs in. This is one of the most lifelike recordings I have ever heard and even through solid state Yamaha receiver. Going to be purchasing a tube power amp soon and can’t wait to hear the difference. A little pricey but the juice is worth the squeeze on this one. I am certainly glad I made the purchase, they may be double or triple in price by next year.
The Hype is Legit
posted on 02/26/2020 5 Stars Reviewer: Michael Miller
What can I say? I hesitated because I have a very very nice sounding Speakers Corner reissue. Glad I pulled the trigger! Stunningly intimate and real. This remaster got rid of the slight bass bloat the SC reissue has. Plus, the panning of Janos is now dead center. With the SC, it's was panned at about 1:30 go figure. Regardless, I felt like I could have gotten out of my listening chair and shook his hand afterwards. So palpable and "here in my room" realistic. Goosebumps....
IT SOUNDS REALLY GOOD!
posted on 02/25/2020 5 Stars Reviewer: Kevin J
It is a very good sounding record. A little pricey, but the packaging and the quality of the record is pristine. The sound, recording is very, very good.
What sorcery is this?
posted on 02/20/2020 5 Stars Reviewer: Bryan
What sorcery is this? I spent the evening listening through this set and could not believe my ears. This is a true gift for all music lovers. I have an original set, the Speakers Corner reissue set as well. This set is a revelation! Where did all the rumble go? Any bass rumble or HVAC pick up is gone. No longer bass heavy, no longer an over sized image, just pure cello bliss. How did they do that? O.M.G. this is absolutely fabulous. Fabulous, I says!
posted on 02/19/2020 5 Stars Reviewer: Jon
This price of this set is completely justified. Beautiful music. Beautiful presentation. We will not get a better version of this incredible performance. Get it while you can.
Joy Joy Joy
posted on 02/18/2020 5 Stars
Expensive yes; but worth every penny. The performance is incredible and the recording just as impeccable. Vinyl at its best! Music from a maestro. The moment the needle hits the record such wonderful music began playing. I have other cello high quality recordings but this one is superior by far.