Firma Melodiya presents Johann Sebastian Bach’s solo suites performed by Daniil Shafran, one of the best archival recordings of cello art.
"A Paganini of the 20th century”, a “musician … with the most melodious sound among all the living string performers”, “his art achieves the brinks of supernatural” are just a few of the rapturous remarks from domestic and foreign critics about Daniil Shafran. His artistic career of more than 60 years was a whole era in Russian and world performing art of the 20th century.
Shafran was one of the first Soviet cellists to turn to Bach’s music. However, the outstanding cellist’s “way to Bach” was long and complicated. According to Shafran, he used to treat Bach’s cello suites as “instructive” music, but the recordings of Pablo Casals, who he met after the war, overthrew his idea of the cello Bach. Even after that Shafran had just some of the pieces or their parts in his repertoire and finally performed and recorded Bach’s sonatas for cello and piano with composer Andrei Volkonsky. The complete suites for solo cello were performed by Shafran during the concert season of 1966 in Moscow.
Usually, Shafran went to a recording studio to sum up his highest performing accomplishments after numerous concert performances. The recordings of six cello suites by J.S. Bach made in the 1970s definitely were one of the peaks of Daniil Shafran’s performing art. Noble artistry Shafran was known for is an element that naturally links the scale of the whole with finished and meticulous transmission of every detail.