Bach: Six Suites Unaccompanied For Cello

Hi I was wondering of the 3 Cello soloist, which would you recommened getting, and maybe some explanation on how these recording differ.

1- Janos Starker on Mercury
2- Daniil Shafran on Eterna/ Melw Russian copies
3- Pierre Fournier on Archive, which one to get?

all very expensive
Bach: Six Suites Unaccompanied For Cello I have two out of three with not hearing the Daniil Shafran. I also have the Ma on cd. So for me to pick the one I enjoy the most interpertation wise is hard. The sound of the Bach Mercury recording on SACD is excellent and up front. The Fourneir can't say from memory but sure it is a fine recording on the Archive label.I also have the speaker corner lp but its sealed and have not lstened to it at all...I would guess anyone you chose should satisfy.
For what it's worth, I like the Starker, but haven't heard the others. This isn't my favorite Starker recording though. That would be Starker plays Chopin, Bartok, Mendelssohn, Martinu, Debussy, Weiner. Mercury # 434 358-2. Check this out if you are not already aware of it. Skip the first half of the disc recorded in the UK, and go directly to the recordings made in Ballroom studio A in NY. Awesome energy and sound from Starker with Gyorgy Sebok on piano. They're on fire!
I like the Starker recording. Not on your list, but I also like the Rostropovich recording (from EMI). Rostropovich's performance strikes me as a touch less precise than Starker's. This can be a good or a bad thing, depending on your preferences.

You should also listen to the Martin Zeller recording (from MA Recordings). The performance and SQ are extraordinary. Unfortunately, it is only a small selections from the Suites. But Zeller's performance is fascinating, as it sounds the most baroque of the three (at least to my untrained ear). Have fun.

Pablo Casals recording from the 1930's is the benchmark for this piece.Try to find the lp,in its various stages of release or an early cd issue.The current EMI cd has some undesirable sonic manipulations.The Shafran recording,which i have on the multiple cd set has a nice woodsy sound.I would love to hear that recording on vinyl.Some of those Russian Melodiyan lp's have an extraordinary sound and presence.I must say this is rather like asking who were the greatest climbers to scale Mt. Everest? The fact is,that it has been done,does not diminish the challenge to make the climb.
I have ended up with 4 or 5 versions of this great work and they are all magic in their own way.
All three in the list are indispensible classics for the Cello Suites in stereo. You can't do without any of them. I'd buy all.
I have the Starker LP and the Rostropovich EMI CD, I prefer Rostropovich's more "emotional" presentation. That being said I listen to both and pick between them depending on my mood.
...i agree with bryoncunningham..the zeller recording on MA is superb...
I prefer Rostropovich's more "emotional" presentation.

Samhar - I initially wrote the same thing in my post - i.e. that the Starker performance feels more intellectual, while Rostropovich feels more emotional - but then I rephrased it because I didn't want to anger any Starker fans. ;-) But I agree with you about this impression.

I also agree with the folks who suggest getting multiple versions of the Suites. I have three versions and I listen to them all, depending on my mood.

I own and enjoy both the Starker and Rostropovich, both excellent, but if you really want to enjoy yourself, get a copy of Edgar Meyer playing these suites on the double bass: very musical, but a very different tonal quality.

I wasn't sure about the "less precise" meaning so I didn't agree with you although I suspected that was what you were implying!!! I wanted to also make the point that the Rostropovich performance was good enough to be preferred over the sonically far superior Starker LP.
Daniil Shafran performing "Bach Suites for Solo Cello" on Yedang Classics. This is truly some of the best solo cello playing I've ever heard and the recording quality is top notch. It is "raw", "intense", and the "presence" is unbelieveable! Try to find it on this label and you will not regret it.
Not on your list, but I'd recommend checking out Zuill Bailey's recent release. It is fantastic!!!
Hello Macallan25

Here is a link to my recommendation above for the Daniil Shafran. It truly is a spectacular performance and excellent recording quality as well. At the price, it is well worth you trying.

I hope that this will be helpful.
Never stop buying Cello Suites, try the following top rated copies:

Jean-Guihen Queyras
Truls Mørk
Anne Gastinel
Zuill Bailey
Torleif Thedéen
Steven Isserlis
Wen-Sinn Yang(DVD)
big starker fan. Less fast than the yo-yo ma's, more emotions. For some the finger movements can be distracting though. For me, it's part of the live experience.
Kirschbaum on Virgin is my sleeper favorite. LIthe, dancelike and poetic.
I have the Rostropovich which you can have for a song. Name your price. Contact me at gjpnhap@netzero.
I've listened to many of those mentioned, but Anner Bylsma's recording on Vivarte from 1993 is my favorite. Played in the baroque style, and stunning.
At Ymh's recommendation on this thread, I bought Steven Isserlis' recording of the Cello Suites, and I'm enjoying it very much. To my ears, it has a more spontaneous and improvisational feel than some of the other notable performances. At times it is almost playful, which some may object to, but I find an interesting approach.

Worth a listen.