Nina Kotova – The Cello Suites
Equally melancholic and joyous, Nina Kotova’s Cello Suites are balm for the soul.
We don’t tend to cover a lot of classical music here at Crossradar – perhaps a bit of crossover stuff from time to time – so when something as beguilingly strong and confident as Nina Kotova’s The Cello Suites (renditions of works by J S Bach), it’s a real breath of fresh air. The six suites for solo cello
Opening with Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 in G, Kotova’s delivery is immediately arresting and listenable, lingering at times allowing space to savour certain notes. Over the six tracks that make up the first suite, there is a paradoxical feeling of speed and being whisked away with the music, while simultaneously being given the time to pause and observe the skill being presented.
The music takes a distinctly darker tone as the album progresses on to Suite No. 2 in D Minor, particularly by the time it reaches IV. Sarabande, with its deeply melancholic tones. The long, drawn notes of the cello resonate with a real sense of sadness, and the minor key adds an eastern European flavour.
Nina Kotova’s style makes these suites a pleasure to listen to. She plays the cello deftly – at times it’s hard to believe she is the only one performing, particularly at the faster, more frenetic points during suite 3 in C major where the melody rises and falls again and again, as if drawn skywards on an updraft only to fall back to the ground with equal speed.
Suite No.4 in E Flat Major is altogether sweeter, the perfect music for a bride to walk down the aisle to, and suitably inspiring. It’s exactly the kind of music you might look for when seeking creative inspiration in any area – in fact (in my mind, at least) it’s perfect for any oil painter, ceramicist, or sculptor to have playing in their studio. But the value of the music doesn’t stop there. It’s also ideal for those long, lonely countryside walks where your only companion is your iPod. Nina Kotova’s renditions of Bach’s cello suites are altogether calming and soothing, immediately recognisable as Bach but also played with Kotova’s distinctive flair.
Over the recording’s 2 hours, things come to a delightful conclusion with the final Suite No. 6 in D Major – with a lightness and an airiness that draws the album to its end point with a depth and sensitivity that comes close to overwhelming at points. There are reminders of the loneliness that has been passed through, the highs and the lows that seem to reflect those same points that are experienced by every human heart throughout the path of life.
There is something uniquely arresting about the dynamic sound of the cello, and Kotova’s mastery of the instrument makes this a listening experience that is at times haunting, and at others thrilling and yet others entirely engrossing, making it a must have collection of classical music for any lover of the genre.