Released on CTM Classics, Israeli-American cellist Amit Peled's newest release features J.S. Bach’s Suites Nos. 4 and 5 for Violoncello Solo. They were recorded and engineered by six-time Grammy Award-winning recording producer Da-Hong Seetoo.
As the inspiration for the album, Peled found himself spending a lot of time with the Bach Suites in his home during the long months of lockdown.
As Peled's mentor Boris Pergamenschikow wrote, "The Bach Cello Suites is music that cleanses the soul, especially if you play it just for yourself, preferably without any audience."
Reflecting on his own interpretations, Peled writes, "The two suites that attracted me the most were the fourth suite in E-flat Major, which represents triumph, daring, and heroism — all the qualities I found myself searching for while trying to make sense of the artistic dryness that we all experienced at the beginning of the pandemic.
"And in contrast, the monumental fifth suite in C minor, which bubbled up in me about a year into the lockdown when questions about supernatural power, God, love, religion and a search for belonging to something bigger than just us here on earth emerged in me – all the elements one finds in that almost religious most philosophical suite," he added.
The album also includes a brand new cello choir arrangement of the Andante from Brahms’ Symphony No. 3, performed by the Mount Vernon Virtuosi cellos.
“As an encore track, I have included on this release the one piece that I was able to record during the lockdown with my dear cello students," he continues. "Teaching during the pandemic, both online and in-person, has been a source of hope, comfort and inspiration. Moreover, being able to make music with other people and with my own students was a real musical climax.
"For me, there’s nothing better to conclude this musical journey than the music of Brahms with its beauty of line and intimacy. The making of this recording gave all of us a sense of hope to keep going forward no matter what. I hope you enjoy it."