No one denies that J. S. Bach’s Six Suites for Cello represent the pinnacle of the cellist’s art. That said, a marathon of the complete set—no matter how illustrious the interpreter—can come off as hard time for listeners, even culturati who would never dream of saying so. And that is strange, given that the material consists virtually entirely of dance movements. Can the German-French Nicolas Altstaedt, a star very much on the move, transcend the virtuoso mechanics to release the music’s airborne spirit? We’re all ears. —M.G.
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