PS Audio Octave Records – Bach Cello Suites – Zuill Bailey



Bach Cello Suites

Zuill Bailey

“Stunning!” The six unaccompanied cello suites are a cornerstone of the classical cello repertoire

Octave Records is both proud and excited to release one of the world’s greatest works of music by one of the world’s most celebrated musicians. The Bach Cello Suites, recorded in both two-channel and 5-channel surround in a magnificent live hall in pure DSD is performed by Zuill Bailey, widely considered one of the premiere cellists in the world. He is a Grammy Award-winning, internationally renowned soloist, recitalist, Artistic Director, and teacher. This remarkable Octave Record’s release is the culmination of the artist’s long-held dream of sharing with the world his musical journey. Zuill Bailey first recorded the suites in 2008 on the Telarc label. Now, more than a decade later, this Octave Records performance reflects the artist’s mature yet daring approach, captured with remarkable realism as never before in stunning high-resolution stereo and surround sound. There has never been a recording or performance like this. An absolute treasure.

About Zuill Bailey

Zuill Bailey’s rare combination of celebrated artistry, technical wizardry and engaging personality has secured his place as one of the most sought after and active cellists today. A consummate concerto soloist, Mr. Bailey has appeared at Disney Hall, the Kennedy Center, the United Nations, Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In his storied career, he has collaborated with such conductors as Itzhak Perlman, Alan Gilbert, Andrew Litton, Neeme Jarvi, Giancarlo Guerrero, James DePriest, Jun Markl, Carlos Kalmar, Andrey Boreyko, Krzysztof Urbanski, Jacques Lacombe, Grant Llewellyn and Stanislav Skrowaczewski. He also has been featured with musical luminaries Leon Fleisher, Jaime Laredo, the Juilliard String Quartet, Lynn Harrell and Janos Starker. His international appearances include notable performances with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, as well as concerts in Cuba, Australia, the Dominican Republic, France, Israel, Spain, South Africa, Hong Kong, Jordan, South America and the United Kingdom. Festival appearances include Ravinia, the Interlochen Center for the Arts, Manchester Cello Festival (UK), Wimbledon (UK), Consonances- St. Nazaire (France), Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Deia Music Festival- Mallorca (Spain), Montreal (Canada), and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Mr. Bailey is a renowned recording artist with over thirty titles. He won a best solo performance Grammy Award in 2017 for his Live Recording of “Tales of Hemingway,” by composer Michael Daugherty. The award winning CD, recorded with the Nashville Symphony, Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor, also won the triple crown with Grammys for best composition, “Tales of Hemingway,” and Best Compendium. His celebrated live performances with the Indianapolis Symphony of the Bloch Schelomo, Muhly Cello Concerto (World Premiere), Elgar and Dvorak Cello Concertos, described by Gramophone magazine as the new “reference” recording and one that “sweeps the board.” In addition, the Dvorak Cello Concerto CD is listed in the “Penguin’s Guide,” as one of the Top 1000 Classical Recordings of all time.

Track Samples

Volume 1

Volume 2

Octave Audiophile Masters

The Recording

The Bach cello suites are structured in six movements. Each begins with a prelude followed by a similar progression of movements based on Baroque dance forms such as the allemande, courante, sarabande, two minuets, bourrées, or gavottes, and a final gigue. As Bach left no musical annotations in the score, the magic of the cello suites lies in the interpretive skill of the performer, making each performance a unique treasure. Zuill Bailey’s first recording of the complete suites was released on the Telarc label in 2008. This second recording on the Octave Record label reflects his ever-evolving interpretation more than a decade later. In this remarkable performance and recording, Bailey offers a compelling new interpretation of Bach’s masterworks informed by decades of immersion in the suites, and the personal and emotional impact the artist felt from the pandemic. “When I was a kid, the Bach Cello Suites were not played in public – they were so difficult that people were afraid of them,” said Bailey. “Yet in my 20s and 30s they became my guide and have remained so.” As Bailey approached age 50 he started feeling burned out – and then the pandemic hit. “Like so many others, I found myself in a strange place, alone and vulnerable. I had been on the road for 315 days a year, and now was cut off from performing.” Bailey didn’t touch his cello for weeks. “On the other hand, in isolation, I rediscovered what ‘home’ was.” When he resumed playing, he once again turned to the Bach Cello Suites. “I began playing Bach very differently – simpler. I found it purifying.” He stated, “the less I tried to ‘interpret’ the music, the better it sounded. It was more symbolic of the solitary feeling I was going through.” Thus, when Zuill Bailey reached out to us at Octave Records, he wanted nothing but the world’s finest recording equipment and a label that would fund and give the artist all the tools necessary for his dream to come true. This work is the result of a remarkable team effort by people who cherish and honor the music. We at Octave Records are honored to have helped make this happen. We hope you share with us the joy in this creation.


  • Produced and Edited for Octave Records by Thomas C. Moore, Five/Four Productions, Ltd.
  • Recorded, Mixed and Mastered for Octave Records by Robert Friedrich, Five/ Four Productions, Ltd.
  • Technical onsite support and DAW Systems Operations by Gus Skinas, Octave Records.
  • Executive Producer, Jessica Carson, Octave Records.
  • Recorded, Mixed and Mastered using Five/Four REVEAL SDM DSD Technology.
  • Recorded at Ikeda Theater, Mesa Arts Center, Mesa Arizona, January 23-27, 2021
  • Microphones: AEA R88, Royer SF-24 and Sennheiser MKH800
  • Microphone Preamplifiers: Integer RMP-1 and Fred Forsell Technologies SMP-2b
  • Recording system powered through PS Audio Direct Stream Power Plant 15
  • Analog Mix Console: Custom modified Studer 962
  • Interconnecting Cables: Brown Electronics Labs BEL “The Wire” Type P1; Music Interface Technologies Proline with Balanced Terminators; Mogami Neglex.
  • Digital Recording System: Merging Technologies Pyramix DAW with Merging Technologies Hapi A/D and D/A converters Monitored Through: EMM Labs Switchman
  • Monitor Speakers: ATC SCM 50 and SCM 25
  • Digital Editor: Pyramix
  • Special thanks to Randy Vogel, Robby Elliott and Troy Buckey, Mesa Arts Center.


Album Features

  • One pressing Austrian gold pressed dual-layer SACD
  • Pure DSD + PROMastered CD layers
  • DVD data disc containing DSD64 stereo, DSD64 multi-channel layer, DSDDirect Mastered 192kHz 24 bit, 96kHz 24 bit, 44.1kHz 16 bit PCM
  • Pure DSD recorded Five/Four REVEAL SDM DSD Technology
  • Full 5-channel surround mix included on SACD disc
  • DSD64, DSDDirect Mastered 192kHz 24 bit, 96kHz 24 bit, 44.1kHz 24 bit PCM download
  • No compression in the mastering or recording process
  • CD layer of SACD playable on any CD player
  • Mastering verified through the PS Audio DirectStream DAC
  • All tracks verified on the Infinity IRSV in PS Audio’s Music Room Two


There are few performers as kind, generous, and interesting as Zuill Bailey. As a teacher, musician, or historian, Mr. Bailey’s wealth of knowledge is a joy to share with music lovers. His depth of knowledge came from years of study. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from the Peabody Conservatory and the Juilliard School. His primary teachers include Loran Stephenson, Stephen Kates and Joel Krosnick. Mr. Bailey performs on the “Rosette” 1693 Matteo Gofriller Cello, formerly owned by Mischa Schneider of the Budapest String Quartet. In addition to his extensive solo touring engagements, he is the Artistic Director of El Paso Pro-Musica (Texas), the Sitka Music Festival/Series and Cello Seminar, (Alaska), Juneau Jazz and Classics, (Alaska), the Northwest Bach Festival (Washington), Classical Inside Out Series- Mesa Arts Center(Arizona) and is Director of the Center for Arts Entrepreneurship and professor of cello at the University of Texas at El Paso. Enjoy these video moments with one of the greatest musicians of our day, Zuill Bailey.


Remarkable is an understatement

To say that the sound is remarkable is an understatement. The three dimensional presentation of the cello in physical space combined with the fine details of bow moving across the strings and amazing resonance of the instrument in the concert hall are far above any recording I have heard.

– Ira Cohen

Most enjoyable ever!

I am not an aficionado or classical music maven. However, this recording (I bought the discs) is some of the most enjoyable recorded classical cellos I have listened to.

Very “clean” and resonant capture of the performances…

– Scott

Open, rich, resonant

Zuill’s recording is so open, rich, resonant and with my Maggies finally located in my room, he does sound like he’s right in front of me!

By comparison, my beloved Lynn Harrell (London) 2 CD set sounds flat, insipid and closed in, by comparison.

Bravo all!

– Palouse

Best yet!

First off, the playing is marvelous and the enjoyment for me is wonderful. Best Octave release yet!

– Pmotz


Zuill’s passion and soul for these wonderful movements of artistry shines throughout as he guides the stunning (and Rare) 1693 Mateo Goffriller “Rosette” Cello into musical magic of the Bach Suites!!

As per the DSD recording, the Mesa Arts Center acoustics are stunning, as Gus Skinas, Octave Records and crew faithfully capture the sublime instrumental performance and venue ambiance in its entirety (including the physiological breathing and emotional attachment of man and instrument)…BRAVO!

– Ted

the finest recording I have ever heard. Period.

I received the Cello Suites package in my mailbox this afternoon. The artistry, music and technical virtuosity of Octave Records all converged to produce the finest recording I have ever heard. Period. In many respects, I think the DSD recording surpasses even a live performance. Well done and bravo to your team and you!

– Everette Freeman


Downloaded Vol one this am (7/19) and they are remarkable in DSD. I have no Cello recordings where the sound is even close to this. Remarkable.

– Jim T

Nothing equals it!

Expressive changes seem to arise from within the music rather than being imposed from without, as though Bach’s vision is being revealed to us pure and unmediated. Of course, this is an illusion, but Bailey brings it off. The effect is so bracing, so pleasurable, so inspiring that I cannot think of another among the dozens of other recorded versions known to me that equals it. READ MORE

– Larry Lapidus

An historic musical work

A great piece of music composed by JS Bach performed by an incredible Cellist, Zuill Bailey in a fiery, passionate performance on an incredible period instrument in a spectacular music venue by a masterful recording team.

This recording isn’t just a “Cherry Picked” demo for an audiophile music system, it’s an historic musical work performed in a remarkable recording.

What I heard on my iPhone while watching the video setup of the recording session was so good that I snatched up a copy immediately. I have to admit that I asked Paul a while back if he would be able to make this recording on Octave after seeing video of Bailey that Paul recording in Boulder a while back. I’m sure Paul already had it planned in his “To Do” list but I had to ask. I LOVE The WORKS OF JS BACH!

This recording is more than a collector’s item, it’s an incredible music experience.

Just one man’s passionate opinion.

– Stimpy II

It’s like you are there

The surround version of this recording is extraordinary. It is like you are there in the hall with his cello.

– JD

Thank you!

Thank you for the sneak peek of this amazing recording. I have never heard a cello sound like this and Zuill’s performance is just breathtaking. I have 4 other recordings of the complete Bach Suites and nothing even comes close.

– Robert Lowery

What a treat

Oh my, what a treat. Thank you for the honor of being one of the first hearing this release. We are patrons of the Mesa Arts Center. Your recording team captured beautifully the hall and its wonderful acoustics. Magnificent playing. Bravo!

– D.R. Satsky

About Octave Records

Honoring the Music and Those Who Make It

Our mission at Octave Records™ is simple – respect musicians by paying them fairly, and respect their music by bringing it to life in the highest-quality possible.

Too often, musicians have to absorb the costs of production, leaving them little or any earnings – or even putting them in debt. And the quality of their recordings end up in last place. We at PS Audio and Octave Records are dedicated to correcting these inequities.

To support musicians, Octave™ covers 100% of all studio, mixing, mastering, production, distribution, and marketing expenses so that artists may directly share in retail sales revenues – while retaining ownership of their music.

Octave Records is dedicated to offering the highest-quality recordings in high-resolution formats including pure DSD on SACD , as well as 192kHz PCM. Located in Boulder, Colorado, Octave utilizes the world’s finest studio equipment, based around the acclaimed Sonoma™ DSD recording, mixing, and mastering system. Gus Skinas, our world-renowned mastering engineer, has hundreds of album credits and helped design the Sonoma system.