Markku Luolajan-Mikkola - Bach: Sonatas and Partitas: a darkening of tone that takes some getting used to

Thu, Feb 18, 2016, 15:30


Johann Sebastian Bach Sonatas and Partitas BWV1001-1006

Markku Luolajan-Mikkola, Johann Sebastian Bach

Linn Records


Finnish cellist and gamba player Markku Luolajan-Mikkola here offers not Bach’s cello suites but the solo violin sonatas and partitas, transposed deep into the bass register and played on a three centuries old, tonally gorgeous Barak Norman cello.

Transcriptions and arrangements were ubiquitous in the baroque period, yet it was not until the 19th century that the idea of playing these works on the cello seems to have surfaced.

There’s a darkening of tone and a thickening of textures that takes some getting used to.

It’s sometimes compelling, though some of the fastest movements can sound like an elephantine scamper, all dust and noise, as in the Double of the Corrente of Partita No 1.

Bach with a difference.