Related Reviews
Early Music Today
'The experiment is an interesting one...Cellists especialy will encounter much to intrgue them and will find of interest Luolajan-Mikkola's accompanying essay dealing with tuning issues and other important matters for the would-be transcriber.'
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ABC
'Luolajan-Mikkola has carried out this feat not only with great technical strength, but with a talent and a musicality...that it is easy to forget the instrument for which it was originally written.'
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Klassisk Musikkmagasin
5 Stars
”...ga min nøling etter for beundring og verdsetting...Spillet og innspillingen er begge lytefrie.” / '...my hesitation gave way to admiration and appreciation...The performance and the recording are both flawless.'
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Hi-Fi+
'The musicality of Luolajan-Mikkola's performance commands respect as does the sheer dexterity of his playing, especially in his magisterial account, for example, of the Presto in the Partita No 1 in E minor. It is such an exuberant display that we are left almost breathless with excitement...'
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Fanfare
'Luolajan-Mikkola's playing is magical and he coaxes an amazing range of resonant sounds from his cello....The beauty of this interpretation is its contemplative spirit. He brings out the details that even Bach enthusiasts may never have noticed.'
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Fanfare
'Markku Luolajan-Mikkola's transcription of these works succeeds so beautifully...'
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Fanfare
'This is an outstanding disc with some absolutely phenomenal playing.'
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The Strad
'... Markku Luolajan-Mikkola has risen to the challenge, and carries off this technical tour de force with impressive strength and dexterity.'
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Gramophone
'...a delicious richness to the sound of the solo instrument...'
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Irish Times
'Bach with a difference...a darkening of tone and a thickening of textures...'
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HBL
'Markku Luolajan-Mikkola spelar Bachs soloviolinstycken på barockcello och tolkar musiken suveränt.' / 'Markku Luolajan-Mikkola plays solo violin works by Bach with a baroque cello and interprets the music splendidly.'
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Ming Pao Weekly
Chinese Review: 'Luolajan-Mikkola offers a marvelous transcription of the sonatas-partitas, and that it’s enough to listen to your playing without the explanation of why to do such transcription.'
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Markku Luolajan-Mikkola - J.S. Bach: Complete Sonatas & Partitas - The Guardian


25 February 2016
The Guardian
Kate Molleson

Bach's six solo Sonatas and Partitas might be sacrosanct for violinists - the instrument's Himalayas, George Enescu called them - but they're regularly pinched by violists, lutenists, mandolinists and others. So why not baroque cellists? Phantasm's Markku Luolajan-Mikkola sternly takes up the challenge on a 1700 instrument, and answers his own question along the way: it's tough going. Nimble passages (the Second Partita's Gigue) and chunky, double-stopped passages (the Second Sonata's mighty Fugue) sound like hard graft, but Luolajan-Mikkola is nothing if not resolute, and he seems to embrace the struggle as an expressive end in itself. His staunch approach to articulation is tricky to love, but the payoff comes in the slow movements: Sarabandes sung low and husky, unadorned, flawed and beautiful. The recording was made in a medieval church on the south coast of Finland, and the big reverb provides a warmth [to] the playing.


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Markku Luolajan-MikkolaMarkku Luolajan-Mikkola
J.S. Bach: Complete Sonatas & Partitas, BWV 1001-1006J.S. Bach: Complete Sonatas & Partitas, BWV 1001-1006