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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Gramophone
'...a delicious richness to the sound of the solo instrument...'
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The Guardian
'...Sarabandes sung low and husky, unadorned, flawed and beautiful.'
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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 Strad


26 May 2016
The Strad
Janet Banks

If the six Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin are, in Enescu's words, ‘the Himalayas of violinists', then playing the entire set transcribed for Baroque cello must represent an extra day's trek at least, probably barefoot. After 40 years of immersing himself in the Cello Suites, the Finnish cellist, violist and gambist Markku Luolajan-Mikkola has risen to the challenge, and carries off this technical tour de force with impressive strength and dexterity.

Whether it is a wise musical choice is another matter. The violin works have more black notes, more double-stopping and far denser counterpoint than the Cello Suites. Although simpler movements like the Gigue of Partita no.3 are still delightful, others suffer in the lower tessitura.Luolajan-Mikkola plays a Baroque cello of c.1700 by Barak Norman with gut strings. Close miking and skilful recording capture the strings' earthy sound and ensure none of the rapid low notes are lost.


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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