Related Reviews
MusicWeb International
'Thoroughly engaging, demonstrating mastery of the instrument and of the chosen repertoire.'
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Early Music Review
'This is very much the thinking man or women's Bach.'
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Fidelity
' it is so beautiful, so beautiful and an almost meditative performance'
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The Independent
Online Mention: 'The best music of 2012: Classical'
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MusicWeb International
'Now here's a splendid performance from Richard Tunnicliffe that is certainly worthy of very close scrutiny indeed'.
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ResMusica
'...ravira les « intellectuels » souhaitant pouvoir observer clairement les arcanes d’une architecture dont la beauté repose dans une perfection sans fioriture inutile.'
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Audiophile Audition
4 Stars
'To this listener, the whole experience is also an adventurous one, exacerbated by the rhythmical jest and uplifting moments by Tunnicliffe's skilled crafts and virtuosity.'
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International Record Review
‘[Tunnicliffe] illuminates these masterpieces with [a] kind of lightly worn elegance and refreshing sobriety…highly recommended.’
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The Independent on Sunday
5 Stars
'Tunnicliffe's sound is generous and finely grained, the faster dances sharply pointed, the sarabandes dark pools of metreless beauty.'
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Gramophone
'For those who like their Bach honest and unrefined, this is probably the most appealing recording of these pieces...'
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Pizzicato
Astonishing review from Pizzicato
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BBC Music Magazine
4½ Stars
‘These recordings have authority, character and a truly distinctive sound fabulously recorded by Linn.’
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Allmusic
'...Tunnicliffe should be appreciated for his artistry and given a thorough hearing'.
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Birmingham Post
'A lovely double-CD set...'
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The Sunday Times
'His degree of interpretative intervention gauged beautifully...'
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SA-CD.net
5 Stars
‘Tunnicliffe’s performances are simply magnificent.’
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MusicWeb International
'...this new recording is a fine addition to the list of distinguished recordings of these Cello Suites.'
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Music and Words
4 Stars
‘…an evocation of the natural, unadorned, almost sombre beauty he elicits in his Bach.’
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Richard Tunnicliffe - Bach Cello Suites - The Strad


01 June 2012
The Strad
Janet Banks

The British cellist Richard Tunnicliffe is just as likely to be found behind a viol, as a member of viol consort Fretwork.  But as a teacher of Baroque and classical cello, and principal cellist in the Avison Ensemble, his cello playing credentials are considerable, and these mature and convincing performances are obviously the fruit of many years of performance.

The contemporaneity of the cellos in this recording takes some beating: a Germand Leonhard Maussiell of c.1720,exactly the time Bach is thought to have written the Suites, for nos.1-5. and a piccolo cello of 1726 by Pierre Malahar for the Sixth Suite.  Both instruments are resonant and closely recorded.  The C minor Fifth Suite seems to bring forth more audible inward breaths than the others, and the tinny timbre of the piccolo cello's E string takes some getting used to, but overall the sound is just the right side of realism. 

These are weighty interpretations with a broad harmonic sweep.  One is very aware of the chord progression with the pedal notes readily calling to mind Bach's organ music.  Decorations of a dance on its repeat are carefully chosen but few and far between, as is dynamic variation.  The power and control of Tunnicliffe's right arm are most noticeable resulting in wonderfully legato bow changes.  Rubato is always kept with the wider pulse and the dances have strong individual characters - the courantes run, the gavottes are light on their feet, and there's a spring in the step of the gigues.


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