Richard Tunnicliffe - Bach Cello Suites - BBC Music Magazine
01 May 2012BBC Music Magazine
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brings a lifetime's experience to these recordings, as a gamba player in
Fretwork, a continuo cellist with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and
as principal cellist of the Avison Ensemble. No surprise, then, that these
recordings have authority, character and a truly distinctive sound, fabulously
captured by Linn.
Playing at a pitch
where 'A' is 415Hz, he uses a 1720 Bavarian cello with a burnished timbre in
the first five Suites. Some may find the Preludes and Courantes a little
stiff-jointed, particularly in the G and the E flat major Suites. Pelting
Courantes and Gigues have become a feature of performances on modern and period
instruments alike, but Tunnicliffe refuses to be hurried, etching out each note
with loving care, sparing of vibrato and any extraneous ornament. Rhythmic
vitality may not be foremost, but his Gavottes, Menuets and Bourées dance
gracefully, while his Sarabandes display an austere beauty.
Best of all is the
final D major Suite, played on a rare, French, five string cello piccolo. From
the opening notes of the Prelude we are held in its radiant, golden embrace.
impressive set is fluent and fantastical beside this more measured reading, but
there's a spiritual quality to Tunnicliffe's recital that perhaps brings us
closer to Bach.
Related LinksRichard TunnicliffeJ.S. Bach: Cello Suites