Richard Tunnicliffe - J.S. Bach: Cello Suites - Early Music Review

I have had these discs for some while and apologise to both the cellist and Linn for my failure to write them up before now. This is very much the thinking man or women's Bach. This is not the same as saying that the tempos are slow. As one might expect, some are either faster or slower than one has heard before, but they all feel right. Apart from this, what strikes me most about the playing is the fine judgement displayed over just how much weight (and occasional wait) to give each note, dependant on its role in the general harmonica/ melodic spectrum. In this context I especially enjoyed the control and above all the musical elucidation of the fugue in the prelude to the fifth suite.

The instruments used for these performances are both contemporary with the music and their glorious sound is faithfully captured by the technical team. The final suite is played on a five stringed instrument whose lighter tone seems thin if one plunges straight into the prelude from the previous track but it soon establishes its own personality. Indeed, its clarity and agility ensure that we end the cycle on a distinctly jolly ‘up', even though the final arpeggio goes down. Among the EMR readership there will be many friends and admirers of Richard Tunnicliffe who will already have these discs. The rest of you should join them - they're terrific.

01 April 2013