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With an established fan base built over his two decades with viol consort Phantasm, Luolajan-Mikkola makes his solo Linn debut in style, tackling what is considered the pinnacle of Bach's output for violinists: the Sonatas and Partitas.
With two Gramophone Awards to his name and a reputation synonymous with excellence, Markku Luolajan-Mikkola is a musician who is at the top of his profession. Transcribing Bach's hugely popular works for cello, especially one in Baroque set-up, was not without its risks, although performing on Baroque cello also offers compelling advantages.
Luolajan-Mikkola takes his interpretative cue from the set-up of the Baroque instrument, which informs such issues as tuning, vibrato, fingering and articulation. Performing the Sonatas and Partitas on the cello is so challenging that it is almost impossible to imagine a cellist of Bach's day playing them, but Luolajan-Mikkola rises to the challenge with aplomb.
Luolajan-Mikkola's main aim in this recording has been to capture emotion and convey expression according to the respective key and character of each movement, which he achieves in spades.