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Markku Luolajan-Mikkola - Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonatas and Partitas, BWV 1001-1006 (2015) 2CDs [Re-Up]

Posted By: Designol
Markku Luolajan-Mikkola - Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonatas and Partitas, BWV 1001-1006 (2015) 2CDs [Re-Up]

Markku Luolajan-Mikkola - J.S. Bach: Sonatas and Partitas, BWV 1001-1006 (2015)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 738 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 368 Mb | Scans included
Genre: Classical, Baroque | Label: Linn Records | # CKD 548 | Time: 02:38:00

Markku Luolajan-Mikkola has a reputation for excellence and already has two Gramophone Awards. With a fan base to match, Luolajan-Mikkola is at the top of his game. In Luolajan-Mikkola’s Linn debut, he tackles the pinnacle of Bach’s productions for violinists: the Partitas and Sonatas. Luolajan-Mikkola transcribed these works for cello. His goal with this recording has been to encapsulate expression and emotion according to the character of each movement. A historically informed musician, he performs on baroque cello.

To pin down the specific problems of this perplexing recording of JS Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin transcribed for cello, it is difficult to know where to begin. The reassignment of keys is one starting point, though: the D minor Second Partita in particular is hugely compromised in its presentation in G minor (Bach’s own specification for each suite was done with his characteristic precision). The very specific sound of unisons and open strings that Bach would have sought to exploit are noticeably and painfully absent. Similarly, the stretching intervals that constitute the Prelude of the C major Third Sonata become darker and more introverted the wider they become in F major, rather than overwhelming the listener with the sense of light that gradually breaks out when they sit properly in their original key. Furthermore, it is hard to know whether Phantasm’s viol-playing Markku Luolajan-Mikkola is finding the cello too cumbersome an instrument to manage Bach’s nimble melodies or whether he is simply trying to treat the cello like a violin; but the phrasing and articulation are laboured in a way that leave the unavoidable impression that the cello is simply the wrong instrument for these pieces.

All these points, though, are secondary to the serious tuning issues that prevent any first impressions burgeoning into anything deeper. The frantic skittering around the strings in the fast movements, often resulting in actual mistakes (such as in the Presto of the B minor First Partita, played here in E minor), and lugubrious overworking of broad phrases in the slow movements (the Sarabande of the same suite) both result in painfully strained intonation, which with the weight of Mikkola’s dark, heavy cello sound forms a corrosive combination that constantly threatens to suffocate the music. The sequences of chord progressions leading up to the cadences are not sufficiently well tuned even to convey the sense that the tuning of the rest of the movement has in some way been for effect, or part of a harmonic journey. In other words, they don’t act in any way other than to confirm a creeping sense that this disc does little to sell the exciting arena of historically informed performance.

Review by Caroline Gill, Gramophone

The difference between a partita and sonata in these works tends to be a matter of the number of movements. The three sonatas each have the traditional Baroque four, while the three partitas have as many as eight, configured in the form of a suite. There is one more thing; all were written originally for violin. That performing them on the cello is not entirely a modern convention can be seen in the fact that the obvious iconic works for solo cello, the six suites, were sometimes to be found in Bach's own arrangements for other solo instruments. The fine and informative booklet notes give a couple of examples, such as the Suite in C Minor (BWV 1011) that may originally have been conceived for lute, but which also exists in arrangements for other instruments. Of course, direct transfers of such endemic violin music are not entirely possible on other instruments (save for the keyboard), as technical capabilities and ranges have to be taken into account. That being said, doing the cello suites on the viola or viola da gamba is not entirely problematic, since for the former at least all one has to do is read it an octave higher. But the remainder require transposition, and cellist Markku Luolaja-Mikkola has made a convincing case for his two-disc recording of these violin works on the Baroque cello, all of which have been placed a fourth lower in order to make the ranges fit his instrument better.

The results are extremely gratifying, for not only does Luolajan-Mikkola have the skill and technical capacity to play these horrifically challenging pieces, noting as he does that "it is almost impossible to imagine a cellist of Bach's day playing them," but also making informed suggestions that this may in fact have happened. He cites a 19th-century transcription that is not too far off from his, which may be a copy of something from much earlier. In his own work, however, he goes beyond the historical precedents by paying attention to the tuning of the instrument and even the microphone placement. This results in a generous, resonant sound of the instrument in which the often gnarly double- and triple-stops can be heard in their harmonic fullness. Although in the partitas, the various dance movements have their share of musical interest, such as the lively Bourée of the Third Partita in A major (BWV 1006, here and elsewhere in their transposed keys, not the original) or the quirky Tempo di Boreafrom the E-Minor partita (BWV 1002), it is the Chaconne finale of the second partita in G minor (BWV 1004) that is the telling movement. This is, as he notes, positively "Himalayan" in terms of complexity and degree of difficulty. Luolajan-Mikkola handles it as if it were the simplest minuet, with ease, dexterity, and a phrasing that brings out all of the hidden elements of this most challenging of pieces. For violinists, it is a terrifying monster to be tamed, but here it turns out to be the sort of smooth dance that it was meant to be. The three sonatas, lesser works in terms of length and stylistic complexity than the partitas, are all equally handled with similar fluidity. Even the second movement fugues display each entrance with clarity. For example, the fugue in the D-Minor Sonata (BWV 1003) enters with a short, pithy theme that requires on each successive entrance for the voice to be heard, but the countermelody to be outlined as well. Not surprisingly, Luolajan-Mikkola clarifies each entrance, but gives a fair amount of weight to the episodes, which are more single line, and the sequences that can be done in musical phrase groupings.

This is an outstanding disc with some absolutely phenomenal playing. While some might think these six pieces belong more exclusively to the realm of the violin, Luolajan-Mikkola makes a convincing case for his transpositions, giving them a depth that is truly amazing.

Review by Bertil van Boer, Fanfare

Markku Luolajan-Mikkola - Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonatas and Partitas, BWV 1001-1006 (2015) 2CDs [Re-Up]



Markku Luolajan-Mikkola - Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonatas and Partitas, BWV 1001-1006 (2015) 2CDs [Re-Up]



Tracklist:

CD1:

Partita No.2 in G minor, BWV 1004
(orig. in D minor)
01. Allemanda (04:42)
02. Corrente (03:09)
03. Sarabanda (04:16)
04. Giga (04:29)
05. Ciaccona (15:15)

Sonata No.2 in D minor, BWV 1003
(orig. in A minor)
06. Grave (03:43)
07. Fuga (10:38)
08. Andante (05:13)
09. Allegro (07:02)

Partita No.3 in A major, BWV 1006
(orig. in E major)
10. Preludio (04:47)
11. Loure (04:22)
12. Gavotte en Rondeau (03:15)
13. Menuet I & II (04:54)
14. Bouree (01:40)
15. Gigue (02:09)

CD2:

Partita No.1 in E minor, BWV 1002
(orig. in B minor)
01. Allemanda (05:31)
02. Double (03:56)
03. Corrente (04:13)
04. Double (Presto) (03:53)
05. Sarabande (04:59)
06. Double (03:22)
07. Tempo di Borea (03:54)
08. Double (04:13)

Sonata No.1 in C minor, BWV 1001
(orig. in G minor)
09. Adagio (04:05)
10. Fuga (Allegro) (06:47)
11. Siciliana (03:27)
12. Presto (04:10)

Sonata No.3 in F major, BWV 1005
(orig. in C major)
13. Adagio (04:28)
14. Fuga (12:41)
15. Largo (02:57)
16. Allegro assai (05:34)


Exact Audio Copy V1.1 from 23. June 2015

EAC extraction logfile from 18. January 2016, 21:30

Markku Luolajan-Mikkola / Bach - Sonatas and Partitas - CD1

Used drive : HL-DT-STDVDRAM GU70N Adapter: 1 ID: 0

Read mode : Secure
Utilize accurate stream : Yes
Defeat audio cache : Yes
Make use of C2 pointers : No

Read offset correction : 48
Overread into Lead-In and Lead-Out : No
Fill up missing offset samples with silence : Yes
Delete leading and trailing silent blocks : No
Null samples used in CRC calculations : Yes
Used interface : Native Win32 interface for Win NT & 2000

Used output format : User Defined Encoder
Selected bitrate : 128 kBit/s
Quality : High
Add ID3 tag : No
Command line compressor : C:\Program Files (x86)\Exact Audio Copy\Flac\flac.exe
Additional command line options : -V -8 -T "Date=%year%" -T "Genre=%genre%" %source%


TOC of the extracted CD

Track | Start | Length | Start sector | End sector
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––-
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2 | 4:42.25 | 3:09.64 | 21175 | 35413
3 | 7:52.14 | 4:16.41 | 35414 | 54654
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7 | 35:37.27 | 10:38.47 | 160302 | 208198
8 | 46:15.74 | 5:13.15 | 208199 | 231688
9 | 51:29.14 | 7:02.70 | 231689 | 263408
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13 | 70:57.58 | 4:54.09 | 319333 | 341391
14 | 75:51.67 | 1:40.45 | 341392 | 348936
15 | 77:32.37 | 2:09.71 | 348937 | 358682


Range status and errors

Selected range

Filename C:\temp\Bach - Sonatas and Partitas, BWV 1001-1006 - Luolajan-Mikkola\CD1\Bach - Sonatas and Partitas - CD1.wav

Peak level 91.5 %
Extraction speed 5.3 X
Range quality 99.9 %
Test CRC 3BF66F38
Copy CRC 3BF66F38
Copy OK

No errors occurred


AccurateRip summary

Track 1 not present in database
Track 2 not present in database
Track 3 not present in database
Track 4 not present in database
Track 5 not present in database
Track 6 not present in database
Track 7 not present in database
Track 8 not present in database
Track 9 not present in database
Track 10 not present in database
Track 11 not present in database
Track 12 not present in database
Track 13 not present in database
Track 14 not present in database
Track 15 not present in database

None of the tracks are present in the AccurateRip database

End of status report

==== Log checksum 5C6094BE7389E56F29E62AAE5962899190A39ADBA35D269319C0B8407B78AB10 ====

foobar2000 1.2 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
log date: 2017-02-01 17:21:00

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Analyzed: Markku Luolajan-Mikkola / Bach - Sonatas and Partitas - CD1
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
DR11 -3.97 dB -18.59 dB 4:42 01-Partita No.2 in G minor, BWV 1004 (orig. in D minor) - Allemanda
DR11 -3.17 dB -17.68 dB 3:10 02-Partita No.2 in G minor, BWV 1004 (orig. in D minor) - Corrente
DR11 -4.05 dB -19.39 dB 4:17 03-Partita No.2 in G minor, BWV 1004 (orig. in D minor) - Sarabanda
DR12 -3.74 dB -19.53 dB 4:30 04-Partita No.2 in G minor, BWV 1004 (orig. in D minor) - Giga
DR12 -1.30 dB -16.78 dB 15:15 05-Partita No.2 in G minor, BWV 1004 (orig. in D minor) - Ciaccona
DR12 -2.85 dB -19.14 dB 3:44 06-Sonata No.2 in D minor, BWV 1003 (orig. in A minor) - Grave
DR13 -0.76 dB -16.77 dB 10:39 07-Sonata No.2 in D minor, BWV 1003 (orig. in A minor) - Fuga
DR12 -3.62 dB -19.04 dB 5:13 08-Sonata No.2 in D minor, BWV 1003 (orig. in A minor) - Andante
DR12 -2.99 dB -18.61 dB 7:03 09-Sonata No.2 in D minor, BWV 1003 (orig. in A minor) - Allegro
DR12 -4.86 dB -19.98 dB 4:47 10-Partita No.3 in A major, BWV 1006 (orig. in E major) - Preludio
DR12 -4.51 dB -20.83 dB 4:23 11-Partita No.3 in A major, BWV 1006 (orig. in E major) - Loure
DR13 -3.50 dB -19.18 dB 3:15 12-Partita No.3 in A major, BWV 1006 (orig. in E major) - Gavotte en Rondeau
DR12 -2.85 dB -18.45 dB 4:54 13-Partita No.3 in A major, BWV 1006 (orig. in E major) - Menuet I & II
DR13 -3.91 dB -20.05 dB 1:41 14-Partita No.3 in A major, BWV 1006 (orig. in E major) - Bouree
DR12 -4.94 dB -19.99 dB 2:10 15-Partita No.3 in A major, BWV 1006 (orig. in E major) - Gigue
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Number of tracks: 15
Official DR value: DR12

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 622 kbps
Codec: FLAC
================================================================================


Exact Audio Copy V1.1 from 23. June 2015

EAC extraction logfile from 18. January 2016, 22:44

Markku Luolajan-Mikkola / Bach - Sonatas and Partitas - CD2

Used drive : HL-DT-STDVDRAM GU70N Adapter: 1 ID: 0

Read mode : Secure
Utilize accurate stream : Yes
Defeat audio cache : Yes
Make use of C2 pointers : No

Read offset correction : 48
Overread into Lead-In and Lead-Out : No
Fill up missing offset samples with silence : Yes
Delete leading and trailing silent blocks : No
Null samples used in CRC calculations : Yes
Used interface : Native Win32 interface for Win NT & 2000

Used output format : User Defined Encoder
Selected bitrate : 128 kBit/s
Quality : High
Add ID3 tag : No
Command line compressor : C:\Program Files (x86)\Exact Audio Copy\Flac\flac.exe
Additional command line options : -V -8 -T "Date=%year%" -T "Genre=%genre%" %source%


TOC of the extracted CD

Track | Start | Length | Start sector | End sector
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––-
1 | 0:00.00 | 5:31.65 | 0 | 24889
2 | 5:31.65 | 3:56.70 | 24890 | 42659
3 | 9:28.60 | 4:13.45 | 42660 | 61679
4 | 13:42.30 | 3:53.27 | 61680 | 79181
5 | 17:35.57 | 4:59.10 | 79182 | 101616
6 | 22:34.67 | 3:22.47 | 101617 | 116813
7 | 25:57.39 | 3:54.17 | 116814 | 134380
8 | 29:51.56 | 4:13.29 | 134381 | 153384
9 | 34:05.10 | 4:05.10 | 153385 | 171769
10 | 38:10.20 | 6:47.22 | 171770 | 202316
11 | 44:57.42 | 3:27.57 | 202317 | 217898
12 | 48:25.24 | 4:10.08 | 217899 | 236656
13 | 52:35.32 | 4:28.48 | 236657 | 256804
14 | 57:04.05 | 12:41.34 | 256805 | 313913
15 | 69:45.39 | 2:57.09 | 313914 | 327197
16 | 72:42.48 | 5:34.70 | 327198 | 352317


Range status and errors

Selected range

Filename C:\temp\Bach - Sonatas and Partitas, BWV 1001-1006 - Luolajan-Mikkola\CD2\Bach - Sonatas and Partitas - CD2.wav

Peak level 80.2 %
Extraction speed 2.3 X
Range quality 100.0 %
Test CRC 9EE7ACDF
Copy CRC 9EE7ACDF
Copy OK

No errors occurred


AccurateRip summary

Track 1 not present in database
Track 2 not present in database
Track 3 not present in database
Track 4 not present in database
Track 5 not present in database
Track 6 not present in database
Track 7 not present in database
Track 8 not present in database
Track 9 not present in database
Track 10 not present in database
Track 11 not present in database
Track 12 not present in database
Track 13 not present in database
Track 14 not present in database
Track 15 not present in database
Track 16 not present in database

None of the tracks are present in the AccurateRip database

End of status report

==== Log checksum AF80CF19EFF5157F09C759CB173E16D3F9528826D4C3382FC6B5FDCC9E699460 ====

foobar2000 1.2 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
log date: 2017-02-01 17:21:31

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Analyzed: Markku Luolajan-Mikkola / Bach - Sonatas and Partitas - CD2
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
DR13 -3.83 dB -20.10 dB 5:32 01-Partita No.1 in E minor, BWV 1002 (orig. in B minor) - Allemanda
DR11 -5.11 dB -19.65 dB 3:57 02-Partita No.1 in E minor, BWV 1002 (orig. in B minor) - Double
DR12 -5.99 dB -20.50 dB 4:14 03-Partita No.1 in E minor, BWV 1002 (orig. in B minor) - Corrente
DR12 -6.89 dB -21.18 dB 3:53 04-Partita No.1 in E minor, BWV 1002 (orig. in B minor) - Double (Presto)
DR13 -3.48 dB -20.63 dB 4:59 05-Partita No.1 in E minor, BWV 1002 (orig. in B minor) - Sarabande
DR11 -6.18 dB -20.09 dB 3:23 06-Partita No.1 in E minor, BWV 1002 (orig. in B minor) - Double
DR12 -2.52 dB -17.18 dB 3:54 07-Partita No.1 in E minor, BWV 1002 (orig. in B minor) - Tempo di Borea
DR13 -4.22 dB -20.01 dB 4:13 08-Partita No.1 in E minor, BWV 1002 (orig. in B minor) - Double
DR13 -2.33 dB -20.21 dB 4:05 09-Sonata No.1 in C minor, BWV 1001 (orig. in G minor) - Adagio
DR11 -2.05 dB -17.12 dB 6:47 10-Sonata No.1 in C minor, BWV 1001 (orig. in G minor) - Fuga (Allegro)
DR12 -3.58 dB -19.36 dB 3:28 11-Sonata No.1 in C minor, BWV 1001 (orig. in G minor) - Siciliana
DR12 -3.81 dB -19.70 dB 4:10 12-Sonata No.1 in C minor, BWV 1001 (orig. in G minor) - Presto
DR11 -4.98 dB -21.40 dB 4:29 13-Sonata No.3 in F major, BWV 1005 (orig. in C major) - Adagio
DR13 -1.91 dB -17.98 dB 12:41 14-Sonata No.3 in F major, BWV 1005 (orig. in C major) - Fuga
DR12 -5.76 dB -20.85 dB 2:57 15-Sonata No.3 in F major, BWV 1005 (orig. in C major) - Largo
DR12 -5.54 dB -20.61 dB 5:35 16-Sonata No.3 in F major, BWV 1005 (orig. in C major) - Allegro assai
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Number of tracks: 16
Official DR value: DR12

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 610 kbps
Codec: FLAC
================================================================================

Markku Luolajan-Mikkola - Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonatas and Partitas, BWV 1001-1006 (2015) 2CDs [Re-Up]

All thanks to original releaser - A-Z

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