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Lynn Harrell (b1944)


Lynn Harrell’s playing evidences a profound and committed connection with music of different styles, perhaps reflecting the influence of his most renowned teacher, Leonard Rose. As with Rose, Harrell’s reputation as a pedagogue has equalled his popularity as a solo player and his contribution to cello studies in the USA and England has been enormously significant.

Harrell’s 1985 Bach Suite, BWV 1008 leaves one in no doubt as to his sincerity, but the steady tempi of the opening Prelude with an oddly unclear and tremulous sound, and the rather dry tone in the Courante, will perhaps not suit more recent tastes. Period phrasing techniques are not really in evidence, but there is a profundity to this performance that draws the listener in. The same can be said, at the other end of the stylistic spectrum, concerning Joan Tower’s Music for Cello and Orchestra (published and recorded in 1984) which is performed with great confidence and conviction by Harrell, who advised the composer in respect of bowing and phrasing.

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