Young British cellist Philip Higham offers impressive interpretations here, grabbing attention right from the hypnotically mournful opening of the first suite.
The Independent 4 star review Britten Suites for Solo Cello Delphian 26 January 2013
'Higham's playing...contrives to make each movement, and by extension the whole work, a gripping experience. I have heard no more convincing performance of the Second Suite than this one... More remarkable still, however, is the psychological insight. Higham plays with a wisdom that belies his years... This one should be near the top of your list... It is very special.'
International Record Review / Delphian Solo Britten Suites March 2013"
Philip Higham is a major talent. In repertoire that has confounded more seasoned artists, Higham offered object lessons in lyrical sensitivity, musical architecture and expressive insight.
He impressed with the clarity of his passagework, sensitivity of his phrasing and the ease of his expression, which took on an intimate, conversational quality.
Higham's interpretations of Bach drew upon the full resources of modern cello playing: lyrical phrasing, contoured lines, graceful rubato and subtle gradations of color and dynamics. Yet he balanced refined expression with the dancelike character of the music, delightfully bringing out, for example, the playfulness of the First Suite's courante and the driving rhythms of the concluding gigue."
Instrumental disc of the month Gramophone Magazine
….it is Higham's expansive but tender playing that pulls this music as far away from slapdash as it is possible to be. He apprehends the complicated and multifarious elements of a set of pieces that seek to pay homage to Bach….There is no doubting the plain virtuosity of these works, too, and despite his appreciation of their contextual importance, Higham still manages to revel in the glorious sound they invite the cello to make, playing around with its warmth of colours to bring out with glorious inevitability the Bach and Shostakovich hidden theirin.
The Gramophone Britten Solo Cello Suites Dephian March 2013"
'...there's nowhere to hide in three solo suites, but why hide a technique as assured, a musical imagination so finely attuned to Britten's expression, or a Tecchler cello sound as burnished and wonderfully textured as this?... His formidable mastery is lightly worn, and he exudes an invigorating sense of freedom, though not a single technical imperfection mars this recording (he was co-producer). From the first chords of 'Canto Primo', unrestrained, glistening, we know we're in safe hands; his 'Lamento' has piercing power with a compelling sense of line... A 5-star performance.'
BBC Music Magazine Instrumental Choice / Delphian Solo Britten Suites April 2013"
Philip Higham is undoubtedly one of the most impressive young British cellists I have heard in a decade, possessing that rare combination of refined technique with subtle and expressive musicianship….he has all the qualities of a world-class artist. The Strad Wigmore Hall June 2012