The CD catalog suffers no lack of distinguished recordings of the Bach Cello Suites, whether full, mid-, or budget price. Ralph Kirshbaum's 1995 readings entice for several reasons. For starters, his slightly gruff yet compelling sonority is beautifully engineered. Second, Kirshbaum not only observes all of Bach's repeats, but also lavishes them with tasteful, expressive embellishments. The cellist's intonation rarely swerves from dead of center. A strong sense of tension and release governs Kirshbaum's rhythmic flexibility, which always keeps the music's dance origins afloat. Phrases are built from the bass lines up, as if Kirshbaum's cello was partitioned into organ-like registrations. In a field crowded with the likes of Fournier, Starker, Casals, Ma, Schiff, Rostropovich, and, for those who prefer baroque cello, Bylsma, it would be understandable yet quite unfair to overlook this first class release. You won't regret buying it.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com