Overtime, I have warmed to over 20 accounts of these six suites for solo cello on compact disc. Few I have taken back or given away and few I have reverred as superlative readings of a "desert-island" status. Inspite of many mixed feelings which seemed to slowly melt away after repeated listenings, this has become one of the latter. It is indeed one of the most superb accounts of Bach's cello suites, but one that will come over terribly boring upon first hearing or from superficial comparisons with other more immediately exciting versions. That was my first impression. I had been listening obsessively to Mischa Maisky's second recording on Deutche Gramophone, a bold and wildly abstract version that stands all in a category of its own. This too was a challenge for me to appreciate, but I eventually did. Such is the nature of these suites...an inner fabric seems to run through the music that is so strong and inexplicable it can withstand an unusually broad degree of personal interpretation. But Mensesses could sound dull and monochromatic in comparison to many versions, needless to say Maisky. But one must keep listening. One must realize his intent is not to color the suites, like a Maisky, a Wispelwey or a Haimovitz (thankfully!). His approach is not one that instantly spills its virtues in the first few bars--a rich, muscular double stop, a bouyant rythymn, distinct accents or vibrato, unexpected rubato. But what meretricious effects compared to the greater virtues of this vastly underrated Meneses! What one marvels at in Menesses is the indefatigable consistency and humility with which he plays. He eschews the temptation to import color or variety, and effortlessly draws out the infinite variety inherint in the musical lines themselves. The very architecture of a minuet or gavottee is illuminated, its inner voices speak like repeating mantras and their play in that grand architecture is revealed. This he chooses over a charming dancelike sway that, inspite of its delights, is the same old thing every time you hear it. This is the revelation of Meneses's interpretation. His tone is perfect--dry but rich and warm at the same time, like an aged Marsala, and always pure, never trying to disguise its identity. Bach had a near obsessive humility his entire life. Menseses, more than any performer, reflects that. And there is a detached serenity to his performance that you will find most rewarding, if not absolutely mesmerizing, provided you merely give him a chance.