I think this disc is a joy. It's wonderful music, excellently played and beautifully recorded.
Thomas Dunford is an excellent lutenist; here he has made arrangements of the First Cello Suite and the mighty Chaconne from the D minor Violin Partita, and plays Bach's own lute arrangement of the Fifth Cello Suite. It is magnificent music from start to finish and Dunford's arrangements capture the spirit of Bach's originals very well. He also plays beautifully; there is some quite marked rubato in his phrasing in places but he never forgets that these are dances and the essential pulse of Bach is never lost. There is plenty of depth here, too; for example, the Sarabande from the Fifth Suite has all the spiritual intensity you could wish for and the great Chaconne is quite stunning, including Dunford's fine decision to play the last, breath-holding note with no harmony or adornment whatsoever.
Dunford's theorbo has a wonderful, rich and mellow sound augmented by a resonant acoustic and superbly captured by Alpha's recording. I have loved Pascal Monteilhet's theorbo transcriptions of the Cello Suites for many years and this is at least their equal, I would say. It's a fabulous release and very warmly recommended.