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Bach Beat
Brian Slawson
Bach Beat
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
  •  Track Listings (24) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Brian Slawson
Title: Bach Beat
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Sony
Original Release Date: 1/1/1991
Re-Release Date: 9/26/1991
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
Styles: Marches, Forms & Genres, Concertos, Suites, Historical Periods, Baroque (c.1600-1750), Modern, 20th, & 21st Century, Instruments, Keyboard
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 074644727425

CD Reviews

Slawson does it again!
Archimedes | Pennsylvania | 11/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"One of my favourite things has been to listen to transcriptions of Bach for non-traditional instruments, or even for different instruments. Many of us have heard of --and listened to-- Switched-On Bach by Walter Carlos. And of course lots of artists transcribe for their own instrument, like James Galway does. Yo-yo Ma did a beautiful set of transcriptions of Bach arias in Simply Baroque recently (highly recommended, all of these).Brian Slawson
This artist is a percussionist, with a wonderful sense of what works with Bach. I recognize there are different kinds of purists, with different levels of tolerance for ways in which Bach music is 'stretched.' For instance, I really cannot tolerate *harmonic* stretching of Bach. (It's only rarely that modified Bach harmony seems acceptable to me, but surprisingly, there have been instances.) Slawson's transcriptions are harmonically faithful. (There are some odd sounds, due to the peculiar acoustics of such things as bells. The overtones of bells, as you might hear, are characteristically different from those of instruments such as winds and strings. Actually, the piano has somewhat of the same problem, in milder form.)Brian Slawson transcribes Bach for percussion. He uses all sorts of percussion, from tubular bells to steel drums, to synthesizer. It is interesting always, and often wonderful. Each track has to be assessed separately, since the treatment varies from track to track, even between one repeat and the next.The first CD I bought of Slawson's was Bach on Wood, which seems to have since become somewhat of a classic. It is available used through Amazon, on a label which seems to belong to the Sony/CBS family. This CD contains a number of pieces by Bach and others, the crowning glory of which is the Quodlibet from the Goldberg Variations. Every single note is there, lovingly played through the magic of multi-layering, --or maybe this fellow can do it all in real time. Percussionists must be marvellously skillful people!Recently I acquired Bach Beat, apparently his third effort. Slawson has returned to the High Baroque. Not surprising, given the rhythmic excitement of music of that period. Composers represented are Bach, Handel, Purcell and Vivaldi. The tracks are:1. Brandenburg Concerto No. 3
This is the last movement. Compare with Walter Carlos's treatment. I think Slawson is a little more fun! 2. Organ Concerto No. 2, BMW 593
3. G-Minor Minuet
4. Largo
5. One Badinerie
This is the last movement from orchestral suite number 2 in B minor, which is fun done in almost any transcription. 6. B-Minor Minuet
7. Hornpipe
The brilliant Alla Hornpipe from the Watermusic. Not the best version I've heard, but still very good. 8. Sarabande
A well-known Handel Sarabande, repeated a few times too often ... 9. Galoppiére
A rollicking tune from the Royal Fireworks. Very nice!10. Gavotte 4/8
11. Winterland
12. Roach
13. Too Hot to Handel
"Surely he has borne our griefs" from Messiah. A surprise.Chez Goldberg : a selection of Goldberg variations with fanciful titles.
14. Die Küche (The Cookery)
15. Die Welpen (The Puppies)
16. Der Regen (The Rain)
17. Der Schmied (The Blacksmith)
18. Der Hammer
This is the intense C minor prelude, I believe, from the Well-Tempered Clavier. However it's played, it feels as though your head's getting a pounding. The name is appropriate. It sounds wonderful on percussion. (Have an aspirin handy!)19. Black Forest
20. Minuet in D
21. Village Parade
22. Bourrée
23. Elegy
24. Victory MarchAll the tracks are at least a lot of fun. Many are really fantastic. One track, in particular --I think it's 12-- is a wonderfully sly treatment of the A minor 2-part invention. This one made me chuckle! You simply have to hear it!regards,