Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Bach on the Lute Box Set - Nigel North
Genres: New Age, Classical
Linn Records is delighted to present a new-look full collection of Nigel North's popular Bach on the Lute series. Consisting of all four volumes this stunning collection features innovative transcriptions of J S Bach's Son... more »
Linn Records is delighted to present a new-look full collection of Nigel North's popular Bach on the Lute series. Consisting of all four volumes this stunning collection features innovative transcriptions of J S Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin and Suites for Solo Cello. These wonderful works are transformed beautifully in this unique interpretation. Lute music was an important and prominent part of musical life in 18th century Germany yet, strangely, Bach wrote so little for the instrument. He knew several lutenists and heard them play; his friend Johann Christian Weyrauch was an amateur lutenist who lived in Leipzig; the lutenist and composer Adam Falkenhagen was also there; the greatest lutenist of the time, Sylvius Leopold Weiss was employed in nearby Dresden. We know that Bach visited his son Wilhem Freidmann in Dresden and went to a performance of Hasse's Opera Cleofide in which Weiss played. Weiss and Bach met at least once in an often cited occasion in around 1739, and probably at other times too. When Bach wrote for the lute he did not write new works especially for the instrument but reworked compositions of his that already existed in other forms. The lute suite in G minor BWV 995 is his transcription of his own 5th Suite for solo cello in C minor BWV 1011 (See Bach on the Lute CD, Vol. 4); the Partita in E major BWV 1006a (an autograph copy thought to be for the lute but without any indication of instrumentation) is a transcription from the last of the Sonatas and Partitas for violin solo (see Bach on the Lute CD, Vol. 2). The other pieces by Bach normally associated with the lute are more linked with Bach's fascination with the gut strung keyboard instrument the Lautenwerk or Lute-harpsichord on which one could play with keyboard technique and facility but produce a sound that resembled a lute. The works written for this instrument are the Suite in E minor BWV 996, the Suite in C minor BWV 997 and the Prelude, Fugue and Allegro (BWV 998). In another category, the Fugue in G minor BWV 1000 is a version, in lute tablature, of the fugue from the first Sonata in the set of Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, the Sonata in G minor BWV 1001. This Fugue arrangement has remained in the catalogue of Bach's works but is, in fact, a lute transcription made by Weyrauch. We will never know if this was a secret of Weyraugh's of if Bach ever heard it. Of all these doubtful lute pieces the G minor Fugue BWV 1000/1001 and the G minor Suite BWV 995/1011 feel natural and satisfying to me to play on the lute; the others feel less like real lute pieces and are more awkward to play, even though I adore them as music. Instead of labouring over perpetuating the idea that the so-called lute pieces of Bach are proper lute pieces I prefer to take the works for unaccompanied Violin or Cello and make them into new works for lute, keeping (as much as possible) to the original text, musical intention, phrasing and articulation, yet transforming them in a way particular to the lute so that they are satisfying to play and to hear. This is my intention with the works recorded in this series Bach on the Lute.
Person | hmm | 03/02/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a fantastic set. Nigel North delivers a triumphant, bright and glowing look at these great works. His arrangments, while not as subtle as Hopkinson Smith's, are all fine works, and his playing is the most clean, bright and clear lute playing set to record, ever. Nigel posseses by far the cleanest, most controlled technique of all the lutenists and his use of colour sets him apart too. Its hard to imagine even Weiss himself playing the baroque lute this well."