Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Bach, Kashkashian, Jarrett|
Viola Da Gamba Sonatas
The viola da gamba is an obsolete instrument now, but in Bach's day there were two large families of stringed instruments: the older gambas and the newer violins. Although quite similar in construction and performance tech... more »
The viola da gamba is an obsolete instrument now, but in Bach's day there were two large families of stringed instruments: the older gambas and the newer violins. Although quite similar in construction and performance technique, the soft, husky sound of the gambas was gradually replaced by the steely brilliance of the violins. Indeed, only one member of the family--the double bass--remains in modern use. Today most artists play the music on either a viola or a cello, since the music can be adapted easily to either. Kashkashian plays the viola, and as she is one of the greatest performers on that instrument around, and given Jarrett's clean and limber accompaniments, she acquits herself with honor and grace in this lovely music. --David Hurwitz
DKDC | Washington, DC USA | 07/12/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I know little about classical music but a search of reviews reveals that Kashkashian does a pretty good job playing music written for the Viola de Gamba - on the Viola - transposing the lowest notes up an octave so she can play them. Jarrett, though immensely talented and almost a household name, does only pretty well here.
All in all satisfying but could be better.
By the way - the Viola de Gamba is still used today - see Jordi Savall
see ASIN: B000025FOY for more info"
Lovely recording, full of joy and tenderness
Marius Cipolla | 12/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The viola da gamba is as human an instrument as the harpsichord is metallic, but these sonatas were made in heaven -- as is borne out by the great popularity of this music and the number of times it is recorded (I have at least five versions and there must be a dozen more).
Also made in heaven is the partnership between these two stellar ECM performers. Kim Kashashian is absolutely in her element with this bittersweet, often elegaic music; she treats it with the tenderness she accords to all her recordings (which you should rush to, if you don't already know them) and her instrument has a noble, plangent voice that is never ponderous, always alive with emotion.
I am also a huge fan of Keith Jarrett's approach to Bach, which has been severely criticized for its cleanness. If you live long enough, they say, you will see everything; and I have lived long enough to see a pianist scolded for playing Bach in tempo, as if this were a grave fault. I remember when failing to play Bach metronomically would get you hooted out of the concert halls, but there you go. Jarrett's playing in these recordings seems to me magisterial, crisp and precise as it should be, and technically brilliant. It interacts perfectly with Kashkashian's vulnerable, velvety tones and subtle phrasing.
The viola da gamba was already an antique instrument when Bach wrote these sonatas, but his will shows that he owned one, and he must have been fond of it. (He also owned a lute, another archaic instrument for which he wrote a small group of pieces that are marked by their sweetness, as these are.) The husky, organic voice of the viola da gamba makes a fascinating counterpoise to the clatter of the harpsichord -- a lovely, exotic bird swooping and soaring, but always confined within the glittering bars of a cage.
This is a recording that belongs on your shelves, highly recommended to all!"