I love music.

I write about the music I like and have purchased for the benefit of better understanding it and sharing my preferences with others.

Bach's Six Suites

#alttext# Bach's music carries a universality with it; perhaps its because his music is so removed from our own time and sound world that his music so nicely works on a variety of instruments, and across different performance styles. While I'm a big fan of historically-informed practices in performance, I'm also a fan of truly original interpretations on modern instruments. I can like Bach on piano a lot. This is one of those "transcriptions" which might have us scratching our heads... Paolo Pandolfo has recorded Bach's cello suites on the viola da gamba. So it's a rather original interpretation (for sure), but not on a modern instrument, but another old one. Hmm... The experiment is quite successful. Pandolfo is a passionate player, and the gamba responds well to such playing. Not to mention the universality of Bach's cello suites... they'd sound good on most instruments under the command of an expert player. But Pandolfo is able to add expression that might be foreign on the cello... the opening os BWV 1009 is a case in point; his ornament of very slow vibration is something that matches the mood of the music. The opening prelude, BWV 1007 in G, sounds so natural, we might not even notice the instrument doesn't have 4 strings. I don't care especially for Pandolfo's handling of my favorite Gigue, the one in from suite 2, BWV 1008. To me this is all fire, but like with other movements, Pandolfo takes a careful approach. It's still very respectful, and in the case of the Gigue from BWV 1008, Pandolfo adds a few surprises - enough to remind us this is no cello, and he's no typical cellist. Nice recording, and a reading that really deserves to be heard from a baroque master. This guy can play the heck out of the viola da gamba. And most music isn't of the high quality of Bach's six suites. Despite what's in your collection, there's a lot to value here from the standpoint of personal, performer-led authenticity.

Power and Energy: La Stravaganza edition Walsh

Dumbarton Oaks