Bach Inspirations - Thibaut Garcia
Thibaut Garcia: BACH INSPIRATIONS. Erato, (p) 2018; Time: 70:00; Rating: (5/5).
While this is not (just) a recording of transcriptions of Bach's music played on guitar (to be more precise, there is music by Bach), it's something more. All the music included in this recital is of high quality. Barrios-Mangoré's La Catedral opens the recording, and in addition to the Bach Chaconne BWV 1004, and two chorales, there's Guonod's Ave Maria, Tansman's Inventions for Guitar two selections by Villa-Lobos (including the more famous of the Bachianas Brasileiras, with soprano), and Bogdanovic's Suite Brève.
If you like Bach, there's music by Bach and music inspired by Bach. Check.
Thibaut Garcia is a new name to me, a young guitarist from France who recorded the album in Arras. And I have to admit, the album is all about him: he's quite an excellent guitarist and the recorded sound is pristine. It's an solid concept for a new album introducing a fresh artist as soloist: pick good, familiar pieces; record it well. Reading his biography, it's not a stretch to be amazed at this level of talent from someone so young.
In both the pieces that include voice (Ave Maria and the Villa-Lobos) capture a quite beautiful companion to Garcia's guitar, Elsa Dreisig. And it's the only part of the recording I take issue with: the album actually points to the evidence: two microphones used to capture Dreisig's voice. As she moves the sound goes across the stereo spectrum. It's most noticeable with headphones.
Headphones put Garcia's guitar right inside your head. The Erato engineers and producer deserve an award.
In Prelude no. 3, Homenagem a Bach), Villa-Lobos provides the guitarrist a palette of beautiful chords that sing on Garcia's instrument. What follows are noodlings, in a very jazzy wrapper, that speak of Bach's inventions. In the suite by Bogdanovic, the starting point is a baroque suite, but the style is Latin, perfectly capitalizing upon the modern guitar's range and dynamics. In La Catedral, one is again clearly listening to music written for the guitar, but the style isn't too far from the polyphonic effects used by Bach in his lute and violin pieces.
Garcia plays extermely cleanly. His dynamic control is impeccable. The sound of his instrument, sublime. He played the music I love (by Bach), reminded me other favorites, and pulled me close enough to find new pieces to love as well.
Don't miss this one!