> Bach - Guitar Transcriptions [AD]: Classical CD Reviews- Aug 2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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Johann Sebastian BACH (1690-1765)
Guitar Transcriptions

Partita in A minor, BWV 1013 (Originally for solo flute)

  1. Allemande
  2. Corrente
  3. Sarabande
  4. Bourrée anglaise
  5. Prelude in E Major, BWV 854
  6. Prelude in C (A) Major, BWV 939
  7. Adagiosissimo, BWV 992 (Capriccio sopra la lontananza de il fratro dilettissimo)

  8. Harpsichord Concerto, BWV974 (after the Oboe Concerto by Alessandro Marcello)
  9. Allegro
  10. Adagio
  11. Presto

  12. Sonata in G (A) minor, BWV 1001 (Originally for solo violin)
  13. Adagio
  14. Fugue (Allegro)
  15. Siciliana
  16. Presto
Enno Voorhorst (guitar)
Rec. Hervormde Kerk, Rensoude, Netherlands
NAXOS 8.555369 [53:36]


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Transcriptions for the guitar of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach, have for the most part been limited to the Cello Suites and the Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin. These have supplemented the small number of pieces for lute that Bach composed a treasury which has been the source of such valuable material for guitarists. Some evidence suggests that the Lautenclavicymel (lute-harpsichord) a harpsichord with gut rather than metal strings may have been Bach’s intended instrument for these works.

Although this disc does include the "Violin Sonata", BWV 1001, for me it is the transcriptions of keyboard works that hold the most interest as they are a more unusual source of Bach’s music to play on the guitar.

Guitarist Enno Voorhorst, who not only plays but also has transcribed all the pieces on this recording himself, does a good job of capturing the essence of Bach. Particularly fine is the "Harpsichord Concerto", BWV 974 (itself a reworking of the Oboe Concerto by Alessandro Marcello) as are "Prelude in E Major", BWV 854 and "Prelude in C (A) major", BWV 939, two works I have never heard on the guitar before.

The opening piece on the disc is the "Partita in A minor", BWV 1013 for solo flute, I recall this being performed by David Russell some years ago and like Russell’s transcription Enno Voorhorst accommodates the work eminently well, augmenting it with added harmony to broaden the texture.

Enno Voorhorst’s playing of these works is convincingly stylish, even though at times the difficulty factor is apparent and string squeaks are a little obtrusive. However, this still remains an interesting and enjoyable disc.

As a point of interest this CD was not recorded in Naxos’s usual venue for guitar recordings, that being St Chrysostom Church, Newmarket, Ontario, Canada with producer Norbert Kraft, but at the Hervormde Kerk, Rensoude, Netherlands under Bert van de Wolf and although the sound is very good it seems to lack the lustre achieved by Kraft.

Andy Daly


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