This collection of three works in transcription for guitar by J.S. Bach was the product of an interest in capturing a snapshot of one performer's relationship to these pieces in a point in time, and to explore a rubato approach more typically associated with lute performance practice.
|09||Bourree I and II|
Bourree I and II
This collection of three works in transcription for guitar by J.S. Bach was the product of a conscious effort by guitarist Daniel Lippel and producer Peter Gilbert to steer away from the trap of attempting to make a "definitive" Bach recording. Their interest instead was to capture a snapshot of one performer's relationship to these pieces in a certain point in time. The hope was that by emphasizing the ephemeral in these works, the recording would capture and celebrate one of their most elevated qualities-- the capacity to sing through a myriad of interpretations.
Session Producer: Peter Gilbert
Editing Producer: Daniel Lippel
Recording Engineer: Ryan Streber
Digital Editor, Post-Production: Ryan Streber
Mastering Engineer: Michael Rice
Graphic Design: Ellen Butters
Recorded at the Good Shepherd Catholic Church, Brooklny, NY
October 3-5, 2004 and July 10, 2005
Guitarist Dan Lippel, called a "modern guitar polymath (Guitar Review)" and an "exciting soloist" (NY Times) is active as a soloist, chamber musician, and recording artist. He has been the guitarist for the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) since 2005 and new music quartet Flexible Music since 2003. Recent performance highlights include recitals at Sinus Ton Festival (Germany), University of Texas at San Antonio, MOCA Cleveland, Center for New Music in San Francisco, and chamber performances at the Macau Music Festival (China), Sibelius Academy (Finland), Cologne's Acht Brücken Festival (Germany), and the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center. He has appeared as a guest with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and New York New Music Ensemble, among others, and recorded for Kairos, Bridge, Albany, Starkland, Centaur, and Fat Cat.
"Depth caught on the wing from a very humane guitarist"
No liner-notes as such - only a brief biography and note by Daniel Lippel. But that's fine, because he mentions two concepts crucial not only to his performances but to recording in general. One is balance - between the whole and the part, the individual and the cosmos, historical fidelity and modern aesthetics. The other is that a recording is only a snapshot of a continually shifting relationship between interpreter and music. These performances definitely have a live feel, though there's no sense of the facile - only depth caught on the wing.
Sometimes Lippel dwells indulgently in the moment, as in the Grave of the A minor Sonata or the Sarabande of the A major Suite; at other times the music is allowed to flow naturally, as in the final movements of those works. Looseness and tension are fluently articulated within a flexible, expressive framework. Nicholas Goluses's Naxos account of the A minor Suite features crisper articulation and perhaps generates more excitement, but the flow is often interrupted by fussy ornamentation and the Andante is rushed. Julian Bream's Segovian Prelude, Fugue, and Allegro offers more colour and beauty of tone than Lippel's but sounds slightly mannered by comparison.
An impressive release, then. Not a definitive statement - nor is it meant to be. Full marks to Lippel for daring to show a little humanity.
William Yeoman, Gramophone, May 2006
"The young and much-lauded guitarist Daniel Lippel delves into the music of Johann Sebastian Bach for this release on New Focus Recordings. The follow-up to 2004's Resonance, this disc features three works by the late baroque master: the second of the three sonatas for unaccompanied violin, the fourth of the six suites for unaccompanied cello, and the Prelude, Fugue and Allegro BWV 998. The first two works are presented in Lippel's own transcriptions, which is certainly appreciated. I did not fully know what to expect from this CD, being familiar only with Lippel's work with contemporary music. This album, however, is a success. For starters, Lippel pays attention to rhythm, an issue which, if not dealt with closely, can doom so many performances of great compositions. His sound throughout the program is solid and attractive, and the recording quality is above par. This disc shines through as a fine example of how fresh J.S. Bach's music can sound when infused with sufficient creativity and vitality.
Matthew Hough, Guitar Review, Summer 2006 Issue #132