J.S. Bach BWV 998, 1003, 1010

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Daniel Lippel performs his transcriptions of three solo works by Bach, the Prelude, Fugue, and Allegro in E-flat BWV998, the Violin Sonata #2 in A minor BWV1003, and the Cello Suite #4 in A major (orig. E-flat major) BWV1010 in an early New Focus Recordings release.

"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

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