Finnish guitarist Timo Korhonen has already released his own arrangements of Bach’s solo violin sonatas. Now he turns his attention to the partitas and gives fascinating interpretations of these bottomless works. Any guitarist transcribing Bach has to contend with the spirit of Segovia but Korhonen manages convincingly to carve his own path in this music, even if he doesn’t quite shake off the shade of the Spanish master.
After much teasing, and alongside the kickoff of 8123 Fest, the Maine have released a new track, "Bad Behavior," off their upcoming album Lovely, Little, Lonely, set to be released April 7. They also announced the dates for their Lovely, Little, Lonely World Tour. The band began releasing teaser videos earlier this week, leaving fans wondering what the announcement would be. Of course, the band has given fans a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Lovely, Little, Lonely with the launch of their YouTube series Miserable Youth.
For those who already appreciate Rachel Podger's unique brand of magic I'll just say that this return to recorded Bach is lovely and all that one could hope for. All that one looks for is here, and there is more. For those who are not familiar with Rachel Podger, she is a unique voice among violinists. She has absorbed the principles of late Baroque performance practice and made them a part of herself, so that the articulation and inflection of that rhetorical approach to music flows from her as a natural idiom of expression.
This two-CD set is actually part of an ambitious undertaking: ESS.A.Y Recordings recorded these sonatas in two different versions, this one featuring Ms. Tenenbaum on a modern violin and accompanied by a modern piano played by Richard Kapp; the other recording (reviewed below) features Ms. Tenenbaum playing an older violin and accompanied by a harpsichord played by Gerald Ranck.
Verve 60th Anniversary Rare Albums SHM-CD Reissue Series. Reissue with SHM-CD format. This is one of the more obscure J.J. Johnson LPs. On six of the ten songs, the great trombonist is joined by four others, while the remaining four tracks (the main reasons to search for this album) feature him in a quartet with pianist Hank Jones, bassist Richard Davis and drummer Walter Perkins. Johnson's writing on the larger group pieces lifts the material, which is all taken from Broadway shows, while his playing on the quartet tracks is up to his usual level. Some of the songs are now forgotten, but "My Favorite Things," "Make Someone Happy" and "Put on a Happy Face" are exceptions. This album has some good music, but it will be very difficult to find.
The arrangement of Bach's Goldberg Variations, BWV 988, for string trio by Russian violinist and composer Dmitry Sitkovetsky has taken on a life of its town, with multiple performances and even a sort of electronic remix by Karlheinz Essl. The appeal for string chamber groups longing to share in Bach's riches is obvious, and for audiences it appears to be another case of Bach's music standing up to whatever you do to it. Like most other annotators, Hyperion's Nigel Simeone tries to claim that the arrangement is on a par with the numerous transcriptions Bach made of his own works. It is no such thing; the string chamber texture by its nature adds expressive devices that were not of Bach's world, and he would have found Sitkovetsky's version bizarre.
Lovely was The Primitives’ debut album. Issued in April 1988 on the back of the success of ‘Crash’, it peaked at No. 6 in the UK, staying on the charts for ten weeks, and yet is unavailable on CD. The Primitives’ profile has not been as high since their heyday, what with the release of a brand new studio album Echoes And Rhymes last year and Cherry Red’s 2-CD compilation of the band’s pre-RCA recordings, Everything’s Shining Bright, which surfaced in March. This 25th anniversary 2-CD set boasts most of the band’s B-sides and other rare tracks from that successful year, as well as including those hit singles in full: Crash (February 1988) No.5, Out Of Reach (April 1988) No.25, Way Behind Me (September 1988) No.36. Compiled with the help of guitarist PJ Court, this 2-CD compilation boasts re-mastered music as well as a splendid, annotated booklet boasting rare photos and personal memories from the band.
This is a really great five-CD set. You get all of Bach's concertos except the Brandenburgs - which is a shame because Pinnock's Brandenburgs are terrific. Nonetheless, this remains an absolutely cracking collection of some of Bach's most enjoyable music in excellent performances. In the Harpsichord Concertos Pinnock is himself the soloist and shows why he is such a very well-liked and highly regarded musician. The music springs to life under his fingers (and under his direction) and many of these performances set new and enduring standards when first released in the early 1980s. They have informed much subsequent Bach playing and have worn extremely well themselves, sounding as fresh and involving as they did nearly 30 years ago. He is joined by other fine harpsichordists in the concerti for two, three and four harpsichords, (Kenneth Gilbert, Nicholas Kraemer and Lars Ulrich Mortensen) and the Concerto for Four Harpsichords in particular is an absolute joy.
Their Warner Classics debut makes clear that Christina & Michelle Naughton show great imagination in their programming: Messiaen's mystical and epic Visions de l'Amen, composed during World War II, appears alongside John Adams' boisterous and percussive Hallelujah Junction, inspired by a truck stop on the border of Nevada and California. The CD is completed with J.S. Bach's serenely moving Gotttes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, BWV 106, in an arrangement by the contemporary Hungarian composer Gyorgy Kurtag.