Within the two movies right here, see Argentine lutenist Evangelina Mascardi play passionate renditions of J.S. Bach compositions on the wealthy, resonant Baroque lute. In Bach’s time, lutenists have been a number of the most widely-admired instrumental gamers, and it’s simple to see why. The Baroque lute will not be a simple instrument to play. A lot much less so have been the theorbo and chitarrone, devices prefer it however with longer necks for longer bass strings. We see Mascardi focus with utmost depth on each word, a virtuoso on an instrument that Bach himself couldn’t grasp.
Certainly, there was vital debate over whether or not Bach really composed his 4 items for solo lute for that instrument and never one other. For one factor, he appears to have had a “weak grasp” of the instrument, guitarist and lutenist Cameron O’Connor writes in an examination of the proof.
“The lute might have been an intimidating topic even for Bach.” There are a number of issues with authenticating present copies of the music, and “not one of the items in employees notation is playable on the usual Baroque lute with out some transposition of the basses and adjustments in chord positions.”
Classical guitarist Clive Titmuss notes, “as scholar guitarists, we discovered that J.S. Bach wrote 4 suites and quite a lot of miscellaneous items for the lute, now performed on the guitar.” Nonetheless, latest scholarship appears to point out that Bach, that the majority revered of Baroque composers, “didn’t write any music particularly supposed for solo lute.” As O’Connor speculates, it was “the Lautenwerck, or lute harpsichord… which Bach most definitely had in thoughts whereas composing lots of his ‘lute’ works.” You may see it in action here.
What does this debate add to our appreciation of Mascardi’s enjoying? Little or no, maybe. British lutenist and Bach scholar Nigel North writes in his Linn Information Bach on the Lute set, “As a substitute of labouring over perpetuating the concept that the so-called lute items of Bach are correct lute items I want to take the works for unaccompanied Violin or Cello and make them into new works for lute, holding (as a lot as doable) to the unique textual content, musical intention, phrasing and articulation, but reworking them in a manner explicit to the lute in order that they’re satisfying to play and to listen to.”
A lutenist with the ability of North or Mascardi can rework solo Bach items — whether or not initially written for violin, cello, or lautenwerck — into the idiom of their chosen instrument. In Mascardi’s transformations right here, these works sound positively transporting.
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