|Review by Jan Hanford:|
This is the third volume in Nigel North's series of transcriptions for lute. This particular volume begins his transcriptions of the Suites for Solo Cello, continuing with volume 4.
The entire 4 volume collection ranks as some of the most beautiful music I've ever heard. Since Bach only wrote a few works for lute, it is exciting to have the Cello Suites transcribed for the instrument. The Cello Suites lend themselves to performance on lute perhaps more easily than Bach's other works. Nigel North does not merely copy the notes and play them on the lute, he has enhanced the music with re-ordered notes of arpeggios, re-voiced chords, created bass lines as well as the required transpositions. The result is fresh and inspiring, giving the works lute-like characteristics that feel very natural.
Aside from his impressive expertise in transcribing these works, the performance is outstanding. The sound is recorded close, providing a real intimacy with the instrument and providing the ability to hear every detail. His flawless performance is filled with energy and emotion. I was transfixed while listening to these cd's, which doesn't happen often considering the large quantity of music to which I listen. The popularity of the cello suites alone makes this cd worth listening to, but the familiar melodies and counterpoint have been given a wonderful new point of view. For me, transcriptions are like visiting an old friend in a new city. These old friends have never sounded better!
I also highly recommend the other cd's in this series by Nigel North:
Michael Stein said:
Nigel North continues his transcription and recording of the solo works for stringed instrument. This is a nice compliment to the recording of BWV 1012 and 1010 by Hopkinson Smith.