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Archguitar Baroque / Peter Blanchette, Peter Michelini


Release Date: 10/02/2001 
Label:  Sono Luminus   Catalog #: 93241   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian BachGeorge Frideric HandelDomenico ScarlattiAntonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Peter BlanchettePeter Michelini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Archguitar Duo
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 2 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The archguitar is a modern instrument, invented in the early 1980s by guitarist Peter Blanchette (the main performer on this disc) and Boston-area luthier Walter Stanul. The idea was to build an instrument that "feels like a guitar but sounds more like a lute." Importantly, the new instrument would address the two guitarists' frustration with the standard version's lack of bass strings, and thus would enable one player to perform works with wider range, vastly extending the repertoire possibilities. Rather than just build a bigger instrument, Stanul came up with an 11-string model that's closer in size to a standard guitar, but as you hear immediately on this recording, the sound is rather imposing, and the extra strings give a Read more tremendous vibrancy to the instrument's natural resonance. (Incidentally, the website listed in the disc's liner notes, www.archlute.com, was not accessible when I tried it, but there is some sketchy information available at Stanul's site, http://babel.massart.edu/~carrie/yoshikosuga/Home.html, and at a few others that turned up in a web search.)


Primarily because of Blanchette's enthusiastic advocacy, world-wide concertizing, and several recordings, the archguitar has developed quite a following--including an additional cadre of performers--and this has resulted in the creation of countless transcriptions and many new compositions. The pieces heard here, taken from two different locations (a church in Copenhagen and a studio at University of Massachusetts, Amherst) and recorded in two different years (1983 and 1985), are primarily arrangements by Blanchette. He performs with fellow archguitarist Peter Michelini, who's also a touring partner. While most of these works are Bach keyboard pieces, it's best to not concentrate on the original versions as you listen. In these fresh, cleanly articulated, and very enjoyable readings we can hear all sorts of new sounds, strikingly vivid colors, and a kind of energy that's different from a keyboardist's fingerwork, but equally affecting and often very exciting. With two archguitars, there's also an incredible depth and richness of texture that's surprising if you're used to hearing Bach transcriptions played only by an ordinary guitar. The performance of Domenico Scarlatti's G major Sonata K. 105 is dazzling, showing the amazing range both of notes and sounds that virtuoso players can achieve.


Blanchette's technical and interpretive credentials have been well documented and highly praised, and on evidence of these performances the citations are deserved. There's a strange little one-note melodic glitch about one minute into his beautiful rendition of Bach's famous "Largo" from the F minor harpsichord concerto BWV 1056, and the balance in the well-loved C major Prelude from the Well-Tempered Clavier Book I oddly skews toward the lower-register part, but otherwise the program goes along without a hitch. The sound from the Copenhagen sessions is warmer than those recorded at UMass, which are slightly edgier and brighter and reveal more of the inevitable finger-scraping and squeaking noises. Try this if you're a guitar fan, or if you're looking to hear some really fine, fresh-faced performances of Bach--with a little Scarlatti, Handel, and Vivaldi thrown in.
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2: Prelude and Fugue no 10 in E minor, BWV 879 - Prelude by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Blanchette (Guitar), Peter Michelini (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Archguitar Duo
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1738-1742; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1983 
Venue:  Holy Spirit Church, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Length: 3 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Peter Blanchette 
2.
Praeambulum in F major, BWV 927 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Michelini (Guitar), Peter Blanchette (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Archguitar Duo
Period: Baroque 
Written: after 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1983 
Venue:  Holy Spirit Church, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Length: 1 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Stanul 
3.
Sonata for Violin and Basso Continuo in A major, HWV 372/Op. 1 no 14: Allegro by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Peter Michelini (Guitar), Peter Blanchette (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Archguitar Duo
Period: Baroque 
Written: London, England 
Date of Recording: 1983 
Venue:  Holy Spirit Church, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Length: 3 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Peter Blanchette 
4.
Sonata for Harpsichord in D minor, K 9/L 413 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Peter Michelini (Guitar), Peter Blanchette (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Archguitar Duo
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1738 
Date of Recording: 1983 
Venue:  Holy Spirit Church, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Length: 4 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Peter Blanchette 
5.
Sonata for Harpsichord in G major, K 105/L 204 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Peter Blanchette (Guitar), Peter Michelini (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Archguitar Duo
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
Date of Recording: 1983 
Venue:  Holy Spirit Church, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Length: 5 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Peter Blanchette 
6.
Prelude in C major, BWV 924 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Michelini (Guitar), Peter Blanchette (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Archguitar Duo
Period: Baroque 
Written: after 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1983 
Venue:  Holy Spirit Church, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Length: 2 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Peter Blanchette 
7.
Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1: Prelude and Fugue no 2 in C minor, BWV 847 - Prelude by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Michelini (Guitar), Peter Blanchette (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Archguitar Duo
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1722; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1983 
Venue:  Holy Spirit Church, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Length: 2 Minutes 20 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Peter Blanchette 
8.
Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1: Prelude and Fugue no 1 in C, BWV 846 - Prelude by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Michelini (Guitar), Peter Blanchette (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Archguitar Duo
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1722; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1983 
Venue:  Holy Spirit Church, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Length: 2 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Peter Blanchette 
9.
Little Preludes (6): no 1 in C major, BWV 933 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Michelini (Guitar), Peter Blanchette (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Archguitar Duo
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 1983 
Venue:  Holy Spirit Church, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Length: 1 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Peter Blanchette 
10.
French Suite no 6 in E major, BWV 817: Allemande by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Michelini (Guitar), Peter Blanchette (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Archguitar Duo
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1724; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1983 
Venue:  Holy Spirit Church, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Length: 2 Minutes 45 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Peter Blanchette 
11.
Sonata for Violin solo no 2 in A minor, BWV 1003: 1st movement, Grave by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Blanchette (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Archguitar Duo
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1985 
Venue:  Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst 
Length: 5 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Peter Blanchette 
12.
Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1: Prelude and Fugue no 3 in C sharp major, BWV 848 - Prelude by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Michelini (Guitar), Peter Blanchette (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Archguitar Duo
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1722; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1985 
Venue:  Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst 
Length: 1 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Peter Blanchette 
13.
Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1: Prelude and Fugue no 20 in A minor, BWV 865 - Prelude by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Michelini (Guitar), Peter Blanchette (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Archguitar Duo
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1722; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1985 
Venue:  Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst 
Length: 1 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Peter Blanchette 
14.
Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1: Prelude and Fugue no 9 in E major, BWV 854 - Prelude by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Michelini (Guitar), Peter Blanchette (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Archguitar Duo
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1722; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1985 
Venue:  Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst 
Length: 1 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Peter Blanchette 
15.
Little Preludes (6): no 5 in E major, BWV 937 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Blanchette (Guitar), Peter Michelini (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Archguitar Duo
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 1985 
Venue:  Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst 
Length: 2 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Peter Blanchette 
16.
Sonata for Violin solo no 3 in C major, BWV 1005: 3rd movement, Largo by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Blanchette (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Archguitar Duo
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1985 
Venue:  Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst 
Length: 3 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Peter Blanchette 
17.
Clavierbüchlein no 2 for Anna Magdalena Bach: Musette in D major, BWV Anh. 126 [doubtful] by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Blanchette (Guitar), Peter Michelini (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Archguitar Duo
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Germany 
Date of Recording: 1985 
Venue:  Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst 
Length: 1 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Peter Blanchette
This work is no longer believed to have been composed by J.S. Bach. 
18.
Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2: Prelude and Fugue no 3 in C sharp major, BWV 872 - Prelude by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Michelini (Guitar), Peter Blanchette (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Archguitar Duo
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1738-1742; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1985 
Venue:  Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst 
Length: 3 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Peter Blanchette 
19.
Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1: Prelude and Fugue no 17 in A flat major, BWV 862 - Prelude by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Blanchette (Guitar), Peter Michelini (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Archguitar Duo
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1722; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1985 
Venue:  Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst 
Length: 1 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Peter Blanchette 
20.
Concerto for Violin in B flat major, RV 381: Allegro by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Peter Blanchette (Guitar), Peter Michelini (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Archguitar Duo
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 1985 
Venue:  Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst 
Length: 3 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Peter Blanchette 
21.
Concerto for Harpsichord in F minor, BWV 1056: 2nd movement, Largo-Arioso by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Michelini (Guitar), Peter Blanchette (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Archguitar Duo
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1738-1739; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1983 
Venue:  Holy Spirit Church, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Length: 3 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Peter Blanchette 
22.
Capriccio in B flat major on the Departure of his Most Beloved Brother, BWV 992: 1st movement, Arios by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Peter Blanchette (Guitar), Peter Michelini (Guitar)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Archguitar Duo
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1704; Arnstadt, Germany 
Date of Recording: 1983 
Venue:  Holy Spirit Church, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Length: 2 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Peter Blanchette 

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