I have rarely heard—on any instrument—a more clean-cut, firmly rhythmical, tonally sensitive and musically satisfying reading of the Bach Chaconne. The performances are first-class.
Solo guitar records tend, not unnaturally, to appeal primarily to guitarists or those with a parti-pris for the instrument. Let me therefore, with all the vehemence at my command, urge all other music-lovers not to overlook this particular disc, for it features an artist of world class, by any standard, whose playing will certainly impress anyone tempted to regard the guitar as a 'lesser' instrument. (That so few records by him have been issued is indeed extraordinary.) I have rarely heard—on any instrument—a more clean-cut, firmlyRead more rhythmical, tonally sensitive and musically satisfying reading of the Bach Chaconne—and it strikes me as singularly perverse of the sleeve-note merely to quote a Paris critic who in 1935 was outraged by Segovia transcribing it from the violin original. Even he, however, would be hard put to find fault with the Sor variations, especially as played here, with virtuoso brilliance and subtle nuances of phrasing and tone. Both these two works are performed on the normal guitar: for the rest of the programme (in which Sollscher sometimes adds discreet embellishments to the text) he uses an 11-string alto instrument tuned like a Renaissance lute, which allows him to play the pieces without having to transcribe them.
There are some jewels here: a gem of another kind is provided by the sleeve-note writer who declares the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book to have been compiled by someone who was not even born until a century and a quarter after its actual compilation date of about 1615. The recording, like the performances, is first class.