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A Bridge To Bach - Gibbons, Bach, Et Al / Andrew Rangell


Release Date: 02/13/2007 
Label:  Bridge   Catalog #: 9216   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Orlando GibbonsJan Pieterszoon SweelinckWilliam TisdaleThomas Tomkins,   ... 
Performer:  Andrew Rangell
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Andrew Rangell's latest disc is a recital of compositions that the pianist connects, in various ways, to the music of J.S. Bach. Most of the works which comprise this recital were written in the early to middle 1600's, and Rangell writes that: “one can hear fleeting soundprints of Bach here and there: moments of the Goldberg Variations in Sweelinck's Linden Grüne variations or the Tomkins Voluntary; the contrapuntal abstractions of the Art of the Fugue surfacing in Sweelinck's long fantasy or Froberger's mystical ricercares; dance rhythms and metrical patterns from innumerable Bach suites, prefigured in the pavanes and galliards. Though many-faceted, this program is essentially intimate and interior in character. “A Bridge to Bach” -- Read more a figurative, slightly fanciful designation-- is a metaphor meant to suggest how, for me, all the present pieces are linked, spanned, connected, encompassed.” Andrew Rangell's though-provoking recordings for Bridge have sparked considerable debate for their individualistic approach to repertoire and performance practice. Charles Michener in the NY Observer writes: “such was Rangell's intensity—like the late Glenn Gould, he seemed to be propelled by an irresistible force—that the listener's attention was riveted to the music.”

R E V I E W S:

Andrew Rangell always has something interesting to say. After making a series of provocative recordings, mostly Bach and Beethoven, for the Dorian label, Rangell was adopted by the good folks at Bridge, where he has continued to make unusual recordings that are both intellectually and emotionally satisfying.

This time around, Rangell has assembled a program of music composed mostly during the first half of the 17th century – several generations before Johann Sebastian Bach was active. In his extended yet very readable booklet note, Rangell explains this disc's overall title. In some of this music, "one can hear fleeting soundprints of Bach," but that is not precisely what Rangell is trying to get at. "The resemblances are noteworthy," he writes, "but the larger point, for me, is that in the area of articulation, contrapuntal balance, imaginative ornamentation, and rhythmic definition, Bach himself has been my most valued tutor in the study and appreciation of his predecessors."

I'm sure that Glenn Gould, one of the past century's most outstanding interpreters of Bach, would have agreed. Among Gould's recordings is a collection of music by William Byrd, Orlando Gibbons, and Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (Sony SMK 52589). At one point, Gould claimed that Gibbons was his favorite composer, and that composer's Lord of Salisbury Pavane and Galliard is common to both the Gould disc just referenced and the Rangell disc here reviewed.

For Gould, Gibbons also must have been a "bridge to Bach." There's no mistaking Gould for Rangell, or vice versa, but both pianists clearly adore this music. Both performances are quietly contemplative, and with their perfect proportions and clarity, they make listeners feel that all is right with the world. The same can be said for everything on A Bridge to Bach. The dexterous Rangell uncovers the beauty in all that he touches. He is like one of those professors in college who makes biology or physics not just understandable, but miraculous – even to English majors!

Like Gould, Rangell plays this music not on the keyboard instruments of the early to mid 1600s, but on a modern piano. (In Rangell's case, this is a Hamburg Steinway D.) These recordings, then, will be of little use for authenticists – forgive the neologism, but it seems appropriate – but will deeply satisfy those who believe that the message is more important the medium. Even more than Gould, Rangell uses the piano's full resources to play this music, and this gives his performances colors, excitement, and relevance of their own. Rangell also has a clear advantage in terms of engineering. Bridge's sound is far superior to what Columbia was giving Gould in the 1960s.

Copyright © 2007 by Raymond Tuttle, Classical.net

Also Available - Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1
"Andrew Rangell's free-spirited Bach is distinguished by its powerful drive and intensity and a remarkable articulation that illuminates contrapuntal intricacies with microscopic clarity."
-- Vivien Schweitzer, The New York Times [2/3/2008]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Pavane and Galliard "Lord Salisbury" by Orlando Gibbons
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 17th Century; England 
2.
Mein junges Leben hat ein End by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Netherlands (Holland 
3.
More palatino by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Netherlands (Holland 
4.
Fantasia for Keyboard "g-Dorian" by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Netherlands (Holland 
5.
Onder een linde groen "Unter der Linden grüne" by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Netherlands (Holland 
6.
Mrs. Katherin Tregian's Paven by William Tisdale
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
7.
A Sad Pavan for these Distracted Times by Thomas Tomkins
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1649; England 
8.
Pavan by Thomas Tomkins
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1650; England 
9.
Voluntary by Thomas Tomkins
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
10.
Libro di capricci e ricercate: Ricercare no 12 in C sharp minor by Johann Jacob Froberger
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1658; Germany 
11.
Libro quarto di toccate: Ricercare no 6 in F sharp minor by Johann Jacob Froberger
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1656; Germany 
12.
Quartet for Strings no 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 131: 1st movement, Adagio ma non troppo by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1826; Vienna, Austria 
Notes: Arranger: Andrew Rangell. 
13.
Loath to Depart by Giles Farnaby
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: Renaissance 
Written: England 
Notes: Arranger: Andrew Rangell. 
14.
Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen, BWV 12: no 1, Sinfonia in F minor by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1714; Cöthen, Germany 
Notes: Arranger: Andrew Rangell. 

Featured Sound Samples

Unter der Linden grüne (Sweelinck)
Pavane and Galliard "Lord Salisbury" (Gibbons)
More palatino (Sweelinck)
Pavane (Tomkins)

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