Notes and Editorial Reviews
Frédéric Zigante (gtr)
STRADIVARIUS 11020 (2 CDs: 108:45)
In my previous reviews of Bach’s music transcribed by performing artists for their particular instruments—instruments with which I had little familiarity, I was able to secure sufficient stability by my strong familiarity with the music, the Cello Suites in particular. For this review, I am on less stable ground because I am not
familiar with Bach’s music for lute, and my guitar knowledge is based on family members and Sharon Isbin’s father’s textbook (see my review of the Bach Cello Suites in 30:6). Thus, I begin my review, not in free-fall, but with only a toehold or two.
Frédéric Zigante is a French-born classical guitarist who studied with Ruggero Chiesa, Alirio Diaz, and Alexandre Lagoya. He is professor at the Conservatory of Trieste, and he holds master classes in Spain, China, and Switzerland.
The accompanying booklet with this CD set contains general information about Bach’s music for lute, but provides very little specific information about the compositions themselves. It turns out that many of Bach’s lute compositions are transcriptions by the composer of other of his works. In summary, here we have transcriptions by Zigante of transcriptions by Bach, with key transpositions here and there. With such complications, following is a more informative listing of the content of these CDs with the provenance of each composition:
Praeludio con la Suite da Gio. Bast. in e, BWV 996, transcribed for guitar
Partita al Liuto composta dal Sig.re in c, BWV 997, transcribed for guitar in a
Prelude in c for Lute, BWV 999, transcribed for guitar in d
Chaconne from Violin Partita in d, BWV 1004, transcribed for guitar
Violin Partita in E, BWV 1006a, transcribed for lute by Bach from BWV 1006, transcribed for guitar
Suite in g, BWV 995, transcribed for lute by Bach from BWV 101, transcribed for guitar in a
Prelude for Lute or Cembalo in E?, BWV 998, transcribed for guitar in D?
Fugue in g, BWV 1000, transcribed for lute by Bach from Violin Sonata in g, BWV 1001, and transcribed for guitar in a. (Also transcribed by Bach for organ as the fugue for the Prelude and Fugue in d, BWV 539.)
I have not translated the first two titles from the Italian, as printed with the CD, because I don’t want to be inaccurate. Note that the fourth item was never lute music, but is included as a bonus. Items four, five, six, and eight are familiar Bach works for violin or cello.
The guitar is an eminently suitable instrument for transcriptions of music written for the lute. The performances here are first-rate, and the sound quality is excellent. I recommend this CD set for classical guitar enthusiasts.
FANFARE: Burton Rothleder
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