2003 Telarc International - 80584
J. S. Bach (1685-1750)
Prelude, Fugue and Allegro, BWV 998
4. Chorale Prelude, "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme", BWV 645
Partita No. 2, BWV 1004
Suite No. 4 for Lute, BWV 1006ª
12. Gavotte en Rondeau
13. Menuets I and II
16. Chorale "Jesu bleibet.." BWV147
David Russell is a great guitarist, and this CD handsomely showcases his affinity for Bach. Without leaning toward Romanticism, Russell gets to the emotional content of the pieces, lingering nicely, for example, on the warmth of the lengthy Chaconne from the Partita No. 2. It would be easy to get bored with the sound of a solo guitar after an hour, but Russell won't permit it--sometimes his tone glistens, sometimes it caresses, always it keeps our attention. The opening prelude to the Lute Suite is a fast, bright movement, and while some will prefer it in Bach's own reuse as the opening of his Cantata No. 29, complete with trumpets and drums, this delicately filigreed version allows us to hear every note. And the mellow chorale prelude, "Jesu, joy of man's desiring," which closes the CD, has rarely sounded more beautiful.
David Russell has always been a musician of taste and considered interpretations; this latest offering of an all Bach programme from him is no exception. All the hallmark characteristics of his playing are here: the skilfully used phrasing (crucial whenever negotiating the complex architecture of Bach's music), the beautifully executed ornaments, seemingly placed in those obvious places yet still taking you by surprise plus that purity of tone, with its sonority so clear and full, make for a listening experience of the highest order.
Andy Daly, musicweb.uk.net
Release Date: 01/28/2003
Label: Telarc Catalog #: 80584
Date of Recording: 2001-02
Venue: Gordon Arts Center, Owings Mills, MD