ESSENTIAL RECORDINGS
Johann Sebastian Bach - Music for lute-harpsichord - Elizabeth Farr


J.S. BACH - Music for Lute-Harpsichord - Elizabeth Farr - 2CD set - Naxos 8.570470/71

This disc is a one of a kind. It covers the music Bach wrote for lute in the way it was probably conceived. Played on a keyboard instrument called the Lautenwerk or Lute Harpsichord. Lutenists have played these works for years but often remark on the great difficulty there is in transferring the written notes to lute tabulation that is actually playable. You see Bach had at least two Lautenwerk. But the instrument fell into oblivion due to tastes of the time. Enter Keith Hill who with a great deal of sleuthing has created an instrument that has not been around for a couple hundred years. We are the ones that have been at a loss. The sound is nothing short of astonishing when you consider that this is a keyboard instrument. The instrument covers the range from arch lute down to theorbo. It has depth and warmth that have to be heard to fully appreciate. Intoxicating to listen to. Elizabeth Farr's playing is wonderful. She has treated the music with lively tempos, spontaneity and vigor. I thoroughly enjoy listening to this recording. I have heard most of the ones available to date and this by far has the most thoroughly enjoyable sound. What has been created here is the best sounding Lautenwerk CD I have listened to up to now. Most highly recommended.

Mark Kravchenko