These compositions by Bach, Handel, Couperin and Weiss display distinctly different characteristics with Russell providing subtlety and color that highlight the composers beyond any era. It's an elegant and pure performance, and for the student of guitar, this is an excellent study of Baroque ornamentation and style. Russell has a very pianistic tone, round with barely an edge, and the execution is clearly detailed and defined. It's an authoritative study. I don't sense a concept, something a good many contemporary releases come with. I like the subtext that a concept carries, as with the Assad Brothers' "Saga dos Migrantes" or Yo Yo Ma's Silk Road Project. But the framework provided by the Baroque period is more than strong enough already and his playing is extraordinary.
Concerning recording quality, with Russell it always sounds like the listener is a third of the way back in the hall with a touch of natural reverb. This takes off a little of the top end of the sound spectrum, but I think it also contributes to that pianistic quality I referred to earlier. It also prepares you for the live performance, he always packs the house so good luck getting close to the stage if you aren't a season subscriber. Anyway, it is the way he wants it since his sound is consistent across his body of work. He possesses mature artistry and it is hard to conceive just how well he plays because he makes it look simple. It is plain-spoken eloquence.