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Sonatas & Partitas for Unaccom

Bach Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 32.02 & FREE Shipping. Details
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1. Sonata No. 1, BWV 1001, In A Minor [Orig.G Minor]: Adagio
2. Sonata No. 1, BWV 1001, In A Minor [Orig.G Minor]: Fuga
3. Sonata No. 1, BWV 1001, In A Minor [Orig.G Minor]: Siciliano
4. Sonata No. 1, BWV 1001, In A Minor [Orig.G Minor]: Presto
5. Partita No. 1, BWV 1002, In B Minor: Allemanda
6. Partita No. 1, BWV 1002, In B Minor: Double
7. Partita No. 1, BWV 1002, In B Minor: Corrente
8. Partita No. 1, BWV 1002, In B Minor: Double
9. Partita No. 1, BWV 1002, In B Minor: Sarabande
10. Partita No. 1, BWV 1002, In B Minor: Double
11. Partita No. 1, BWV 1002, In B Minor: Tempo di Bourree
12. Partita No. 1, BWV 1002, In B Minor: Double
13. Sonata No. 2, BWV 1003, In B Minor [Orig. A Minor]: Grave
14. Sonata No. 2, BWV 1003, In B Minor [Orig. A Minor]: Fuga
15. Sonata No. 2, BWV 1003, In B Minor [Orig. A Minor]: Andante
16. Sonata No. 2, BWV 1003, In B Minor [Orig. A Minor]: Allegro
17. Partita No. 2, BWV 1004, In E Minor [Orig. D Minor]: Allemanda
18. Partita No. 2, BWV 1004, In E Minor [Orig. D Minor]: Corrente
19. Partita No. 2, BWV 1004, In E Minor [Orig. D Minor]: Sarabanda
20. Partita No. 2, BWV 1004, In E Minor [Orig. D Minor]: Giga
See all 32 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Amazon.ca

While many guitarists carry single movements from Bach's solo violin sonatas and partitas in their repertoires, Paul Galbraith has transcribed the entire set for his custom-made eight-string instrument. The arrangements are wrought with skill, and employ subtle textural filling and intriguing segues between certain movements. Yet Galbraith's glitchless, fur-tipped fingers coddle these works to where Bach's harmonic daring, rhythmic momentum, and emotional contrasts vanish into smooth oblivion. Great guitar playing and gorgeous sonics, yes, but essentially Bach-lite. --Jed Distler

Product Description


Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Style over Substance Nov. 11 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
While this recording does indeed showcase the harmonic possibilities of the 8-string guitar's extended range, Galbraith does little to prove he understands Baroque music. The rhetorics of Bach seems to be lost in Galbraith's emotionally detached performance. Especially noticeable in the Grave of the 2nd Violin Sonata, which should be played with a larger range of dynamics and much more improvisatory vigor. A real disappointment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You've never heard the guitar played like this July 31 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I was skeptical about this 8-string guitar, but right from the first bar of the first movement, I realized this was going to be an extremely pleasurable musical experience. Paul Galbraith has brought the guitar to a new level of classical expression. But even if you forgot that as you listened to it - which is hard to do given the brilliance of the sound, especially in the low registers - his interpretation of "the six violin solos" as he (and Bach himself) calls them, as a single work meant to be performed as one, is nothing short of genius. I also appreciated the fact that he observed the order in which Bach created them (Sonata I, Partita I, Sonata II, Partita II etc. instead of three sonatas followed by three partitas). The sound quality is perfect, though the engineers could have been more careful about pinpointing the end of one movement and beginning of the next on a few of these tracks (but I'm nitpicking). You'll love it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You've never heard the guitar played like this July 31 2003
Format:Audio CD
I was skeptical about this 8-string guitar, but right from the first bar of the first movement, I realized this was going to be an extremely pleasurable musical experience. Paul Galbraith has brought the guitar to a new level of classical expression. But even if you forgot that as you listened to it - which is hard to do given the brilliance of the sound, especially in the low registers - his interpretation of "the six violin solos" as he (and Bach himself) calls them, as a single work meant to be performed as one, is nothing short of genius. I also appreciated the fact that he observed the order in which Bach created them (Sonata I, Partita I, Sonata II, Partita II etc. instead of three sonatas followed by three partitas). The sound quality is perfect, though the engineers could have been more careful about pinpointing the end of one movement and beginning of the next on a few of these tracks (but I'm nitpicking). You'll love it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars magnificent performance, excellent recording Oct. 14 2002
Format:Audio CD
I would like to echo the recommendations of those reviewers who lavishly praise this recording. I have been entranced by these CDs since I purchased them about five months ago; I play a sonata or partita almost every day. I usually give the playback my full attention, listening through a high-resolution high-fidelity system. In my opinion, those reviewers who have criticized the sound of this recording (breathing noises, "cold" performance, etc.) are hearing it played back on a flawed sound system. While I find much merit in various other versions I have heard over the years, Galbraith's has become my reference for these Bach compositions. My preconceptions were shattered the first couple of times I heard them, and I soon concluded that Galbraith understands, interprets and performs this music better than anyone else. He has linked together the six sonatas and partitas into a coherent and interactive sequence that enhances the significance of each portion of the works. This recording has given me back pleasure and nourishment out of all proportion to the purchase price. I now rank it among the most significant recordings (of any genre) I have ever had the pleasure to hear. At the end of a tough work day, this music focuses my life into a meaningful perspective and renews my spiritual energies.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great interpretation Sept. 10 2001
Format:Audio CD
Great CD - a definite must. Don't let reviews criticizing the perceived lack of interpretation/emotion keep you from buying this CD; the performances are right on and very satisfying. Correct performance practices shouldn't be confused for a lack of emotion or expression... 18th century music wasn't meant to be played like music of the 19th or the 20th. To do so would be like adding a car chase to the Canterbury Tales.
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5.0 out of 5 stars WOW! I have never heard playing like this either June 2 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Paul Galbraith plays these beautiful, transcendant works of art so convincingly. The articulation is sublime, and the music emerges with unbelievable clarity. His crisp, perfect technique is enhanced further by the two extra strings on his guitar and the soundbox upon which it is played. There is very big sound here without sacrificing the separation of voices in the music. It just surrounds you--a three dimensional experience. Not even one buzzed or blurred note appears. He reminds me of Glenn Gould. They both use rhythmic precision to accentuate the structure of the music, and it is never tampered with. No schmaltz here at all. To call this "Bach lite" is blasphemous. If you like the way Segovia romanticized (or mutilated) Bach, then yes, pass on this CD. [If one finds the Chaconne too slow, Manuel Barrueco offers the best alternative--another flawless, perfectly articulated interpretation with gorgeous tone]. Paul Galbraith is one of the best ever, and his style is immediately recognizable (again like Gould). In this landmark recording, he accomplishes something that no other guitarist ever has. He overcomes the limitations of the guitar and offers pure Bach. It is the music itself that shines here. It sparkles like a diamond. It is so beautiful.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing recording!
This recording definitely should be part of your Bach collection! Mr. Galbraith has remained faithful to the original score in this interpretation. Read more
Published on Jan. 9 2001 by Christopher Beecroft
3.0 out of 5 stars Technical Mastery, but Emotionally Cold
My first reaction was "Wow!" Galbraith is as good a technical guitarist as I've ever heard. Read more
Published on Dec 18 2000 by Clark W. Ross
5.0 out of 5 stars Bach is Best on Guitar
Paul Galbraith is the newest of those guitarists who have discovered that the guitar can attain a greater acoustic depth by adding a few strings... Read more
Published on Nov. 15 2000
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad at all!
I had purchased this CD because I am currently working on a Bach Partita (no. 2) on Violin and I wanted the Guitar version. Galbraith is a wonderful performer. Read more
Published on Sept. 3 2000 by Jeannine Sturm
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond excellence!
As a professional classical guitarist, I can tell you that to play Bach on the guitar is a tremendous but worthwhile challenge. Read more
Published on July 21 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Supurb - Crystal clear playing.
I can't recommend this one strongly enough. Beautifully lucid playing - completely devoid of the poisonous little "personal touches" that so many artists bring to these... Read more
Published on May 12 2000 by Daniel L. Wyatt
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent performance
I fell in love with Bach's music many years ago, and as a player of classical guitar I have had the pleasure of enjoying the great recordings of Bream, Segovia, Yepes, etc. Read more
Published on April 10 2000
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