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HomeE-LearningBach Performed Fantastically on the Baroque Lute, by Preeminent Lutenist Evangelina Mascardi

Bach Performed Fantastically on the Baroque Lute, by Preeminent Lutenist Evangelina Mascardi


Within the two movies right here, see Argentine lutenist Evangelina Mascardi play passionate renditions of J.S. Bach compositions on the wealthy, resonant Baroque lute. In Bach’s time, lutenists had been among the most widely-admired instrumental gamers, and it’s simple to see why. The Baroque lute just isn’t a simple instrument to play. A lot much less so had been the theorbo and chitarrone, devices prefer it however with longer necks for longer bass strings. We see Mascardi focus with utmost depth on each word, a virtuoso on an instrument that Bach himself couldn’t grasp.

Certainly, there was vital debate over whether or not Bach really composed his 4 items for solo lute for that instrument and never one other. For one factor, he appears to have had a “weak grasp” of the instrument, guitarist and lutenist Cameron O’Connor writes in an examination of the proof.

“The lute could have been an intimidating topic even for Bach.” There are a number of issues with authenticating present copies of the music, and “not one of the items in workers notation is playable on the usual Baroque lute with out some transposition of the basses and modifications in chord positions.”

Classical guitarist Clive Titmuss notes, “as pupil guitarists, we realized that J.S. Bach wrote 4 suites and quite a few miscellaneous items for the lute, now performed on the guitar.” Nonetheless, current scholarship appears to indicate that Bach, that the majority revered of Baroque composers, “didn’t write any music particularly meant for solo lute.” As O’Connor speculates, it was “the Lautenwerck, or lute harpsichord… which Bach probably had in thoughts whereas composing a lot of his ‘lute’ works.” You’ll be able to see it in motion right here.

What does this debate add to our appreciation of Mascardi’s taking part in? Little or no, maybe. British lutenist and Bach scholar Nigel North writes in his Linn Data Bach on the Lute set, “As an alternative of labouring over perpetuating the concept the so-called lute items of Bach are correct lute items I desire to take the works for unaccompanied Violin or Cello and make them into new works for lute, conserving (as a lot as doable) to the unique textual content, musical intention, phrasing and articulation, but reworking them in a manner explicit to the lute in order that they’re satisfying to play and to listen to.”

A lutenist with the talent of North or Mascardi can remodel solo Bach items — whether or not initially written for violin, cello, or lautenwerck — into the idiom of their chosen instrument. In Mascardi’s transformations right here, these works sound positively transporting.

Associated Content material:

How a Bach Canon Works. Sensible.

Hear Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos Performed on Authentic Baroque Devices

Hear J.S. Bach’s Music Carried out on the Lautenwerck, Bach’s Favourite Misplaced Baroque Instrument

Josh Jones is a author and musician based mostly in Durham, NC. Comply with him at @jdmagness



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