Johann Sebastian Bach never composed for the mandolin. And that never stopped any mandolin players from appropriating Bach's work, especially for lute. Punch Brothers' Chris Thile recently released his take on the first half of Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin (Nonesuch, 2013), and is merely the latest non-classical artist to take on the great German's canon. Berlin-based mandolinist Avi Avital tosses his hat into the ring with mandolin arrangements for violin, oboe and flute concerti.
This is familiar fare, crisply delivered by Avital and the Kammerakademie Potsdam, with all arrangements by the mandolinist. Usually a dicey affair, transcriptions using instruments other than those for which the piece was originally composed pays off for Avital. Bach provides Avital a platform to demonstrate his crystalline articulation and attention to detail. The "Concerto in A minor, BWV 1041," originally for violin, will more than likely be most familiar, yet Avital's arrangement and performance are fresh and refreshing. His approach also expands the exposure for this music, perhaps stimulating an interest in the original instrumentation. The concept and production of this recording are both measured and smart, creating a fine addition to the catalog and contemporary performance repertoire.
Track Listing: Concerto in D minor, BWV 1052R (originally for violin); Concerto in G
minor, BWV 156R (originally for oboe); Concerto in A minor, BWV 1041
(originally for violin); Sonata in E minor, BWV 1034 (originally for
I was first exposed to jazz as a baby. When I was a child, my parents regularly played classic jazz, i.e., Fitzgerald, Hawkins, Holiday, Davis, Coltrane, Monk, Montgomery, Silver, etc. I vividly remember sitting in front of the stereo as a kid, rocking back and forth to jazz, so the music is embedded in me
I was first exposed to jazz as a baby. When I was a child, my parents regularly played classic jazz, i.e., Fitzgerald, Hawkins, Holiday, Davis, Coltrane, Monk, Montgomery, Silver, etc. I vividly remember sitting in front of the stereo as a kid, rocking back and forth to jazz, so the music is embedded in me. As a life-long jazz lover, I eventually became a jazz educator and producer/host of a very popular jazz radio program in Los Angeles, California.
I love jazz because it is so free. I can think, feel, and dream to jazz, and it allows my mind to flow and expand, musically and otherwise. I also love jazz because it, much like other forms of music, allows opportunities to bring people from all walks of life together. What makes jazz more significant to me, though, is its historical significance; that is, how jazz served, in part, as a method of bringing communities together, a cultural/social/spiritual conduit.