All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


Avi Avital: Bach

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
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 Flute).

Personnel: Avi Avital: mandolin; Shalev Ad-El: harpsichord; Ophira Zakai: theorbo; Kammerakademie Potsdam.

Title: Bach | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Deutsche Grammophon


comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
  • Vivaldi by C. Michael Bailey
  • Bach by C. Michael Bailey
Read more articles


Deutsche Grammophon



Deutsche Grammophon


Related Articles

Read The Questions CD/LP/Track Review
The Questions
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 20, 2018
Read Meerkat Parade CD/LP/Track Review
Meerkat Parade
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 20, 2018
Read The Poetry of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review
The Poetry of Jazz
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 20, 2018
Read The Unknowable CD/LP/Track Review
The Unknowable
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 20, 2018
Read Like A Radio CD/LP/Track Review
Like A Radio
by Doug Collette
Published: March 20, 2018
Read Live In Healdsburg CD/LP/Track Review
Live In Healdsburg
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 19, 2018
Read "The Django Experiment I & II" CD/LP/Track Review The Django Experiment I & II
by Peter Jurew
Published: April 2, 2017
Read "From a Familiar Place" CD/LP/Track Review From a Familiar Place
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 23, 2017
Read "Best of the Bootlegs 2017" CD/LP/Track Review Best of the Bootlegs 2017
by Doug Collette
Published: February 24, 2018
Read "Town And Country" CD/LP/Track Review Town And Country
by Jerome Wilson
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "Blue Maqams" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Maqams
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 3, 2017
Read "Contrast" CD/LP/Track Review Contrast
by Paul Rauch
Published: March 7, 2018