All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

3

Christian Spering: Inside Bach

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
The arrangement of violin sonatas and partitas, and the cello suites of Johan Sebastian Bach for solo double bass is a tasking and rare challenge, especially for improvising bassists. Classically trained bassist like Edgar Meyer have transposed Bach's cello suites to double bass on the critically acclaimed Bach: Unaccompanied Cello Suites Performed on Double Bass (Sony, 2000), but it is still an exceptional achievement. Now, Swedish bass master Christian Spering offers a different insight into the composer's timeless music.

Spering chose to play Bach music pizzicato—plucking the strings instead of using the bow as any typical violinist or cellist would have done—with minimal usage of extended techniques. This humble aesthetic still bears a strong fidelity to the composer's notation but enables Spering to uncover the inner architecture of Bach's most intimate and elaborate compositions. It also stresses Spering's natural melodic flow and warm sound, adding a contemporary touch to the music.

The album was recorded in Spering's house, an intimate atmosphere which contributes to his relaxed and serene playing. Spering's unique violin partitas arrangements—written in dance-form movements—allow the bassist uncover Bach's sophisticated, playful improvisations on these delicate forms. His arrangements of "Violin Partita No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002: II. Double" and "Violin Partita No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002: V. Sarabanda" even swing lightly. His thoughtful arrangement of the peaceful yet technically demanding "Cello Suite No. 4 in E flat major, BWV 1010: IV. Sarabande" is simply outstanding.

Spering's originals, "Elegia" and "Zona di Passagio," are tributes to Bach's masterful structuring of counterpoint and polyphonic musical forms. With the addition of looping, Spering plays these long compositions con arco—with his bow—also using it for gentle percussive sounds. He transforms Bach's forms into stunning, expressive textures of deep sounds—rich in polyphonic detail—his sensitive explorations of dark timbres and reserved drama demonstrate a commanding mastery of the double bass.

Spering's arrangements of Bach's timeless music, re-envisioned for double bass, sound organic and true to its original form, while being open to an intimate and personal interpretation that transcends genre and tradition.

Track Listing: Violin Sonata No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001: I. Adagio; Violin Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004. Corrente; Violin Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004. Sarabande; Elegia; Violin Partita No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002: II. Double; Cello Suite No. 4 in E flat major, BWV 1010: IV. Sarabande; Cello Suite No. 1 in G major, BWV 1007: V. Menuet I-II - Gigue; Violin Partita No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002: I. Allemanda; Zona di passagio; Violin Partita No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002: V. Sarabanda.

Personnel: Christian Spering: double bass.

Title: Inside Bach | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Country and Eastern

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Origins CD/LP/Track Review
Origins
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Bright Force CD/LP/Track Review
Bright Force
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Say It CD/LP/Track Review
Say It
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Alchemia Garden CD/LP/Track Review
Alchemia Garden
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Don't You Wish CD/LP/Track Review
Don't You Wish
by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 19, 2018
Read "Overneath" CD/LP/Track Review Overneath
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 15, 2018
Read "Don't You Wish?" CD/LP/Track Review Don't You Wish?
by Patrick Burnette
Published: March 3, 2018
Read "Glenn Gould in Russia: Bach, Beethoven, Berg, Webern, Krenek" CD/LP/Track Review Glenn Gould in Russia: Bach, Beethoven, Berg, Webern, Krenek
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 16, 2017
Read "The Out Louds" CD/LP/Track Review The Out Louds
by Don Phipps
Published: December 5, 2017
Read "Territoires" CD/LP/Track Review Territoires
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 26, 2017