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Bach: The Six Sonatas and Partitas


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Audio CD, August 4, 1998
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Frequently Bought Together

Bach: The Six Sonatas and Partitas + Bach: Lute Suites (Guitar Arrangement)/ Galbraith + Paul Galbraith Plays Haydn
Price for all three: $50.88

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 4, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Delos
  • ASIN: B000009SDY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,101 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

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

Customer Reviews

This is the best Bach recording ever done on the guitar.
Fluffy
To me it is very very spiritual as well as emotional, but at a rather high level (requiring the ability to abstract).
Plain
I usually give the playback my full attention, listening through a high-resolution high-fidelity system.
recycler27

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 19, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This album is, indeed, a must for Bach fans. Unlike other reviewers, I do not find it "easy listening", on the contrary. Especially if you know the violin pieces well, this recording will blow you away (or at least keep you wide awake at night). The reason is the dazzling lucidity of Galbraith's playing. Sure, on one (superficial) level, the emotional depth seems to be toned down. However, on a different (deeper) level, it's the opposite: by keeping the range of his speed and volume limited, Galbraith achieves a density and concentration I have never heard before in Bach's partitas. He practically forces you to put down the book that you might be reading at the same time, and to listen carefully. What a happy combination of technical brilliance and musical understanding of Bach's work.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 10, 2000
Format: Audio CD
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. I haven't been actively keeping up in this area of late, but a review of the Galbraith recordings of the Bach Violin Sonatas and Partitas came to my attention, and I decided to jump back in. I feel fortunate that I did! I never thought my interest could be rekindled like this. Galbraith's interpretations of these pieces is deeply reverent of the music. Galbraith doesn't try to showcase his playing. Rather, he has clearly dedicated himself to understanding the music, and playing exquisitely detailed and unhurried performances that let the music speak for itself. For those of you who are new to this music, the Chaconne from the 2nd Partita is one of the crowning monuments of any music by any composer of any time. Each time I listen, I marvel at how much emotion comes from this profound and spare piece of music. As Galbraith says in the liner notes, this piece is "fathomless" in it's depth. Galbraith's slower-than-typical pace, and his reverent attention to each note and musical line is wholly up to the inspiration this piece demands. The performance is heart stopping. It brings me to tears each time I listen, and I have to remember to start breathing again when it's over. I think that both people familiar with this music and people new to it can find great enjoyment in these performances. END
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 12, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I probably have 100 or so classical guitar recordings, and this one stands out from the others as boldly as the Segovia recordings, but for a totally different reason. The unique sound of the instrument, perfect playing, and lack of normal string noise took me quite by surprise. Very highly recommended.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 22, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I have been listening to the sonatas & partitas for solo violin since the early 70's when I purchased a budget 3 record set of Szeryng's violin performances. After 25+ years of intense listening to a variety of artists performing this work on violin and guitar I am still often moved to tears by the power and beauty of the compositions. Galbraith's performances convey an almost complete absence of ego. There is nothing flashy or explosive about this recording. He delivers transcriptions for the guitar and execution that conveys the most extreme reverence for the music. In spite of his restraint there is nothing dull or flat about the recordings however. He performs on a bizarre 8-string guitar that he has helped develop which utilizes a sound box between his feet connected to the guitar by a metal rod. This guitar sounds gorgeous. The combination of Galbraith's approach and the richness of sound elevates the overall effect to almost unbearable transcendent beauty. This recording should provide a lifetime of enjoyment to anyone who has a deep appreciation and love for music.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Howard A. Hood (drakejake@aol.com) on November 15, 1998
Format: Audio CD
This is the first time I have heard all of this violin music by Bach played on the guitar. The playing is technically flawless, but cut and snip editing could play a role in this. Galbraith plays these works without the usual breaks between sections. He holds his customized guitar like a cello. My main disappointment is with the chaconne section, the centerpiece of this work. Galbraith plays it throughout at a numbingly slow tempo, thus providing no variety or pacing. Other guitarists alternate slow and fast tempi within this masterful movement. Galbraith shows in other sections that he can play with dazzling speed when he wants. Other guitarists also provide more variety of color than Galbraith, who relies exclusively on a sweet, soft tone. Despite these reservations, this set is a must-have for fans of Bach and of classical guitar.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Hayden on December 4, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I'll add my voice to the chorus praising this recording. Between Paul Galbraith's technical mastery of the works and the extended compass of his eight-string guitar, magic occurs. This recording unlike most classical guitar recordings save his later recording of the Bach Lute Suites, which is also quite amazing. The added high notes and (more importantly) the additional low notes bring a depth and richness to the music which is somewhat lacking in standard classical guitar, sans scordatura.

If you like this recording, check out Elliot Gibbons' Mysterious Barricades, recorded on a 13-string 'archguitar.' He also plays Bach, as well as works by Couperin, Sanz, and de Visee, and the extended compass of the instrument allows for a very rich experience, with wonderful basses providing structural oak under Bach's lovely melodies.
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