Switching strings to gorgeous effect | Bangkok Post: lifestyle

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Switching strings to gorgeous effect

Playing pieces Bach wrote for the violin with a mandolin does not seem like a promising prospect, but any initial doubts one may have harboured are swept away by Chris Thile's dazzlingly creative treatment

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What is it about Bach's music that makes it almost failure-proof in the hands of a skilful transcriber? Bach himself was always transcribing his own work, and others have been busy at the task ever since. The non-vocal works, especially, have been rescored again and again for every imaginable instrument or ensemble. We have the Goldberg Variations for harp, accordion, string trio; organ works for full orchestra; cello suites for solo lute; the Brandenburg Concertos for synthesiser, and those are only a few examples from an endless list. But somehow it almost always works, and often even points up beauties that are not as prominent in the original versions. For some reason this doesn't seem to be true of the music of any other composer. 

J.S. BACH: Sonatas And Partitas For Solo Violin

Transcribed for mandolin, Vol 1. Sonata No. 1 In G Minor , BWV 1001; Partita No. 1 In B Minor , BWV 1002; Sonata No. 2 in A minor , BWV 1003. Chris Thile, mandolin. Nonesuch, CD or download.

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