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Bach on the Rauwolf Lute

Jakob Lindberg (lute) (BIS)

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

JS Bach
Bach on the Rauwolf Lute: Cello Suite No. 1; Suite in E, BWV 1006a; Violin Sonata in G minor, BWV 1001; Chaconne, BWV 1004; Violin Sonata No. 3 in C, BWV 1005 – excerpts etc.
Jakob Lindberg (lute)
BIS BIS-2552 (CD/SACD)   87:57 mins


As well as the radiant ‘lute suite’ BWV 1006a (more familiar in the version for solo violin), this spellbinding recording features Jakob Lindberg’s own arrangements of works written for bowed strings. The Suite BWV 1007, originally for solo cello, is here transposed from G to C major and played so gracefully on the lute that it seems as if it were born on the instrument. The Suite’s all-pervasive dance rhythms sound wispy and supple, and the lacy embellishments of the Sarabande are particularly effective on the lute’s feathery strings.

Also ravishing in their intimate new guise are sundry works originally for solo violin: the G minor Sonata BWV 1001, the monumental Chaconne from the D minor Partita and two movements from the C major Sonata BWV 1005. While the violin versions highlight Bach’s cantabile lines, the lute transcriptions reveal – with limpid clarity – textures and harmonies: chords and arpeggiations are more easily realised on the lute than on the violin, and therefore the sound has greater equilibrium.

Lindberg’s playing is effortless and intuitive throughout; he coaxes an exquisite range of shades from the Rauwolf lute – a precious velvet-toned instrument that has been played since Bach’s own lifetime and beyond. In sum, it’s a treasurable disc.


Kate Bolton‑Porciatti