JS Bach, Hackett, Byrd, Barrios, Granados and Trad.

COMPOSERS: Barrios,Byrd,Granados and Trad.,Hackett,JS Bach
LABELS: Camino
ALBUM TITLE: JS Bach, Hackett, Byrd, Barrios, Granados and Trad.
WORKS: Solo Guitar works
PERFORMER: Steve Hackett (guitar)
Steve Hackett, sometime member of the group Genesis, conceived this, his first ‘pure classical’ album, as a tribute to Andrés Segovia with an emphasis on Bach. It soon expanded to include other guitar and lute heroes. He himself has written respectful, evocative portraits of Segovia (‘The Fountain Suite’), Rodrigo (‘Cascada’) and Tudor lute music (‘Sapphires’), while his interpretations of pieces by other composers are sympathetic and thoughtful, though I guess his rather idiosyncratic take on ‘Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring’ – in which he attempts to mitigate its minor key section – won’t be to all tastes.Interestingly, Hackett and his producer have tried to evoke the sound of guitar recordings of the 1920s and ’30s. They rightly believe that digital recordings, for all their clarity and accuracy, often lack the warmth and character of earlier technologies. (Prime exhibits would be the 1930s sessions by the Busch Quartet, which have an intimacy and atmosphere never matched by ‘better quality’ recordings.)OK, these are not benchmark performances, but they have charm, poise and sincerity. They are also lively but Hackett never leans on anything too heavily. Tribute will probably introduce this repertoire to many people who might not otherwise be interested, which must be a good thing.