Monday, 10 August 2015

Bach - Vivaldi Transcriptions - Yates

Rating: 5/5

A fine disc

I like this disc very much. It is a selection of concerti by Vivaldi and the Marcello brothers which Bach transcribed for harpsichord. I was ignorant of these transcriptions until now and am very glad to have come across them because they are well worth hearing.

It isn't known exactly why Bach chose to transcribe these concerti, but he has made some excellent solo keyboard pieces out of them. In structure they don't differ much from the originals, with Bach changing keys in places and adding some counterpoint and ornamentation to the solo parts, so they're a lot more Vivaldi and Marcello than Bach but it's still high-quality music and a very enjoyable programme.

This is in no small measure due to Sophie Yates, who is a fabulous harpsichordist and on fine form here. She has superb technique which allows her to phrase and interpret these pieces beautifully, and she brings real individuality to every movement. The recorded sound is excellent and the overall effect is very rewarding.

With good presentation and interesting, readable notes by Yates herself, this is a fine disc all round and warmly recommended.

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