Thursday, 5 November 2015

Bach On The Ukulele - King

Rating: 5/5

Hugely enjoyable

I have to say that, against my initial expectations, I think this is brilliant.  It sounds like a joke - I mean, Bach on the ukulele? Come on! - but it really works.

John King is a genuinely fine musician and a ukulele virtuoso, so Bach's music is safe in his hands.  He plays a selection of movements from the Cello Suites and the entire E major Violin Sonata here, and it just sounds great.  The musicianship is remarkable; King really gets Bach, so that rhythmic pulse beats throughout and the lines skip and dance along beautifully.  Just try the Prelude to BWV1006 and you'll see what I mean, but the slower movements have some real solidity and meaning to them as well.

This is a different experience from hearing these pieces played on the cello or the violin.  I don't play this as often as any of my cello or violin versions, and when I do I confess that I break into a smile rather more often than might be seemly.  It is hugely enjoyable, principally because it is such superb music, genuinely very well played in spite of the apparent incongruity of the instrument.  Recommended.

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