J​.​S. Bach: BWV998, 1003, 1010

by Dan Lippel

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New Focus Recordings FCR102
Solo guitar transcriptions of three works by Bach:
Sonata in A minor BWV1003 (orig. for violin)
Cello Suite in A major BWV1010 (orig. for cello)
Prelude, Fugue, and Allegro BWV998 (orig. for lute)
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"Depth caught on the wing from a very humane guitarist
No liner-notes as such - only a brief biography and note by Daniel Lippel. But that's fine, because he mentions two concepts crucial not only to his performances but to recording in general. One is balance - between the whole and the part, the individual and the cosmos, historical fidelity and modern aesthetics. The other is that a recording is only a snapshot of a continually shifting relationship between interpreter and music. These performances definitely have a live feel, though there's no sense of the facile - only depth caught on the wing.
Sometimes Lippel dwells indulgently in the moment, as in the Grave of the A minor Sonata or the Sarabande of the A major Suite; at other times the music is allowed to flow naturally, as in the final movements of those works. Looseness and tension are fluently articulated within a flexible, expressive framework. Nicholas Goluses's Naxos account of the A minor Suite features crisper articulation and perhaps generates more excitement, but the flow is often interrupted by fussy ornamentation and the Andante is rushed. Julian Bream's Segovian Prelude, Fugue, and Allegro offers more colour and beauty of tone than Lippel's but sounds slightly mannered by comparison.

An impressive release, then. Not a definitive statement - nor is it meant to be. Full marks to Lippel for daring to show a little humanity.

William Yeoman, Gramophone, May 2006

"The young and much-lauded guitarist Daniel Lippel delves into the music of Johann Sebastian Bach for this release on New Focus Recordings. The follow-up to 2004's Resonance, this disc features three works by the late baroque master: the second of the three sonatas for unaccompanied violin, the fourth of the six suites for unaccompanied cello, and the Prelude, Fugue and Allegro BWV 998. The first two works are presented in Lippel's own transcriptions, which is certainly appreciated. I did not fully know what to expect from this CD, being familiar only with Lippel's work with contemporary music. This album, however, is a success. For starters, Lippel pays attention to rhythm, an issue which, if not dealt with closely, can doom so many performances of great compositions. His sound throughout the program is solid and attractive, and the recording quality is above par. This disc shines through as a fine example of how fresh J.S. Bach's music can sound when infused with sufficient creativity and vitality.

Matthew Hough, Guitar Review, Summer 2006 Issue #132


released May 1, 2005

Engineer: Ryan Streber
Session Producer: Peter Gilbert
Editing Producer: Dan Lippel
Album art/graphic design: Ellen Butters



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danlippel@gmail.com Brooklyn, New York

Guitarist Dan Lippel performs actively in many contexts, as a member of ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble), Flexible Music, Mice Parade, and he's also director of New Focus Recordings.

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