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Bach, Lute Works, vol. 1, Paul O'Dette (released August 14, 2007)
Bach Lute Works, BWV 995-1000
Bach's pronounced tendency toward encyclopedic completism probably led to his composition of a significant body of works intended, apparently, for the lute. As O'Dette's excellent liner notes summarize, scholars have pointed out that Bach had an affinity for the lute, although his manner of composition for it indicates that he conceived the music in a non-idiomatic way. It is likely that he composed while seated at the Lautenwerk he designed, a keyboard instrument with gut strings that imitated the sound of the lute. In any case, he notated these pieces not in lute tablature but as if they were to be played at a keyboard. This requires some creative adaptation, such as transposing BWV 1011 (adapted in G minor from the C minor cello suite) up a step to A minor (a solution suggested by Hopkinson Smith). It is all recorded in clear and warm sound on the 13-course lute built by New York-based luthier Andrew Rutherford, after an 18th-century instrument by Sebastian Schelle.
Harmonia Mundi HMU 907438