Bach, Music for Lute-
Harpsichord, E. Farr
(released on July 29, 2008)
BWV 995 | BWV 996 | BWV 997 | BWV 998 | BWV 999 | BWV 1000 (transcribed from BWV 1001/ii) | BWV 1006a | BWV 964 | BWV 990
No historical examples of the instrument have survived from the 18th century, but builders have made attempts to reconstruct them. Historical instrument builder and fellow Michigan State University alumnus Keith Hill designed the Lautenwerk heard on these two discs according to the specifications Bach recorded for one of the instruments in his collection (copied by Jacob Adlung in 1768). Some of the pieces are arrangements by Bach of other works -- a cello suite, a violin partita, and a violin sonata, and they do not necessarily work as idiomatically for this instrument. A delightful piece that is quite new to me is BWV 990, a C major sarabande that Bach reportedly adapted from Lully's Bellérophon (although I have yet to find it in the score), followed by 15 partite, or variations, the last four of which are a mini-dance suite. Farr plays all of this music with a delicious sensibility, embellishing gracefully and providing plenty of variation among registrations between repeats and sections, giving the impression of performance by a consort of instruments.