Guillaume Gibert : Bach Scarlatti Vivaldi : CD
VIVALDI: Concerto en Re Maggiore Rv 230: D.SCARLATTI: Sonate en La minore K36; Sonate en Si minore K87; Sonate en Fa# minore K25; Sonate en La Maggiore K175: BACH : Chaconne en Re minore Bwv1004; Aria Bwv 988.
Studio Chroma (No Catalogue Number)
Italian born Gibert has here produced an album of Baroque music from three of the most important composers from this , or indeed any period, and all the pieces here are his own arrangements. He has a YouTube channel where you can see him playing some of these and many more things besides, should my review whet your appetite!
The opening 3- movement Vivaldi concerto is originally for violin strings and continuo, but here Gibert plays it entirely solo, and a fine performance it turns out to be .With two Allegros sandwiching the *, Gibert really brings out the best in the Vivaldi, with lots of excitement and never letting the almost constant flow of small notes sound like they’re a problem to get over, for if he finds any of this music tricky to play it really doesn’t sound like it. It is very clear and excitingly played throughout, with the emotional chords of the Larghetto’s introduction heralding in a fine contrasting slow movement too. The four Sonatas from the many hundreds that Domenico Scarlatti wrote for the keyboard again are beautifully performed. Of course Scarlatti’s Sonatas have been arranged for guitar many times but there are still many to discover on the guitar (and I have seen quite a few apparent guitar arrangements that really don’t work on the guitar) I’m happy to say that these are all stunningly played, and there is plenty of contrast in the four he has selected here, from the effervescent K36, to the slower and more emotive K87.
With Bach’s Chaconne Gibert dives head – first into deep waters, because it is a brave soul indeed who commits this massive and groundbreaking work to a guitar CD performance. To be fair he produces a very good performance indeed, and there is nothing at all to say against it, except that I am not referring to his actual playing, more the interpretation , but this is such an individual thing with such an important piece as this that there could equally be many people who disagree with me here. Nevertheless it really is a very good version, and one to be proud of, and he makes the really fast passages sound effortless for the great majority of the time.
The final work is the Aria from the massive Goldberg Variations with many ornaments along the way that do make this a really difficult piece to bring off successfully on the guitar, and Gibert’s performance is a fine closing track to what is essentially a superb album of some wonderful Baroque music that sounds perfectly natural on the guitar even though absolutely none of it was written for our instrument. So if the repertoire appeals you might really take to this CD because the recording and the performances are very good indeed.