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Thomas Dunford : Bach : CD

BACH: Cello Suite No1 in G Major BWV1007; Cello Suite No5 in Gm BWV 995; Chaconne from the Violin Partita No1 in Dm BWV 1004:

Thomas Dunford : Lute

Alpha Classics: Alpha 361

The instrumental music of Bach originally for violin and cello have always worked stunningly well on the guitar and here on the extended arch lute that Thomas Dunford here plays. One is immediately struck by this wonderful instruments huge range, and the beautiful resonant depth of the low notes here.

He begins with the complete seven movements of the Cello Suite No1 and I have rarely if ever heard it sound more natural in this new instrumental environment. The sound captured by the engineer of the lute is wonderful, clear, beautiful, and close but not too much, so that what you hear is the lute at its very best, along with some lovely natural reverb to help it along.

Likewise the Cello Suite No5 originally in Cm, but here in its Lute version BWV995 in Gm is another epic performance also in 7 movements and every bit as stunning as the other suite. Both are substantial works that anyone who has played them will know only too well, and remain as some of the very best of Bach‘s instrumental music, and moreover probably some of the very best music to come out of the Baroque period as a whole.

But the coup de grace is saved for the Chaconne from the Violin Partita in Dm, a work that is literally unlike any other piece of music ever written in its grandeur, its vast length and the utterly unforgettable nature of its writing. Dunford proves that this work should be heard by everyone who has an interest in tis period’s music or the music of Bach, but happens not to know this Chaconne.

Dunford keeps this huge and almost ungainly instrument constantly under his control, definitely not an easy thing to do, as anyone who has ever tried to play one of these beautiful instruments will realise.

This is a recording to be treasured

Chris Dumigan

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