The Grandeur of the Baroque

Album review
The Grandeur of the Baroque

David Russell

The Grandeur of the Baroque

Label: Telarc
Media: CD
Genre: Classical

Renowned guitarist David Russell offers a well-recorded album of transcriptions of Baroque keyboard and lute works on this new Telarc. He has an excellent tone, avoiding both brightness and murkiness; the sound is rich throughout the range of the guitar. The playing is never grandiose, always tasteful; there’s no excess of ego, no willful warping of the line. He could vary the instrument’s color a little more, but that’s a small quibble. Bach’s Toccata from the Partita in E Minor is an eloquent 9-minute fantasy with a finger-stretching, three-voice fugue in the middle; Russell’s ability to keep the lines absolutely clear while at the same time persuasively conveying the music’s exalted emotion is stunning. There’s no sense of strain despite the supreme technical difficulty. Handel is represented by his Suite No. 7; the Overture is stately, then turns into a pleasant dance. Russell puts a surprising amount of intensity into “La Sophie,” from Couperin’s Pieces de Clavecin; “L’Epineuse” is sweet and doleful. Silvius Leopold Weiss, a lutenist from Bach’s time, wrote the charming, intelligent Suite (No. 14) that concludes this superb recital

More Info

  • primary artist, David Russell
  • CD

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