The new solo album of Toyohiko Satoh, the 72 year old Japanese lutenist who is considered my many as one of the most influential lute players of the last century, presents a well-known repertoire of baroque lute music. Mr. Satoh was the first lutenist to record Bach’s lute music on LP in the 70s (Phillips). Now he returns to this music 40 years later, delivering a completely different rendering of these iconic pieces. His playing has been influenced much by his studies of traditional Japanese arts such as tea ceremony, No-theater and Zen meditation. So here we are presented a recording that draws from the deep silence within, from the awareness of everything in the universe being connected, and from the understanding of Bach’s music as a universal, almost superhuman symbol of completeness.
…The Burwell lute tutor states: "[On] other instruments we sing, but on the lute we speak". That is exactly what Bailes does, and in a very eloquent manner.
The fluidity of his playing on this album is amazing. Each note falls in place at exactly the right moment. Besides the well-known J.S. Bach, he also introduces us to several other less-known Baroque composers: Gaspar Sanz, Fernando Sor, S.L. Weiss, & Robert de Visee. Too often, Baroque music is presented as just an exercise in counterpoint. In this album, the rhythm is matched to human emotions in such a way that it's not just an academic exercise. The music is both exhilarating and soothing.
…Yet these are not fragile or rarefied renditions, for Oberlinger and her companions are quite vigorous in the Allegro movements; the long, lyrical lines in the Larghettos and Adagios are always solidly supported through the soloist's unerring ornamentation; and the accompaniment is fully realized and strongly characterized, distributed throughout the works to a variety of basso continuo instruments. The illustrated booklet includes an informative essay on the recorder's history and Handel's music by Gerhard Braun, and the recording is absolutely clear in details and natural in reproduction. This disc is highly recommended.
Performer: Sylvius Leopold Weiss, Robert Barto
Composer: Silvius Leopold Weiss, Sylvius Leopold Weiss
This is a terrific introduction to a mostly forgotten or ignored composer. Some of the intervals and progressions seem to be precursors for very modern jazz. Maybe that's my take on it but Leopold Sylvius Weiss is worth exploring, and Robert Barto seems to have spent a lot of time learning and understanding these rigorous and exhilirating compostions.