Hopkinson Smith (theorbo):Bach/Smith: Cello Suites 1-3

Fri, Mar 15, 2013, 13:10


Bach/Smith Cello Suites 1-3

Johann Sebastian Bach, Hopkinson Smith



You might expect a baroque German theorbo to be a more faithful vehicle for Bach’s solo cello music than a modern viola. But Hopkinson Smith’s approach to the first three suites goes much further than simply replicating the music on a different instrument. He adapts the suites to the playing style of the lute family, filling in harmonies in a way not possible on the cello, and furnishing repeats with lute-friendly melodic decorations. It’s an in for a penny, in for a pound exercise that sometimes works wonderfully well, sometimes not. Baroque composers, Bach included, were extremely fond of transcriptions. But I doubt if anyone familiar with the originals will get through this disc without being occasionally provoked to ask, “Why did he do that?” See url.ie/8fjv