Read the full review here Rather perturbingly, hall and orchestra sounded more comfortably accommodated with each other the following afternoon,
Bach Suites in Rome Artsdesk Review 6/2/17
Read the full review here
Rather perturbingly, hall and orchestra sounded more comfortably accommodated with each other the following afternoon, when I dropped into their recording session with the cellist Guy Johnston. He was in town to tape Respighi for the latest leg of a project (eventually to result in a disc on the King’s College Choir label) tracing the history of his cello, made almost 300 years ago in the Roman workshop of David Tecchler. A stone’s throw from the workshop, he then gave a Sunday-morning recital of the first three solo Bach Suites, at a church nestled in the crook of the Tiber.
The stone walls and handsome murals of the Oratorio del Gonfalone lent their own persuasive context to Johnston’s suggestion that the suites, considered together, trace the birth, death and resurrection of Christ. This was superbly direct Bach playing, tonally spare, unsentimental, with a sense of harmonic progress as plain and decisive as the curve of a Roman arch. By not mining every nugget of tone from the lower strings, he secured a lively speaking quality from the Tecchler: the Third Suite’s Courante gossiped away, before the weak beats of the Minuets were flicked off with a shrug.