bach volume 2 cover

On Friday, April 1st, the world renowned, Grammy winning guitarist Jason Vieaux released his latest CD titled Bach Volume Two. Vieaux’s musical pilgrimage of the music of Bach comes 13 years after he released his CD Bach Volume 1.

Bach Volume 2 consists of music that some might be familiar with on violin. He is playing Bach’s Partita no 3 BWV 1006, the Sonata no 3 BWV 1005 and the Sonata no.1 BWV 1001 originally written for violin arranged for guitar. With this second volume, Vieaux shows that this music works equally well on guitar.

Between the 13 years of the Bach projects, Vieaux has performed more than 700 concerts, released 8 other recordings, has helped found a guitar department at the very prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, all the while bringing up children and dealing with the vast changes in the music industry that have occurred over the past several years. To say he has been busy would be an understatement.

With this latest Bach recording, Vieaux has mixed in his own arrangements with arrangements done by Bach himself. The 3rd Partita for solo violin, Bach arranged for lute, and called it his Lute Suite no. 4.  For sonatas on this disc the Sonata no 3 BWV 1005 and the Sonata no.1 BWV1001, Vieaux essentially played off the original violin part. ‘I basically read off the score, maybe added a couple of things here and there….the nice thing about the violin sonatas is that  you don’t really have to add much of anything, in particular in the fugues,” says Vieaux. ‘A lot of violinists when they here this music on guitar for the first time they are often really pleasantly surprised.”

Vieaux describes playing the music of Bach by saying “the difficult thing with Bach’s music on guitar is that there’s a daunting, awesome, rewarding, gratifying amount of ‘there’ there.”  Aspects of structure, harmony, melodic information phrasing are ample in Bach’s music “Getting the phrases to really speak on the guitar and not sound percussive…that’s really the main challenge,” states Vieaux.

On this recording, Bach Volume 2, Vieaux makes a very solid argument that Bach’s music works equally well on classical guitar as it does on the violin. The combination of multiple voices that Bach has happening at the same, time in combination with the phrasing and the lyrical elements that Bach wrote are all masterfully performed on this CD. This is a must have CD for any lover of the music of Bach as well as any lover of classical guitar.