Overtures to Bach
Pentatone Oxingale Series (PTC 5186 561)
The following is an excerpt from Strings Attached (October 2016) which can be read in its entirety here.
Overtures to Bach is the latest CD from the cellist Matt Haimovitz on the Pentatone Oxingale Series label (PTC 5186 561). It’s yet another tour-de-force solo recital of Bach and Bach-inspired contemporary works from this outstanding performer.
Haimovitz’s continuing relationship with the Bach Cello Suites stretches back over a period of more than 30 years, and in this latest venture – which he calls a culminating moment in the relationship – he has commissioned six new overtures that reflect on and anticipate the six individual suites and, by expanding on the cross-cultural and vernacular references in Bach’s music, reach both forward and backward in time. Each new piece is followed by the Prelude to the relevant Suite. The new works, in Suite order, are: Overture by Philip Glass; The Veronica, by Du Yun; Run, by Vijay Iyer; La memoria, by Roberto Sierra; Es War, by David Sanford; and Lili’uokalani for solo cello piccolo by Luna Pearl Woolf.
Haimovitz is superb in the wide range of technical challenges presented by the new works, and is as thoughtful and inquisitive as ever in the Bach Preludes. It’s a simply outstanding CD.