Review: Plínio Fernandes’ Consuming ‘Bacheando’ Explores the Lasting Have an effect on of J.S. Bach 

Every so step by step it feels almost inevitable that a classical guitarist will at final file a “Bach album” correct thru their occupation. Solo guitar preparations of J.S. Bach pieces maintain been de rigueur since Segovia first recorded varied works in the leisurely 1920s—and then made Bach a extraordinarily well-known portion of his performing repertoire for the comfort of his lengthy, influential occupation. The attraction and the challenges of taking part in Bach’s pieces are self-evident. Nonetheless you if truth be told want to be in your sport to play them neatly, which is one reason the Bach album is most ceaselessly a mid- or leisurely-occupation preference.

Cover artwork for Plinio-Fernandes' ‘Bacheando’
Plínio Fernandes, Bacheando (Decca Gold)

Brazilian guitarist Plínio Fernandes (profiled in the January/February 2024 topic) is gentle in his mid-20s, and Bacheando is merely his 2d rotund-size liberate, following his honest appropriate 2022 Decca debut, Saudade. And it’s no longer an all-Bach album by any scheme, however barely a entertaining series of works by Bach and by a pair of distinguished original Brazilian composers who were deeply affected and influenced by Bach. So barely heaps of what’s here is admittedly more 20th-century Brazilian than early 18th-century Baroque. 

A thru line traditional to both of Fernandes’ albums is the heavy participation of presumably Brazil’s most well-known up to date classical guitar identify, Sérgio Assad: His guitar preparations of most up-to-date pieces by Brazilian musician-composers Paulinho Nogueira (the luscious “Bachianinha No. 1” and “No. 2”); Mario Albanese (the rapid, bossa-inflected “Jequibach”); Heitor Villa-Lobos (the prelude of the neatly-known “Bachianas Brasileiras No. 4”) are all standouts, as is his transcription of the “Adagio” from Bach’s Concerto in D Minor (BWV 974), written for keyboard. 

The assorted tranche of actual Bach is a incredible reading of the three-portion Prelude, Fugue and Allegro in E-Flat Predominant (BWV 998), at the birth for lute and popularized first by Segovia and then by John Williams, amongst others. On Fernandes’ album, that Bach work is followed straight by Assad’s personal triptych Preludio, Fuga e Vivace, which veers from the Bach impact almost straight—it has moments that sound love John Fahey-esque American old skool folks issues and even blues—however gentle feels by some capability structurally linked to the German master.

At some level of the album, Fernandes, who left Brazil to survey on the Royal Academy of Tune and gentle lives in London, plays a incredible-sounding guitar in-built 2004 by Portland, Oregon, luthier Jeffrey Elliott. He is a gentle, fluid, and rhythmically assured player who constantly seems to be in total say of both his instrument and the music he’s decoding. This is easily a guitarist to have a look at carefully as he continues to grow.   

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