The World On A String


The baroque composer and lutenist Silvius Leopold Weiss must be one of the few musicians to have had a fellow musician attempt to bite off his thumb. His music is featured on David Russell's Air on a G String, a new Telarc release, which also includes works by the Flemish lutenist and composer Jacques de Saint-Luc and compositions (transcribed for guitar) by Bach and Couperin.

The disc opens with Russell's arrangement of Bach's Partita in A minor, originally written for flute and now an effective vehicle for his mastery of color and crystalline technique, particularly impressive in the Courante. In his soulful rendition of the Sarabande (and elsewhere on the disc) Russell demonstrates admirably legato, singing lines.

Weiss wrote over 800 works for lute and Russell performs a few selections transcribed for guitar, including the gracious Allemande from the Sonata No. 19 in F major and the Prelude from the Sonata No. 5.

The disc also includes an elegant rendition of the Suite in D major, "La Prise de Gaeta," by de Saint-Luc and an excerpt from Bach's Pastorale in F. A highlight of the recording is the transcriptions of several keyboard works by Couperin, including an enchanting performance of "Les Barricades Mistérieuses." The famous "Air on the G String" from Bach's Suite No. 3 in D major concludes this enjoyable disc.