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Harvey Valdes

Novare: J.S. Bach Lute Works on Electric Guitar

Review by Gary Hill

When I read that this album features classical music done on electric guitar, I thought that it might land under prog rock. That doesn't fit, though. While the instrumentation is electric guitar, it feels more like acoustic as it's run clean. Then again, looking at the guitar he's pictured with (an unusual instrument that looks like an acoustic classical instrument that's electrified), it didn't makes sense to think we'd get distorted electric guitar as I imagined. As such, though, I think this is really classical music. It's an intriguing release no matter where you land it in terms of category, though.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 3. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
Lute Suite in C Minor, BWV 997: I. Prelude (Arr. A-Flat Minor)
I dig the intricacies and classy melodies on this number. It takes on an almost Robert Fripp-like texture at times.
Lute Suite in C Minor, BWV 997: II. Fugue (Arr. A-Flat Minor)
I really like the flow and energy of this cut a lot. It seems to get quite involved before it's over, moving through some intriguing changes.
Lute Suite in C Minor, BWV 997: III Sarabande (Arr. A-Flat Minor)
This feels more like a long and varied journey to me.
Lute Suite in C Minor, BWV 997: IV Gigue (Arr. A-Flat Minor)
Another with plenty of intricacies, I like this quite a bit.
Lute Suite in C Minor, BWV 997: V Double (Arr. A-Flat Minor)
Fast-paced and highly expressive, this is another strong piece of music.
Prelude, Fugue and Allegro in E-Flat Major, BWV 998: I. Prelude (Arr. D-Flat Major)
Not a big change, this is another effective classical number done on guitar.
Prelude, Fugue and Allegro in E-Flat Major, BWV 998: II. Fugue (Arr. D-Flat Major)
A little slower and more reflective as it starts, I like this number a lot. It gets more intense as it continues, though.
Prelude, Fugue and Allegro in E-Flat Major, BWV 998: III. Allegro (Arr. D-Flat Major)
I love this intricate number. It's not a huge change, but it really works well.
Prelude in C Minor, BWV 999 (Arr. D-Flat Minor)
This is a shorter cut. It's not short on energy or style, though.
Fugue in G Minor, BWV 1000 (Arr. A-Flat Minor)
There are so many great intricacies built into this number. This gets quite involved and covers a lot of territory.
 
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