Chris Thile – Bach: Sonatas and Partitas, Vol. 1

Popular mandolinist Chris Thile takes on a new tune with Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas and while a respectable effort, his conservative approach toward the exhausting repertoire marks an overall dryness to the record.

It’s without question Thile has the talent and meticulous skill to highlight every painful detail of Bach’s compositions as well as the ability to really shred the heck out of the mandolin. So it’s a bit perplexing to hear such a restricted stab at going full throttle for most of the disc. There is a feeling not of maintaining a grasp and comprehension, but more of an apprehension to go further.

The album is however not without highlights. Thile comes out absolutely blazing on Sonata No. 1 in G Minor showing signs of ferocity and a willing to push the limits.

For the most part, Thile moves at a subdued pace never somewhat stuck at a bottleneck

It’s an admirable decision for Thile to have stayed close in form and in doing so does no disrespect to the detailed repertoire. But given Thile’s pedigree and crafty fingers, it’s a shame there isn’t much frills to be had here.


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