Kazuhito Yamashita plays the Bach Lute Suites

Yamashita: Bach Violin/Lute suites: BWV 1001-1006 - 2004
Yamashita: Bach Violin/Lute suites: BWV 1001-1006 - 2004

Kazuhito Yamashita plays the Bach Violin/Lute suites, BWV 1001 - 1006 (2004).

This is a truly revelatory recording of the famous Bach suites. Yamashita plays them with great energy and abandon, managing to bring out new sonoroties.

Adapted from the liner notes:

  • 1980 : Recorded Violin Partita No 2 and cello Suite No. 6 for RCA.
  • 1989: Performed complete Violin sonatas and Partitas over 2 successive nights at Casals Hall in Tokyo.
  • 1990: Recorded 6 Cello Suites and Partita for solo Flute and Lute Suites BWV 995 - 1013 for Nippon Crown... etc. etc. ... leading to this new transcription and recording in 2004.

Unfortunately (for me) most of the liner notes are in Japanese, which I cannot read.

Yamashita: Bach Violin/Lute suites: BWV 1001-1006 - 2004
Yamashita: Bach Violin/Lute suites: BWV 1001-1006 - 2004

Yamashita: Bach Violin/Lute suites: BWV 1001-1006 - 2004
Yamashita: Bach Violin/Lute suites: BWV 1001-1006 - 2004

Yamashita: Bach Violin/Lute suites: BWV 1001-1006 - 2004
Yamashita: Bach Violin/Lute suites: BWV 1001-1006 - 2004

By transcribing well known pieces of orchestral music for solo guitar he has encouraged a trend which could make classical guitar much more appealing and accessible to concert programmers and the general concert going audience.

Truly these transcriptions should have shaken up the world of guitar pedagogy, but this apparently didn't happen. I know they shook up my world, turned me upside down and forced me to reassess my whole approach to the instrument. A good part of the sleeve notes to my 2005 CD "Late Night Lovers" is devoted to this.

The Yamashita Chronicles by Matanya Ophee - is a must read - these articles describe Yamashita's first appearances in the West and the subsequent politics which have probably prevented his wider recognition.

 Kazuhito Yamashita

He has realised the idea of guitar as a "small orchestra" more literally and vividly than anyone before. The training as an "orchestral guitarist" began with his father Toru Yamashita, founder of the Nagasaki Guitar Orchestra.

Biography

1961 Born in Nagasaki.
Studied guitar under:

  • Toru Yamashita
  • Kojiro Kobune
  • J. Thomas
  • Narciso Yepes
  • Andres Segovia
  • Toru Takemitsu.

Member of the Nagasaki Guitar Ensemble.
Married and with children, he often performs and records with his wife and children, who, not surprisingly are very competent guitarists also.

He has released over 80 CD's! A true virtuoso in the "big sense" he has a huge repertoire which he performs both effortlessly and musically. He has recorded all the Guitar works of Sor, Giuliani, Ponce and most of the standard Classical guitar repertoire.

Kazuhito Yamashita concert review, 1989

George A. Pepper's impressions of Kazuhito Yamashita's performance at the 1989 Texas GFA concert.

"Greetings Peter,

Love your site. Found it while looking up some info on Kazuhito Yamashita. Matanya Ophee and I were corresponding about him the past few days because I bought the De Fossa sheet music and Kazuhito's recording of it from him, and his articles do make for fascinating reading." (ed. note: read The Yamashita Chronicles by Matanya Ophee).

George A. Pepper - guitarist and composer, www.hucbald.blogspot.com
George A. Pepper - guitarist and composer, www.hucbald.blogspot.com

"I was at the 1989 GFA in Lubbock, Texas when Kazuhito Yamashita played the Dvorak New World Symphony.

Read more: Kazuhito Yamashita concert review, 1989