Hey! Classics LC 29640
Fans of The Swingle Singers will not be the only people to enjoy this take on Bach’s music; where they incorporated jazzy rhythmic percussion and restricted to their range of syllables to the minimum required to delineate the polyphonic lines, SLIXS (a group of six German singers) provide all of the sounds (including some very deep notes and some “beatboxing”) and explore different vocalisations to suit the mood and the tempo of the piece being performed. Highly dubious, as you can imagine, I was very pleasantly surprised to discover that the first track (their interpretation of the opening movement of the A minor violin concerto) revealed new possibilities for a work I’d actually played at school and thought I knew! The bulk of the recital is made up of the theme and seven of the Goldbergs, alongside a movement from the Magnificat, the slow movement of the aforementioned violin concerto, the Gavotte from the E major solo violin partita, the slow movement of the D minor concerto for two violins, and two fugues. The group make no claim to be classically trained and some of the sounds are not beautiful, but there is a real integrity to these renditions and also a real joy in exploring new facets to some truly timeless music – I have no doubt the disc will not be to everyone’s taste, but equally I doubt any musician genuinely interested in how to perform music will walk away without learning something new. As far from HIP as it is possible to be, but with a lot to teach us.
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