Bach au marimba

Trio SR9
naïve V5426

I have written many reviews of music on instruments which Bach might not have expected to hear, but – much as I, of course, recognise the wealth of talent brought to this project by the three members of Trio SR9 – here, for once, I am obliged to recognize that some of the music (for me at least) just does not work on marmimba(s). I suppose it has something to do with reverberation and the “hanging around” of sound which causes overtones to intermingle, especially in what one might call the “tenor register”, and the delay in the bass notes actually speaking adds to an overall sensation of aural confusion.

If nothing else, Bach’s music is designed in such a way that the voices are an immediate and direct reaction to one another, and, if the dialogue is disturbed or even diffused, then the fabric will begin to disintegrate. Now, I am not suggesting for a moment that this programme of fine music lacks either form or indeed quality; quite the reverse. However, for me, much as I truly respect the talents of these musicians, much as I love Bach, and much as I love the tone of the marimba in other music, I’m afraid the number of tracks I actually enjoyed was smaller than the numbers where my ears sought in vain for harmonic points of reference, so I am afraid I can only advise readers of this review that they should try to find it on a listening post somewhere and try before they buy.

Brian Clark

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