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Classical Album of the Week: Scottish Guitarist Sean Shibe Plays Bach


January 4, 2021. Prelude, Fugue, and Allegro in E-flat major, BWV 998, is a musical composition by Johann Sebastian Bach, intended for either lute or harpsichord. But Bach was constantly re-inventing his music for different instruments, and on this disc guitarist Sean Shibe gives us an elegant demonstration of how well-suited this work is to the classical guitar.

The piece dates from Bach's maturity, probably the final decade of his life. And though historically it’s been regarded as a lute piece, Bach’s manuscript bears the title Prelude pour la Luth ò Cembal, which would certainly allow for some ambiguity.

This disk is a worthy addition to the Bach library, with Shibe’s fluid playing and warm tone always in service to Bach’s contrapuntal lines. There is joy and sweetness here, and such assurance in Shibe’s playing that he may be answering the question pour la luth ò cembal? in the most effective way possible!