Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Brian Slawson - Bach on Wood (1985)


Bach with a backbeat?  Someone thought this was a good idea?  I guess I can forgive the record label since this was released only a few years after the inexplicable Hooked On Classics phenomenon.  This CD contains baroque music played on percussion instruments with the occasional flute.  Meh.  The novelty wears off quickly.  As my friend Richard always says, "It was good idea, but not a great idea."  If you liked Bach interpreted by the Swingle Singers or Walter/Wendy Carlos, then you might like this disc, although these arrangements are far inferior to those of Carlos.  Slawson is technically adept, but there's no real baroque interpretation here.  Basically, it's a novelty CD, right down to the clever title.

Tracks:  The least offensive tracks are Winter from Vivaldi's The Four Seasons and Bach's Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring from Cantata No. 147.  I've heard plenty of bad arrangements of Pachelbel's Canon, but this may be the cheesiest ever recorded.  Whoever suggested that temple blocks be used on that piece should have their AFM union card taken away before they are taken out back for their beating.  I couldn't even begin to explain the horror of the final track, so I'll leave it at that.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  This CD was released when I was in college.  I had good friends who were percussionists and heard a few of them discussing this disc.  I didn't hear it back then, but thought it sounded like an interesting concept.  In my mind, I was hearing beautiful versions of Bach played tastefully on rosewood grand marimbas.  Boy, was I wrong.  I never forgot the title (which is the point of having a punny title) and picked this disc up many, many years later out of curiosity.  Listening to it for this blog is only the second time I've heard this disc in its entirety.  

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