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Reviews on CD "Bach Beat II"

Magazine "Record Geijutsu" June, 2016 Issue


Makoto Nakura released an album called "Bach Beat" in 2008 and this time, his "Bach Beat II"concentrates almost on solo violin works by J.S. Bach. Being similar to the previous CD, the works on this CD are not elaborate arrangements, but they are basically direct transcriptions from the original score. I greatly value his volition and resolution there. I found it fascinating how wonderfully he reveals the polyphonic texture in an analytical way (on "Sonata No.3") and he pulls together a suite as one whole structure, still demonstrating vividly the style and characteristics of each dance movement (on Partita No.3). This album is the one which will resonate among marimbists in Japan.
(Yo Goto)


On his liner note, Mr. Nakura says that by standing face to face with Bach, he has been building marimba's expressive quality which can be comparable with the piano and violin. His words are not a false statement. He demonstrates brilliant music making and subtle nuance as if you were listening to Bach's music played by a superlative pianist. His highly virtuosic technique is one thing, but I profoundly felt that he wholeheartedly utilizes it to achieve the musical expression he wants, instead of showcasing the technique itself.
(Shigeki Saeki)

Reviews on CD "Bach Beat II"

Magazine "CD Journal" June 2016 Issue


Suddenly the resonance absorbs each note and the notes melt to disappear fleetingly into silence. Although Bach's solo violin works usually come weighted with sentiment, the idiosyncratic sound of the marimba and the vibraphone generates the "qi" which is filled with clarity as though it were whispered in the stillness. The driving passages accelerate the pleasure which has sharply etched coolness. This is a refreshing performance which directly brings the characteristics of the instrument to Bach's music to the point of the two resonating together.
(Kazuo Nakano)

Reviews on CD "Bach Beat II"

"CD Journal"website version: April 26, 2016


This is the recording of Bach's solo violin sonata and partitas on the marimba and the vibraphone. They were recorded by the 11ch height-surround technique at the Kobe Shoin Women's College Chapel. I was so wrong when I thought this must have been just a novelty recording. Based in the U.S., Makoto Nakura enjoys his worldwide career. He creates a wide range of timbres, skillful dynamics and flexible tempi which are realized by his astonishing technique. The music portrayed here is vivid and it relentlessly stimulates the listeners' senses. I strongly recommend this recording even to the purists who treasure the period playing. Because Bach's music provides such freedom when it is interpreted this way, the listeners can experience fresh discoveries and joys overflowing from his music. This hall is known for its superb acoustics. This recording recreates a rich and broad soundscape and you will be filled with enjoyment to hear the wonderful world of sound which was brought by the collaboration of the player and the engineer.
(Norimichi Hasegawa)