London based multi-instrumentalist Fred Thomas presents J.S. Bach's exceptional keyboard music in new and exciting guises on this innovative disc. Performing on the piano, Fred Thomas's insightful interpretations of Bach's music are enhanced by an approach pioneered by Glenn Gould: the use of the recording process itself as an independent, creative art form.
Using ten microphones in different combinations, placed near or far from the sound source depending on each movement's character, Fred Thomas has sought to give each piece on this disc the space to inhabit its own, unique soundworld. This process remains relatively under-explored in classical music recording, but has been used on this CD as a meaningful interpretative tool.
A highly versatile musician, Fred Thomas has chosen for this CD a selection of Bach pieces about which he feels passionately. Highlights include the epic opening Sinfonia from BWV 826, dignified Sarabande from BWV 817, and imposing Gigue (BWV 812); the warmth and playfulness of the Allemande (BWV 816) and broad humour of the Aria (BWV 828); the radiant Courante (BWV 817); and the deep serenity of the Prelude, BWV 806.
Fred Thomas explores the individual character of each piece with great sensitivity, creating a nuanced and intimate recital sure to persuade the listener into hearing Bach in new ways. Fred Thomas brings to this disc his wealth of musical experience in different genres. Projects include The Beguilers, a quartet that interprets Thomas's song settings of poetry in English; a duo with his violinist father, Peter Thomas; a sextet with Martin Speake that explores polyphony in jazz improvisation; and a tribute to Richard Wagner with jazz pianist Liam Noble.