by Daniel Hathaway
Scottish guitarist Paul Galbraith will return to the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society series at Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights on Saturday, March 17 at 7:30 pm with a program of his own transcriptions of music by J.S. Bach (French Suite No. 2), Alexander Scriabin (Four Preludes), Isaac Albéniz (Sevilla, Mallorca, and Torre Bermeja), and Joseph Haydn (Keyboard Sonatas in c# and E). He’ll perform on his unique 8-string “Brahms” guitar made by David Rubio that inevitably causes audiences to do a second or third take when they first see it.
Galbraith explained the origins of the instrument in an interview with this publication in 2012.
I was aware of some of the limitations that the 6-string guitar imposes early on, in fact as early as when I was twelve, when learning my first Bach lute suite. When facing that material on guitar, you’re confronted with having to make decisions and compromises: you don’t have the necessary range to play what Bach writes, so you have to rearrange things to fit. And it struck me even then: why don’t we have a wider-ranging instrument to play this great repertoire? Soon after, the same questions arose when playing the lute music of Dowland. Meanwhile, there were one or two prominent players who used instruments with a wider range. [Read more…]