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Mercedes GarcĂ­a Molina
Ritmo, July 2019

magnificent interpretation of Yasunori Imamura © 2019 Ritmo

Record Geijutsu, May 2019

His [Yasunori Imamura] performance exceeds a typical “tranquil elegance” of lute-playing with richness pouring out “a full spirited healthiness”. A new era’s masterpiece album! © 2019 Record Geijutsu

Bradley Lehman
American Record Guide, January 2019

Imamura plays the standard aggregation of Bach’s lute pieces (S 995-1000 and 1006a)—no modern transcriptions. As a bonus he includes the three movements from the St Matthew and St John Passions that have lute parts. To perform those, he brings in baritone Dominik Worner and a pickup ensemble of expert instrumentalists in Switzerland. The St Matthew pieces are usually played on viola da gamba, not lute. This is a different way to hear them. © 2019 American Record Guide  Read complete review on American Record Guide

David Denton
David's Review Corner, September 2018

Considering the enormous number of works composed by Johann Sebastian Bach, the small catalogue for solo lute can be accommodated in just these two discs. There remains disagreement whether they were all intended for the instrument, and you will recognise the Suite BWV 995 as originally the Fifth Cello Suite. Even more familiar is the Partita in E which forms part of the violin repertoire as the Third Violin Partita. The famous German lutenist, Lutz Kirchhof, throws even more doubt on the issue by pointing out that there are passages that are highly improbable for performance on the lute. Be that as it may, the two discs give Yasunori Imamura a perfect vehicle to perform often technically demanding music with a disarming ease, while offering that style of playing we have come to regard as having ‘period authenticity’. Born in Japan in 1953, he studied in Europe, before entering onto the international concert scene. Already featured on over 140 recordings, he has also collaborated as a continuo player and teaches at the Hochschule in Frankfurt am Main. The clarity of articulation in both hands is admirable throughout, and particularly so in the mercurial finale of the Prelude, Fugue and Allegro. To pad-out two modestly filled discs, his is joined by the German bass-baritone, Dominik Worner, in sections of the St. John Passion and St. Matthew Passion where Bach gave a prominent part for lute in the instrumental accompaniment. The sound engineer, in these recording sessions that took place in Switzerland, has placed Imamura so close to the microphone that it removes much of the church’s reverberation, and creates a drawing-room acoustic that is enjoyable. Three recently completed copies of Baroque lutes are used. © 2018 David’s Review Corner

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