J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Complete Lute Suites

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Sharon Isbin
Individual Works:Suite for Lute in E major, BWV 1006a
Suite for Lute in G minor, BWV 995
Suite for Lute in E minor, BWV 996
Suite for Lute in C minor, BWV 997
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Virgin Classics
Catalog Number:VC790717-2
Year Released/Recorded:1989
Total Playing Time:78:45
Comments:Mike Flemmer said:

Recommended! A beautiful performance with a hint of Brazilian influence. Sharon is master of color and is almost constantly changing tones, beautifully. From the line notes: "features the performing editions of the noted Bach scholar Rosalyn Tureck..."


This recording is absolutely hilarious. I cannot believe how overrated Sharon Isbin is and how she can get by as being some kind of Bach scholar.

1. The tone is absolutely terrible, and it's not just her guitar. I have noticed a natural phenomenon amongst Sharon's fans: after she plays they are always commenting on how the guitar itself is poorly constructed or sounds bad. No. It's her.

2. She does not even have the basic feel and pulse for this music. It's not natural.

3. She has "researched" a little. I have read her book and editions and they are filled with nonsense. She has an extremely vague idea about this music and does not even respect it. She does not follow rests and other signs in the text. The deviations she takes are not supported by any logic. Yes, she studied with a great scholar, but that does not mean anything.

4. Not only is the digging-theoretical-musical-creativity part there, but she is not natural with a guitar. The technique is not the best and the tone is very difficult to listen to.
I have nothing against Isbin personally. I checked out this recording from the library and listened to it, and I still check it out a lot to listen to it because I am a student and study other peoples interpretations with the text, but I feel this recording is very odd, in a bad way.

Highly recommended for a student as an example of what not to do.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Mike Flemmer
  • Fluffy:
Date First Submitted:01/01/1999