Ciaccona (2018)

Bach

Bin Hu

Winner of the 2016 David Russell Bach prize, Bin Hu offers a fresh look into guitar transcriptions of Bach’s solo violin works. With exquisite sensibility and expressiveness and by the use of scordatura and a careful programming, Bin Hu gives personal and captivating performances of Bach’s Prelude from the Partita BWV 1006, the Sonatas BWV 1001 and 1003, the Chaconne from the Partita BWV 1004 and the Sinfonia BWV 156.

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Bin Hu

Born in 1987 in Tianjin, a city near Beijing, Bin Hu was a pupil of Jiajiong Li, the classical guitar teacher from the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music, during his early years of guitar study in China. In 2005, he was admitted to the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre for his undergraduate studies. Over the last decade, his studies have taken him to most of the European countries and to the United States. He attended master classes of world-renowned guitarists such as David Russell, Sérgio and Odair Assad, Leo Brouwer, Manuel Barrueco, Ricardo Gallén, Timo Korhonen and Thomas Müller-Pering. His extensive study experiences across the world not only enriched his knowledge of interpretation of various musical styles, but also elevated his performing arts to an international level. In 2012, he obtained his Master's Degree with distinction from the Mozarteum University of Salzburg under Professor Marco Tamayo.

Bin Hu has been awarded a great number of top prizes in various guitar competitions around the world. Most recently, he was selected as the winner of the 2016 David Russell Bach Prize. David Russell, the sole judge of this competition, remarked after hearing his interpretation of Bach’s Violin Sonata No. 2 in A Minor, BWV 1003, “Bin’s performance was powerful and convincing, among the best performances of this sonata I have heard.” He also was awarded 2nd prize in the VII Guitar Competition of Nordic Countries and Baltic Academies, 3rd prize in the IV Annual Indiana International Guitar Competition, 2nd prize in the 2014 Sholin Memorial Guitar Competition and 1st prize in the VI Tucson Guitar Competition.

His frequent concert appearances in Europe, the United States and China have established Bin's name as an active performer among other young guitarists. He was featured as soloist in collaboration with various symphony orchestras and conductors such as Jorma Panula. With the Pärnu City Symphony Orchestra (Estonia), he gave the world premiere of the guitar concerto Dos Mundos written by Spanish composer Jorge Rodriguez-Caballero in 2008. The live performance was broadcast nationwide by the Estonian National Radio. As chamber musician, his collaborations with other instrumentalists have contributed a significant number of new arrangements to the guitar chamber music repertoire. In 2013, his arrangement of the Ouverture de I Masnadieri by Giuseppe Verdi was recorded in a CD dedicated to Verdi’s 200-year anniversary and published in Italy. His new CD featuring his transcriptions of Bach’s violin Sonatas and Partitas will also be released at the end of 2016.

Bin Hu is currently a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate at the University of Arizona, where he also serves as a teaching assistant in the Bolton Guitar Studies Program under Professor Thomas Patterson. He is invited regularly to perform in festivals, give master classes and judge guitar competitions. In 2014, he was selected by the Guitar Foundation of America (GFA) committee and featured in the GFA Regional Symposium Showcase Concert in Phoenix. Last summer, he played a concert and teaching tour, which covered nine cities and provinces in China, and will expand to more venues this year. By invitation, he gave lectures on Baroque performance practice in several Chinese institutes, including the Shandong International Forum of Classical Guitar Elites and the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Several local newspapers and music journals have written reviews on his professional activities.

photo: from Artist's website at Onepointfm.com

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Ciaccona (2018)

Bach

Bin Hu

    OpusHD.net

"Behind the title “Ciaconna” of this SACD is hidden a true marvel of musical inspiration [...]. Bin Hu, on the guitar, manages to preserve the soul of the Cantor of Leipzig by exalting his musical discourse, in order to give him a pregnant and unexpected dimension. Here is an essential SACD of classic guitar."

Jean-Jacques Millo[read full review]

    Audiophile Audition -

"Hu Bin is unhurried and exact, but there are moments of pure ravishment too.[...] All manner of appoggiatura and acciaccatura are deftly translated to the guitar in nuanced ways.[...]We heartily commend these spectacular recordings to our readers[...]"

Fritz Balwit[read full review]

    Classics Today -

(...) it is rare that a Bach guitar recital of such immediately arresting quality comes along, as this one from Bin Hu on the slightly obscure, Spanish Eudora label. Bin Hu opens with the Bach-on-guitar evergreen, the Prelude from the Sixth Partita for Solo Violin BWV 1006, before taking on the first and third sonata en gros, making them glow in a bronze light. Thereupon Bin Hu delves, most impressively, into the Chaconne (from BWV 1004, here transposed to C minor) before leaving solo-violin territory and ending with David Russell’s transcription of the Sinfonia from Bach’s Cantata BWV 156, Ich steh mit einem Fuß im Grabe. In the Prelude, Bin Hu offhandedly throws high notes into the mix that sound downright alien. (If he were playing violin I’d say they are produced by a left-hand pizzicato.) Is the absorbing nature of the recital the result of the spacious, crystal clear sound? (Really a must for good guitar recitals.) Or is it due to Bin Hu’s pitch-perfect, airy, ductile playing, his innovative transcriptions (taking Bach’s own transcriptions of these works into account as alternate sources), or his historically inspired scordatura tunings? Presumably it’s a mix of all these qualities. In any case, it’s an audiophile delight.

Jens F. Laurson[read full review]

Ciaccona (2018)

Bach

Bin Hu

Cables: Grimm
Digital Converters: Merging Horus
Editing Software: Merging Pyramix
Microphones: Sonodore, Schoeps
Producer: Gonzalo Noqué
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD256
Speakers: Amphion

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EUDDR1803: Ciaccona
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Tracks.
1.
Prelude, from the Partita BWV 1006
Bach
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2.
Sonata BWV 1001: I. Adagio
Bach
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3.
Sonata BWV 1001: II. Fuga. Allegro
Bach
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4.
Sonata BWV 1001: III. Siciliana
Bach
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5.
Sonata BWV 1001: IV. Presto
Bach
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6.
Sonata BWV 1003: I. Grave
Bach
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7.
Sonata BWV 1003: II. Fuga
Bach
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8.
Sonata BWV 1003: III. Andante
Bach
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9.
Sonata BWV 1003: IV. Allegro
Bach
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10.
Chaconne, from the Partita BWV 1004
Bach
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11.
Sinfonia BWV 156
Bach
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