For the Record, Op. 156: Zachary Carrettín Bach Suites on Viola; Joyce Pan and David Aks Celtic Fiddle Duo

May 21, 2021, 2:07 PM · Welcome to "For the Record,"'s weekly roundup of new releases of recordings by violinists, violists, cellists and other classical musicians. We hope it helps you keep track of your favorite artists, as well as find some new ones to add to your listening!

Zachary Carrettín, Joyce Pan David Aks
Left, Zachary Carrettín; right, Joyce Pan and David Aks.

Metamorphosis: Bach Cello Suites 1-3 on Viola
Zachary Carrettín, viola

Boulder Bach Festival Music Director Zachary Carrettín decided to record Bach's Cello Suites 1-3 on viola as a direct response to Covid-19 lockdown, with the project coming together in just a few weeks. Carrettín drove from Boulder to Virginia to record at a historic chapel owned by Sono Luminus Studios. The recording was produced remotely, with the producer patched in from Cleveland. A specialist in multiple period instruments, Carrettín decided his 18th-century viola had the most detail to offer, "the finest brush," as he said. He used all wound gut strings, rather than his normal two wound and two pure-gut setup, to "maintain the identity of each string while also offering a blend when desired." In the future, Carrettín plans to record all the unaccompanied violin sonatas, partitas, cello suites, and perhaps the flute partita (BWV 1013), on a variety of instruments. BELOW: Carrettín performs Cello Suite No. 2 in D Minor, VI. Gigue:

New Roads
Joyce Pan, violin
David Aks, cello

Fiddler Joyce Pan and cellist David Aks come from similar classical backgrounds, but they actually met in the Scottish Fiddlers of Los Angeles, where they both were discovering the world of Celtic Fiddling. Never having played this music before, the learning curve was steep. But the duo says they found a group of extraordinary musicians playing music that was full of life, passion, and unbridled joy. And they both wanted to be part of the adventure. New Roads, the duo's debut recording, includes traditional and contemporary Celtic tunes. BELOW: Scenes and music from their pandemic "release party" - enjoy this humorous trailer!

If you have a new recording you would like us to consider for inclusion in our Thursday "For the Record" feature, please e-mail Editor Laurie Niles. Be sure to include the name of your album, a link to it and a short description of what it includes.

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