This is classical guitarist Slava Grigoryan’s first solo album in 15 years, and his first all-Bach album. It is also the first solo album on which he plays a baritone guitar, even though he’s owned one for 12 years. But as he notes in the booklet accompanying this release of the first three: “The moment I touched this beast [the baritone guitar], I thought of Bach’s Cello Suites.” The baritone guitar is tuned a fifth lower than the standard classical guitar. Bach’s Cello Suites are thus able to be performed in their original keys.

Grigoryan plays a Jim Redgate double-top baritone from 2011; he also chose the wonderful acoustic of South Australia’s concert venue UKARIA in which to record. The key to his interpretations can perhaps be found in something else he says in his booklet note: “The simplicity, the elegance, the structure and the spirit [of this music] are simply breathtaking.”

In other words, Grigoryan is less interested in notions of historical performance practice than lutenenists such as Nigel North or Hopkinson Smith might be – although his approach is clearly informed by such notions. Rather, he performs this music as a modern cellist might,...