Cellist Rachel Scott and husband and wife guitarists Duo Agostino have worked together for years as part of Sydney’s highly successful Bach in the Dark concerts and now they have released a recording of Bach arrangements and Australian compositions, with some folk and klezmer tidbits thrown in, most of which made up the programs for their sold-out recitals.

At its heart are three “constructs” of Bach works by Richard Charlton, the third member of Sydney Guitar Trio, which he co-founded with Raffaele and Janet Agostino. The ubiquitous Prelude from the First Cello Suite is here given a little twist with one guitar taking the melody while the cello improvises along with the other guitar. There is also a fine arrangement by Janet Agostino of Bach’s uplifting Sonata for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord in D.

English classical guitarist Vincent Lindsey-Clark’s arrangements of three folk tunes – the Brazilian children’s song Terezinha de Jesus, The Ashgrove from Wales and a lovely arrangement of the Geordie classic When The Boat Comes In (‘Dance To Your Daddy’) – make a charming diversion from the more serious fare. Adoration is a moving tribute to guitarist-composer Phillip Houghton who died in 2017. It was originally written for Duo Agostino and Houghton himself later adapted it for cello and guitar.

Adelaide-based Graeme Koehne composed To His Servant Bach for string orchestra and made an arrangement for guitar quartet. It quotes from Bach’s Morning Star Cantata in reference to the story that, after being completely blind following eye surgery, Bach briefly regained his sight before he died. The project may have been called Bach in the Dark, but in fact there is plenty of sunlight here. The warmth of the combination of cello and two guitars proves to be soothing and irresistible. Prepare to be seduced by this intimately recorded collaboration of friends and fellow artists.

Composer: Bach
Composition: Bach arrangements
Performer: Rachel Scott vc, Duo Agostino guitars
Catalogue Number: Bach in the Dark BITD003