Nonesuch Releases Chris Thile’s Bach: Sonatas and Partitas, Vol. 1 August 6

“Watching Chris Thile play is a jaw-dropping experience. The man coaxes things from a mandolin that you’d think were impossible.” —Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Nonesuch Records releases an album of three Bach works recorded by mandolin virtuoso and MacArthur Fellow Chris Thile on August 6, 2013. Bach: Sonatas and Partitas, Vol. 1 comprises three works written for solo violin: Sonata No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001; Partita No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002; and Sonata No. 2 in A minor, BWV 1003. Thile will perform works by Bach, along with other material, in solo performances this fall (details on next page). The album—which was produced by Thile’s friend, mentor, and frequent collaborator, the double bassist and composer Edgar Meyer—is available for pre-order now at and All pre-orders come with an instant download of Fuga: Allegro from Sonata No. 1 in G Minor, BWV 1001 and an exclusive print of the album art by Oliver Jeffers, the first 500 of which will be signed by Thile.

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Thile explains his connection to the composer: “Bach was my first meaningful experience with—for lack of a better word—classical music. It was the second recording of Glenn Gould playing the Goldberg Variations. Gould plays with the kind of rhythmic integrity that I had previously only associated with non-classical music: music with a groove, with a pocket, that made you move. Gould was playing that music like my heroes play fiddle tunes. It humanized the whole thing for me and the heavens opened up and Bach came down. I started devouring all the Bach I could get my hands on.”

He continues, “This record to me is not about this iconic violin music played on the mandolin—like, ‘Oh boy, what fun, he’s playing a weird instrument!’ It's about Bach being one of the greatest musicians of all time, the solo violin music being some of his best work, and the mandolin having the potential to cast it in a new and hopefully interesting light."

Chris Thile, whom London’s Independent calls “the most remarkable mandolinist in the world,” is the founding member and lead vocalist of Punch Brothers. With broad influences including progressive bluegrass, classical, rock, and jazz, Thile transcends the borders of conventionally circumscribed genres, creating a distinctly American canon and a new musical aesthetic. Thile will be touring this summer with Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, and Edgar Meyer, with whom he released last year’s The Goat Rodeo Sessions, which won two Grammys in 2013 (tour dates on next page).

As a soloist, Thile has released five previous albums. In 2011, Nonesuch Records released the Grammy–nominated Sleep with One Eye Open, an album of duets with guitarist Michael Daves. Thile has also collaborated with a pantheon of musical innovators from multiple genres including Béla Fleck, Brad Mehldau, and Hilary Hahn. For more than 15 years, Thile played in the wildly popular band Nickel Creek, with which he released three albums, sold two million records, and was awarded a Grammy.

The New Yorker’s Alec Wilkinson said of Punch Brothers: “each musician has a deep command of his instrument … their technique and specific sensibilities have given Punch Brothers a sound that is strikingly coherent and singular, even if they haven’t yet settled on a genre … Each of the musicians … plays with grace, thoughtfulness, and force to a degree that is not duplicated by any band I am aware of.” Their latest album, the critically acclaimed Who’s Feeling Young Now?, was released in 2012 on Nonesuch Records.

Chris Thile U.S. Tour Dates

June 20
Telluride Bluegrass Festival; Telluride, CO
June 21
Telluride Bluegrass Festival; Telluride, CO
with Punch Brothers
June 23
Telluride Bluegrass Festival: NightGrass; Telluride, CO
with Punch Brothers
June 29
ROMP Bluegrass Festival; Owensboro, KY
with Punch Brothers
July 20
Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival; Oak Hill, NY
with Michael Daves
August 15
Tanglewood; Lenox, MA
with The Goat Rodeo Sessions
August 16
Bethel Woods Center for the Arts; Bethel, NY
with The Goat Rodeo Sessions
August 18
Ravinia Pavilion; Highland Park, IL
with The Goat Rodeo Sessions
August 20
PNC Pavilion; Cincinnati, OH
with The Goat Rodeo Sessions
August 21
Meadow Brook Music Festival; Rochester Hills, MI
with The Goat Rodeo Sessions
August 23
Weill Hall and Lawn, Sonoma State University; Rohnert Park, CA
with The Goat Rodeo Sessions
August 24
The Greek Theatre; Los Angeles, CA
with The Goat Rodeo Sessions
August 25
Hollywood Bowl; Hollywood, CA
with The Goat Rodeo Sessions
September 27
Wide Open Bluegrass Festival; Raleigh, NC
with Punch Brothers
October 1
Meany Hall for the Performing Arts; Seattle, WA
October 5
Newman Center for the Performing Arts; Denver, CO
October 12
The Festy Experience; Roseland, VA
with Michael Daves
October 15
Pick-Staiger Concert Hall; Evanston, IL
October 16
Sheldon Concert Hall; St. Louis, MO
October 18
Rackham Auditorium; Ann Arbor, MI
October 20
Sanders Theater; Cambridge, MA
October 22
Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall; New York, NY
October 23
Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts; Philadelphia, PA
October 24
Richardson Auditorium, Princeton University; Princeton, NJ
October 29
Memorial Hall; Chapel Hill, NC
November 1
University Auditorium, University of Florida; Gainesville, FL
November 2
Emerson Concert Hall, Emory University; Atlanta, GA

Bach: Sonatas and Partitas, Vol. I

Sonata No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001
Partita No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002
Sonata No. 2 in A minor, BWV 1003

J.S. Bach: Sonata No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001
1. I. Adagio 3:56
2. II. Fuga: Allegro 4:17
3. III. Siciliana 3:12
4. IV. Presto 3:13

J.S. Bach: Partita No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002
5. I. Allemanda 5:15
6. II. Double 4:58
7. III. Corrente 2:50
8. IV. Double: Presto 2:55
9. V. Sarabande 2:41
10. VI. Double 2:40
11. VII. Tempo di Borea 2:43
12. VIII. Double 2:37

J.S. Bach: Sonata No. 2 in A minor, BWV 1003
13. I. Grave 4:47
14. II. Fuga 6:41
15. III. Andante 5:42
16. IV. Allegro 5:07

Chris Thile, mandolin

Produced by Edgar Meyer

Recorded and Mixed by Richard King
Recorded January 12–17, 2013

Mastered by Robert C. Ludwig at Gateway Mastering Studios, Portland ME

Chris Thile
"Bach: Sonatas and Partitas, Vol. 1 "
16 Tracks - 01:03:49
on Nonesuch Records