Music Makers

Chris Thile Looks Back To Bach

Chris Thile's new album, Sonatas and Partitas, draws from material written by Johann Sebastian Bach in the early 1700s. i i

Chris Thile's new album, Sonatas and Partitas, draws from material written by Johann Sebastian Bach in the early 1700s. Brantley Gutierrez /Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Brantley Gutierrez /Courtesy of the artist
Chris Thile's new album, Sonatas and Partitas, draws from material written by Johann Sebastian Bach in the early 1700s.

Chris Thile's new album, Sonatas and Partitas, draws from material written by Johann Sebastian Bach in the early 1700s.

Brantley Gutierrez /Courtesy of the artist

There's the mandolin — and then there's the mandolin when Chris Thile puts it to work. He started playing with the band Nickel Creek when he was just 8, and recorded his debut solo album at 12. In his early 20s, he pushed the mandolin to new places as a member of Punch Brothers.

Today, Thile is stretching the limits of his instrument yet again — this time taking on Johann Sebastian Bach. He's just released an album of solo mandolin performances called Sonatas and Partitas, drawing source material written by Bach in the early 1700s. Thile spoke about it with NPR's Rachel Martin; click the audio link to hear their conversation.

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