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Johann Sebastian Bach – The Well-Tempered Clavier

Johann Sebastian Bach – The Well-Tempered Clavier

Recorded in 1994

About these works:
The Well-Tempered Clavier (Das Wohltemperirte Clavier  in the original German title), BWV 846–893, is a collection of solo keyboard music composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. He first gave the title to a book of preludes and fugues in all 24 major and minor keys, dated 1722, composed “for the profit and use of musical youth desirous of learning, and especially for the pastime of those already skilled in this study.” Bach later compiled a second book of the same kind, dated 1742, but titled it only “Twenty-four Preludes and Fugues.” The two works are now usually considered to comprise The Well-Tempered Clavier and are referred to respectively as Books I and II. The Well-Tempered Clavier is generally regarded as one of the most influential works in the history of Western classical music.
The first book was compiled in the year 1722 during Bach’s appointment in Köthen; the second book followed it 22 years later in 1744 while he was in Leipzig. Both were widely circulated in manuscript, but printed copies were not made until 1801, by three publishers almost simultaneously in Bonn, Leipzig and Zurich. Bach’s style went out of favour in the time around his death, and most music in the early Classical period had neither contrapuntal complexity nor a great variety of keys. But with the maturing of the Classical style in the 1770s the Well-Tempered Clavier began to influence the course of musical history, with Haydn  and Mozart studying the work closely. Each book contains twenty-four pairs of preludes and fugues. The first pair is in C major, the second in C minor, the third in C-sharp major, the fourth in C-sharp minor, and so on. The rising chromatic pattern continues until every key has been represented, finishing with a B-minor fugue. Bach recycled some of the preludes and fugues from earlier sources: the 1720 Klavierbüchlein für Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, for instance, contains versions of eleven of the preludes. The C-sharp major prelude and fugue in book one was originally in C major – Bach added a key signature of seven sharps and adjusted some accidentals to convert it to the required key. The far-reaching influence of Bach’s music is evident in that the fugue subject in Mozart’s Prelude and Fugue in C Major K. 394 is isomorphic to that of the A-flat major Fugue in Book II of the Well-Tempered Clavier. This pattern is found also in the C-Major fugue subject of Book II. Another similar theme is the third movement fugue subject in the Concerto for Two Harpsichords, BWV 1061. Bach’s title suggests that he had written for a (12-note) well-tempered tuning system in which all keys sounded in tune (also known as “circular temperament”). The opposing system in Bach’s day was meantone temperament in which keys with many accidentals sound out of tune. (See also musical tuning). It is sometimes assumed that Bach intended equal temperament, the standard modern keyboard tuning which became popular after Bach’s death, but modern scholars suggest instead a form of well temperament. There is debate whether Bach meant a range of similar temperaments, perhaps even altered slightly in practice from piece to piece, or a single specific “well-tempered” solution for all purposes.
Musically, the structural regularities of the Well-Tempered Clavier encompass an extraordinarily wide range of styles, more so than most pieces in the literature. The Preludes are formally free, although many individual numbers exhibit typical Baroque melodic forms, often coupled to an extended free coda (e.g. Book I preludes in C minor, D Major, and B-flat major). Each fugue is marked with the number of voices, from two to five. Most are three- and four-voiced fugues. The fugues employ a full range of contrapuntal devices (fugal exposition, thematic inversion, stretto, etc), but are generally more compact than Bach’s fugues for organ. The best-known piece from either book is the first prelude of Book I, a simple progression of arpeggiated chords. The technical simplicity of this C Major prelude has made it one of the most commonly studied piano pieces for students completing their introductory training. This prelude also served as the basis for the Ave Maria of Charles Gounod.
During much of the 20th century it was assumed that Bach wanted equal temperament, which had been described by theorists and musicians for at least a century before Bach’s birth. However, research has continued into various unequal systems contemporary with Bach’s career. Accounts of Bach’s own tuning practice are few and inexact. The two most cited sources are Forkel, Bach’s first biographer, and Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg, who received information from Bach’s sons and pupils, and Johann Kirnberger, one of those pupils. Forkel reports that Bach tuned his own harpsichords and clavichords and found other people’s tunings unsatisfactory; his own allowed him to play in all keys and to modulate into distant keys almost without the listeners noticing it. Marpurg and Kirnberger, in the course of a heated debate, appear to agree that Bach required all the major thirds to be sharper than pure—which is in any case virtually a prerequisite for any temperament to be good in all keys. Johann Georg Neidhardt, writing in 1724 and 1732, described a range of unequal and near-equal temperaments (as well as equal temperament itself), which can be successfully used to perform some of Bach’s music, and were later praised by some of Bach’s pupils and associates. J.S. Bach’s son Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach himself published a rather vague tuning method which was close to but still not equal temperament: having only “most of” the fifths tempered, without saying which ones or by how much. Since 1950 there have been many other proposals and many performances of the work in different and unequal tunings, some derived from historical sources, some by modern authors. Whatever their provenances, these schemes all promote the existence of subtly different musical characters in different keys, due to the sizes of their intervals. However, they disagree as to what key receives what character.

Lenö Landó: piano

Book I.I Track List:
01. No. 1 In C Major, Bwv 846 (4:22)
02. No. 2 In C Minor, Bwv 847 (2:56)
03. No. 3 In C Sharp Major, Bwv 848 (3:31)
04. No. 4 In C Sharp Minor, Bwv 849 (7:28)
05. No. 5 In D Major, Bwv 850 (2:59)
06. No. 6 In D Minor, Bwv 851 (3:13)
07. No. 7 In E Flat Major, Bwv 852 (6:26)
08. No. 8 In E Flat Minor – D Sharp Minor, Bwv 853 (8:25)
09. No. 9 In E Major, Bwv 854 (2:34)
10. No. 10 In E Minor, Bwv 855 (3:42)
11. No. 11 In F Major, Bwv 856 (2:11)
12. No. 12 In F Minor, Bwv 857 (7:07)


Book I.II track list:
01. No. 13 in F Sharp Major, Bwv 858 (3:49)
02. No. 14 in F Sharp Minor, Bwv 859 (3:31)
03. No. 15 in G Major, Bwv 860 (3:37)
04. No. 16 in G Minor, Bwv 861 (3:25)
05. No. 17 in A Flat Major, Bwv 862 (3:47)
06. No. 18 in G Sharp Minor, Bwv 863 (4:24)
07. No. 19 in A Major, Bwv 864 (3:31)
08. No. 20 in A Minor, Bwv 865 (6:09)
09. No. 21 in B Flat Major, Bwv 866 (3:13)
10. No. 22 in B Flat Minor, Bwv 867 (5:12)
11. No. 23 in B Major, Bwv 868 (3:14)
12. No. 24 in B Minor, Bwv 869 (11:35)


Book II.I track list:
01. No. 1 in C Major, Bwv 870 (4:09)
02. No. 2 in C Minor, Bwv 871 (4:13)
03. No. 3 C-sharp Major, Bwv 872 (3:45)
04. No. 4 in C-sharp Minor, Bwv 873 (6:25)
05. No. 5 in D Major, Bwv 874 (7:52)
06. No. 6 in D Minor, Bwv 875 (3:36)
07. No. 7 in E-flat Major, Bwv 876 (4:27)
08. No. 8 in E-sharp Minor, Bwv 877 (7:16)
09. No. 9 in E Major, Bwv 878 (7:18)
10. No. 10 in E Minor, Bwv 879 (7:22)
11. No. 11 in F Major, Bwv 880 (4:43)
12. No. 12 in F Minor, Bwv 881 (5:47)


Book II.II track list:
01. No. 13 in F-sharp Major, BWV 882 (5:00)
02. No. 14 in F-sharp Minor, BWV 883 (8:34)
03. No. 15 in G Major, BWV 884 (3:46)
04. No. 16 in G Minor, BWV 885 (5:51)
05. No. 17 in A-flat Major, BWV 886 (5:34)
06. No. 18 in G-sharp Minor, BWV 887 (8:31)
07. No. 19 in A Major, BWV 888 (2:48)
08. No. 20 in A Minor, BWV 889 (7:36)
09. No. 21 in B-flat Major, BWV 890 (9:16)
10. No. 22 in B-flat Minor, BWV 891 (7:47)
11. No. 23 in B Major, BWV 892 (5:44)
12. No. 24 in B Minor, BWV 893 (4:26)


stereo, DDD, mp3 (320 kbps), 597.26 Mb, 252:07 minutes. Covers included.

Johann Sebastian Bach – St. Matthew Passion

Johann Sebastian Bach – St. Matthew Passion

Recorded at the Italian Insitute, Budapest from 6th to 14th of February 1993

About this work:
The St Matthew Passion, BWV  244, (German: Matthäus-Passion), is a musical composition written by Johann Sebastian Bach in 1727 for solo voices, double choir  and double orchestra, with libretto  by Picander  (Christian Friedrich Henrici). It sets chapters 26 and 27 of the Gospel of Matthew to music, with interspersed chorales  and arias. It is widely regarded as one of the masterpieces of classical sacred music. The original Latin title Passio Domini Nostri J.C. Secundum Evangelistam Matthaeum translates to: The Suffering of our Lord J.C. after the Evangelist Matthew. It is rendered in English also as St. Matthew Passion and in German also as Matthäuspassion. Only two of the four (or five) settings of the Passion which Bach wrote have survived; the other is the St John Passion. The St Matthew Passion was probably first performed on Good Friday (11 April) 1727[1] in the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, where Bach was the Kapellmeister. He revised it by 1736, performing it again on March 30, 1736, this time including two organs in the instrumentation. The St Matthew Passion was not heard outside of Leipzig until 1829, when Felix Mendelssohn performed an abbreviated and modified version of it in Berlin to great acclaim. Mendelssohn’s revival of the St Matthew Passion brought the music of Bach, particularly the large-scale works, to public and scholarly attention. Appreciation, performance and study of Bach have persisted into the present era. Meanwhile William Sterndale Bennett formed the Bach Society in 1849 with the intention of introducing the work to the English public. Helen Johnston (a student at Queen’s College London) translated the libretto, and Bennett conducted the first performance at the Hanover Square Rooms London on 6th April 1854. The soloists included Charlotte Helen Sainton-Dolby. The Sterndale Bennett edition was to be the first of many, the latest being by Neil Jenkins. The Bach Society was reformed in 1876 as The Bach Choir in London.

The Artists:
Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra
Géza Oberfrank: conductor

József Mukk: Evangelist
István Gáti: Jesus
Judit Németh: First Witness
Peter Köves: Judas
Péter Cser: Pilate
Ferenc Korpás: First High Priest
Rózsa Kiss: Pilate’s Wife
Ágenes Csenki: Second Maidservant

Hungarian Festival Choir
Ágnes Mester: Chorus master

Children’s Choir Of The Hungarian Radio
János Remémyi: Chorus Master

Track List:
01. Nr. 1 Chor mit Choral (Kommt, ihr Töchter, helft mir klagen!) (7:34)
02. Nr. 2 Rezitativ (Da Jesus diese Rede vollendet hatte) (0:33)
03. Nr. 3 Choral (Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen) (0:47)
04. Nr. 4 Rezitativ und Chor (Da versammleten sich die Hohenpriester) (2:49)
05. Nr. 5 Rezitativ (Alt) (Du lieber Heiland du) (0:40)
06. Nr. 6 Arie (Alt) (Buß’ und Reu’) (4:14)
07. Nr. 7 Rezitativ (Da ging hin der Zwölfen einer) (0:30)
08. Nr. 8 Arie (Sopran) (Blute nur, du liebes Herz!) (4:47)
09. Nr. 9 Rezitativ und Chor (Aber am ersten Tage der süßen Brot) (1:48)
10. Nr. 10 Choral (Ich bin’s, ich sollte büßen) (0:50)
11. Nr. 11 Rezitativ (Er antwortete und sprach) (2:44)
12. Nr. 12 Rezitativ (Sopran) (Wiewohl mein Herz in Tränen schwimmt) (1:14)
13. Nr. 13 Arie (Sopran) (Ich will dir mein Herze schenken) (3:39)
14. Nr. 14 Rezitativ (Und da sie den Lobgesang gesprochen hatten) (0:56)
15. Nr. 15 Choral (Erkenne mich, mein Hüter) (0:59)
16. Nr. 16 Rezitativ (Petrus aber antwortete und sprach zu ihm) (1:01)
17. Nr. 17 Choral (Ich will hier bei dir stehen) (1:08)
18. Nr. 18 Rezitativ (Da kam Jesus mit ihnen zu einem Hofe) (1:32)
19. Nr. 19 Rezitativ (Tenor) mit Choral (O Schmerz!) (1:35)
20. Nr. 20 Arie (Tenor) mit Chor (Ich will bei meinem Jesu wachen) (5:25)
21. Nr. 21 Rezitativ (Und ging hin ein wenig) (0:42)
22. Nr. 22 Rezitativ (Bass) (Der Heiland fällt vor seinem Vater nieder) (0:47)
23. Nr. 23 Arie (Bass) (Gerne will ich mich bequemen) (4:27)
24. Nr. 24 Rezitativ (Und er kam zu seinen Jüngern) (1:13)
25. Nr. 25 Choral (Was mein Gott will) (1:27)
26. Nr. 26 Rezitativ (Und er kam und fand sie aber schlafend) (2:12)
27. Nr. 27 Arie mit Chor (So ist mein Jesus nun gefangen) (3:50)
28. Nr. 28 Rezitativ (Und siehe, einer aus denen) (2:02)
29. Nr. 29 Choral (O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß) (6:04)
01. Nr. 30 Arie (Alt) mit Chor (Ach, nun ist mein Jesus hin!) (3:32)
02. Nr. 31 Rezitativ (Die aber Jesum gegriffen hatten) (0:52)
03. Nr. 32 Choral (Mir hat die Welt trüglich gericht’) (0:50)
04. Nr. 33 Rezitativ (Und wiewohl viel falsche Zeugen) (1:05)
05. Nr. 34 Rezitativ (Tenor) (Mein Jesus schweight zu falschen Lügen stille) (0:53)
06. Nr. 35 Arie (Tenor) (Geduld! Geduld!) (3:26)
07. Nr. 36 Rezitativ und Chor (Und der Hohepriester antwortete und sprach zu ihm) (2:03)
08. Nr. 37 Choral (Wer hat dich so geschlagen) (0:51)
09. Nr. 38 Rezitativ und Chor (Petrus aber saß draußen im Palast) (2:14)
10. Nr. 39 Arie (Alt) (Erbarme dich, mein Gott!) (7:06)
11. Nr. 40 Choral (Bin ich gleich von dir gewichen) (1:14)
12. Nr. 41 Rezitativ und Chor (Des Morgens aber hielten alle Hohepriester) (1:48)
13. Nr. 42 Arie (Bass) (Gebt mir meinen Jesum wieder!) (3:30)
14. Nr. 43 Rezitativ (Sie hielten aber einen Rat) (1:51)
15. Nr. 44 Choral (Befiehl du deine Wege) (1:12)
16. Nr. 45 Rezitativ und Chor (Auf das Fest aber hatte der Landpfleger Gewohnheit) (2:21)
17. Nr. 46 Choral (Wie wunderbarlich ist doch diese Strafe!) (0:47)
18. Nr. 47 Rezitativ (Der Landpfleger sagte) (0:11)
19. Nr. 48 Rezitativ (Sopran) (Er hat uns allen wohlgetan) (1:00)
20. Nr. 49 Arie (Sopran) (Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben!) (4:49)
21. Nr. 50 Rezitativ und Chor (Sie schrieen aber noch mehr und sprachen) (1:52)
22. Nr. 51 Rezitativ (Alt) (Erbarm es Gott!) (0:48)
23. Nr. 52 Arie (Alt) (Können Tränen meiner Wangen Nichts erlangen) (6:26)
01. Nr. 53 Rezitativ und Chor (Da nahmen die Kriegsknechte des Landpflegers Jesum zu sich in das Richthaus) (1:01)
02. Nr. 54 Choral (O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden) (2:25)
03. Nr. 55 Rezitativ (Und da sie ihn verspottet hatten) (0:44)
04. Nr. 56 Rezitativ (Bass) (Ja! freilich will in uns das Fleisch und Blut) (0:32)
05. Nr. 57 Arie (Bass) (Komm, süßes Kreuz, so will ich sagen) (6:27)
06. Nr. 58 Rezitativ und Chor (Und da sie an die Stätte kamen mit Namen Golgatha) (3:22)
07. Nr. 59 Rezitativ (Alt) (Ach Golgatha, unsel’ges Golgatha!) (1:13)
08. Nr. 60 Arie (Alt) mit Chor (Sehet, Jesus hatdie Hand) (3:13)
09. Nr. 61 Rezitativ und Chor (Und von der sechsten Stunde an war eine Finsternis über das ganze Land) (2:02)
10. Nr. 62 Choral (Wenn ich einmal soll scheiden) (1:27)
11. Nr. 63 Rezitativ und Chor (Und siehe da, der Vorhang im Tempel) (2:14)
12. Nr. 64 Rezitativ (Bass) (Am Abend, da es kühle war) (1:24)
13. Nr. 65 Arie (Bass) (Mache dich, mein Herze rein) (7:44)
14. Nr. 66 Rezitativ und Chor (Und Joseph nahm den Leib) (2:20)
15. Nr. 67 Rezitativ (Solisten und Chor) (Nun ist der Herr zur Ruh gebracht) (1:37)
16. Nr. 68 Chor (Wir setzen uns mit Tränen nieder) (6:27)

Stereo, DDD, mp3 (320 kbps), 377.49 Mb, 120:43 minutes. Info & covers included.


Harp Recital

Harp Recital

Recorded in 1986.

About these works:

Track List:
01. J.S. Bach: Italian concerto in F major, BWV 971: Moderato (4:08)
02. J.S. Bach – Italian Concerto In F Major, BWV 971 / Andante (4:10)
03. J.S. Bach – Italian Concerto In F Major, BWV 971 / Presto (4:09)
04. G.B. Pescetti: Sonata in C minor: Allegro vigoroso (3:28)
05. G.B. Pescetti: Sonata in C minor: Andantino espressivo (4:17)
06. G.B. Pescetti: Sonata in C minor: Presto (1:20)
07. Antonio Soler: Sonata in D major (3:44)
08. Mateo Albeniz: Sonata in D major (3:02)
09. Albert Roussel, Impromptu, Op. 21 (5:50)
10. Carlos Salzedo: Variations sur un theme dans le style ancien (9:07)
11. Louis Spohr: Fantasie pour harpe, op.35 (7:22)
12. Alfredo Casella: Sonata per arpa, op.68: I (5:55)
13. Alfredo Casella: Sonata per arpa, op.68: II (6:16)
14. Alfredo Casella: Sonata per arpa, op.68: III (3:40)

The Player:
Susanna Mildonian: harp

Stereo, DDD, mp3, 320 kbps, 157.07 Mb, 66:28 minutes. Covers & info included.

Part1 —–   Part2

Johann Sebastian Bach – Five Concertos For Oboe And Oboe d’Amore

Johann Sebastian Bach –  Five Concertos For Oboe And Oboe d’Amore

Recorded at the Deutchland Radio Studios, Kölhn, Germany in November 1996

About the work:
As the insightful liner notes indicate, Bach often used parts of earlier compositions while writing his 1730s concertos for harpsichord(s); researches into these concertos suggest that those included on this disc were originally written for oboe, and whether it’s ultimately the case or not, this recording shines. Christian Hommel’s restrained performance serves the music perfectly: each track features vast melodies and excellent ensemble-playing; meanwhile, the sound quality and balance couldn’t have been better. This is pure, abstract music at its best: music whose power doesn’t depend on what it might ‘suggest’ or ‘represent’, but only on its own language. And like all great music, the pieces on this disc become the springboards for contemplation that French painter Albert Gleizes yearned for in the early 1940s. Strongly recommended.

Track List:
01. Concerto in A major, BWV 1055, I. Allegro (4:21)
02. Concerto in A major, BWV 1055, II. Larghetto (5:14)
03. Concerto in A major, BWV 1055, III. Allegro ma non tanto (4:28)
04. Concerto in G Minor, BWV. 1056 – I. (Allegro) (3:09)
05. Concerto in G minor, BWV 1056, II. Largo (2:48)
06. Concerto in G minor, BWV 1056, III. Presto (3:33)
07. Concerto in D minor, BWV 1059, I. Allegro (5:51)
08. Concerto in D minor, BWV 1059, Alessandro Marcello / II. Adagio (4:10)
09. Concerto in D minor, BWV 1059, III. Presto (3:23)
10. Concerto in D major, BWV 1053, I. Allegro (7:54)
11. Concerto in D major, BWV 1053, II. Siciliano (4:14)
12. Concerto in D major, BWV 1053, III. Allegro (6:25)
13. Concerto in C major, BWV 1060, I. Allegro (4:39)
14. Concerto in C major, BWV 1060, II. Adagio (4:51)
15. Concerto in C major, BWV 1060, III. Allegro (3:21)

Kölhn Chamber Orchestra
Helmut Müller-Brühl: conductor
Christian Hommel: oboe & oboe d’amore
Lisa stewart: violin

Stereo, DDD, mp3, 320 kbps, 68:21 minutes. Covers & info included.

Part1 —–   Part2

Johann Sebastian Bach – 3 Sonatas For Viola Da Gamba And Harpsichord

Johann Sebastian Bach – 3 Sonatas For Viola Da Gamba And Harpsichord

Recorded at Schloss Wannegem-Lade, Germany between 15-17/05/1974

About the work:
It has now been determined that Johann Sebastian Bach’s sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord were written in the early 1740s, a time when the great virtuosos of the viola da gamba had either passed on or were soon to do so. This becomes especially poignant when considering the Sonata No. 2 in D major, BWV 1028, the most outwardly virtuosic of the three viola da gamba sonatas, especially in its vigorous finale. Of course, the harpsichord is an equal partner in all of these works, but the proficiency required of the viola da gamba player in the Sonata No. 2 demands an art which Bach must have known was in decline. This, of course, is all the more reason to celebrate the fact that today, thanks to the period performance movement, there are masters of the viola da gamba once again.

Track List:
01. Sonata G-major, BWV 1027 1. Adagio (4:03)
02. Sonata G-major, BWV 1027 2. Alegro ma non tanto (3:58)
03. Sonata G-major, BWV 1027 3. Andante (2:49)
04. Sonata G-major, BWV 1027 4. Allegro moderato (3:22)
05. Sonata D-major, BWV 1028 1. Adagio (2:01)
06. Sonata D-major, BWV 1028 2. Allegro (4:07)
07. Sonata D-major, BWV 1028 3. Andante (5:23)
08. Sonata D-major, BWV 1028 4. Allegro (4:27)
09. Sonata G-minor, BWV 1029 1. Vivace (5:30)
10. Sonata G-minor, BWV 1029 2. Adagio (6:47)
11. Sonata G-minor, BWV 1029 3. Allegro (3:57)

Gustav Leonhardt: harpsichord
Wieland Kuijken: viola da gamba

Stereo, ADD, mp3, 320 kbps, 46:26 minutes. Covers & info included.

Part1 —–   Part2

Johann Sebastian Bach – Six Sonatas For Violin And Harpsichord

Johann Sebastian Bach – Six Sonatas For Violin And Harpsichord

About the work:
Missing Bach’s sonatas and partitas is like missing the Art of Fugue or the Passions:  it means loosing one of the pillars of the whole classical music. Bach is ground to all his successors in all fields: he wrote everything for any instrument and one can find Bachian fugues in Beethoven and Rachmaninov, the Bach’s Ciaccona, BWV 1004, in Mendelssohn’s violin concerto, Bach’s contrapunctum in Schumann’s symphonies… Bach is everywhere at any time, but unfortunately not many music lovers are aware of that!. These six sonatas are part of a huge set of sonatas and partitas for any kind of instrument: they summarise well all that work and therefore must be known entirely. Their “standard” structure can be described as follow: 1.A slow graceful first movement; 2.A fast movement; 3.A slow, deep and sweet piece; 4.A bursting out and lively fast movement. There is however an evident exception in the last sonata, further considered. Please do not think these pieces are minor, just because they have been written for a few instruments (there are pieces of Bach played by a single violin, cello or flute): instead they are soaked of Bach’s magnitude and the monumentality of a Passion is “concentrated” in these pieces. On the contrary, it seems that the less instruments he composed for, the higher the accuracy of his compositions: the typical example is in the partitas for solo violin, in which a single melodic line entirely describes the deep sensitivity of the greatest composer of all times.
Generally speaking, in all sonatas defined as “for harpsichord and…”, the harpsichord is dominant; this does not amaze, because Bach was the first great composer to give the keyboard instrument a solo part, where the piece is for more than one instrument (the 5th Brandenburg Concerto is the solo-keyboard christening in an orchestral work). Up to then, the harpsichord had been used only as a “complementary” instrument, leading the rhythmical part of the bass or accompanying (through simple chords) another instrument which led the melodic part. There are a lot of examples for it in Bach’s sonatas for Flute (violin) and figured bass.

Track List:
01. moll BWV 1014, 1. Satz Adagio (3:22)
02. moll BWV 1014, 2. Satz Allegro (3:15)
03. moll BWV 1014, 3. Satz Andante (2:20)
04. moll BWV 1014, 4. Satz Allegro (3:38)
05. Dur BWV 1015, 1. Satz Dolce (2:27)
06. Dur BWV 1015, 2. Satz Allegro (3:11)
07. Dur BWV 1015, 3. Satz Andante un poco (2:30)
08. Dur BWV 1015, 4. Satz Presto (4:58)
09. Dur BWV 1016, 1. Satz Adagio (3:42)
10. Dur BWV 1016, 2. Satz Allegro (3:24)
11. Dur BWV 1016, 3. Satz Adagio ma non tanto (3:51)
12. Dur BWV 1016, 4. Satz Allegro (4:06)
13. Dur BWV 1021, 1. Satz Adagio (3:09)
14. Dur BWV 1021, 2. Satz Vivace (1:06)
15. Dur BWV 1021, 3. Satz Largo (2:01)
16. Dur BWV 1021, 4. Satz Presto (1:51)
01. moll BWV 1017, 1. Satz Alla sicililiana (4:01)
02. moll BWV 1017, 2. Satz Allegro (5:21)
03. moll BWV 1017, 3. Satz Adagio ma poco (2:49)
04. moll BWV 1017, 4. Satz Allegro assai (5:00)
05. moll BWV 1018, 1. Satz ohne Satzbezeichnung (5:56)
06. moll BWV 1018, 2. Satz ohne Satzbezeichnung (5:17)
07. moll BWV 1018, 3. Satz Adagio (2:15)
08. moll BWV 1018, 4. Satz Vivace (2:53)
09. Dur BWV 1019, 1. Satz Molto allegro (3:41)
10. Dur BWV 1019, 2. Satz Largo (1:26)
11. Dur BWV 1019, 3. Satz ohne Satzbezeichnung (5:38)
12. Dur BWV 1019, 4. Satz Adagio (2:37)
13. Dur BWV 1019, 5. Satz Allegro assai (3:50)
14. moll BMV 1023, 1. Satz ohne Satzbezeichnung (0:57)
15. moll BMV 1023, 2. Satz Adagio ma non troppo (2:43)
16. moll BMV 1023, 3. Satz Allemanda (4:06)
17. moll BMV 1023, 4. Satz Gigue (3:38)

Benjamin Schmid: violin
Anthony Spiri: harpsichord
Sebastian Hess: cello (on tracks 13-16 in cd1)

mp3, 320 kbps, cd ripping, 111:16 minutes. Covers & info included.

Part1 —–   Part2 —–   Part3

Johan Sebastian Bach – Sonatas And Partitas For Solo Violin

Johan Sebastian Bach – Sonatas And Partitas For Solo Violin
Recorded in Vienna on July 12-15 and September 7-10, 1999

About the work:
Bach composed the works in 1720, while employed at Köthen. The manuscript was nearly destroyed but someone saved it from being used as butcher paper. There, Bach composed more chamber music than sacred or choral music; the Brandenburg Concertos, concerto for two violins, and cello suites were all composed about this time.
The original performer of Bach’s six sonatas and partitas is unknown. Johann Georg Pisendel and Jean-Baptiste Volumier have been suggested, both being talented violinists at the Dresden court, as has Joseph Spiess, leader of the orchestra at Cöthen, where Bach composed the works. However, some contend that it may have been Bach himself who gave the first performance, pointing to his skills as a violinist. His father, Johann Ambrosius Bach, was a violinist, and according to his son Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, “in his youth, and until the approach of old age, he played the violin cleanly and powerfully”.
The sonatas each consist of four movements, in the slow-fast-slow-fast movement pattern of the sonata da chiesa, with the second movement as a fugue. The partitas are suites of dance movements, making use of the usual baroque pattern of allemande, courante, sarabande, and gigue, with some omissions and the addition of galanteries. Many scholars and performers, like contemporary violinist Christian Tetzlaff, believe these works to be one whole idea, “like a big Bruckner symphony,” he said. He also has a theory about the meaning of these works: He describes the three sonatas as religious works depicting the Christmas story, the Passion of Christ, and the Resurrection. The three partitas, on the other hand, in his opinion are the more “earthly” side of life, dances and songs. However, the two meet in the D Minor Partita, especially in the Chaccone, a personal requiem to his late wife Maria Barbara.

Track List:
01. Sonata N. 1 In G Minor BWV 1001, I Adagio (4:08)
02. Sonata N. 1 In G Minor BWV 1001, II Fuga Allegro (5:05)
03. Sonata N. 1 In G Minor BWV 1001, III Siciliana (3:04)
04. Sonata N. 1 In G Minor BWV 1001, IV Presto (3:28)
05. Partita N. 1 In B Minor BWV 1002, I Allemanda (5:47)
06. Partita N. 1 In B Minor BWV 1002, I Double (2:22)
07. Partita N. 1 In B Minor BWV 1002, II Corrente (3:04)
08. Partita N. 1 In B Minor BWV 1002, II Double Presto (3:11)
09. Partita N. 1 In B Minor BWV 1002, III Sarabanda (3:48)
10. Partita N. 1 In B Minor BWV 1002, III Double (2:18)
11. Partita N. 1 In B Minor BWV 1002, IV Tempo Die Borea (3:27)
12. Partita N. 1 In B Minor BWV 1002, IV Double (3:18)
13. Sonata N. 2 In A Minor BWV 1003, I Grave (3:58)
14. Sonata N. 2 In A Minor BWV 1003, II Fuga (7:29)
15. Sonata N. 2 In A Minor BWV 1003, III Andante (4:17)
16. Sonata N. 2 In A Minor BWV 1003, IV Allegro (5:19)
01. Partita N.2 In D Minor BWV 1004, I Allemanda (4:13)
02. Partita N.2 In D Minor BWV 1004, II Corrente (2:28)
03. Partita N.2 In D Minor BWV 1004, IIISarabanda (4:22)
04. Partita N.2 In D Minor BWV 1004, IV Giga (3:41)
05. Partita N.2 In D Minor BWV 1004, V Ciacona (12:52)
06. Sonata N.3 In C Major BWV 1005, I Adagio (4:39)
07. Sonata N.3 In C Major BWV 1005, II Fuga (10:11)
08. Sonata N.3 In C Major BWV 1005, III Largo (3:16)
09. Sonata N.3 In C Major BWV 1005, IV Allegro Assai (5:05)
10. Partita N.3 In E Major BWV 1005, I Preludio (3:20)
11. Partita N.3 In E Major BWV 1005, IILaure (4:16)
12. Partita N.3 In E Major BWV 1005, IIIGavotte En Rondeau (2:54)
13. Partita N.3 In E Major BWV 1005, IVMenuet I (1:42)
14. Partita N.3 In E Major BWV 1005, IVMenuet II (2:38)
15. Partita N.3 In E Major BWV 1005, V Bourée (1:20)
16. Partita N.3 In E Major BWV 1005, VIGigue (2:08)

The Player:
Benjamin Schmid: violin

Born in 1968, violinist Benjamin Schmid studied music at Salzburg, Vienna and at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and has attended master classes with Sandòr Végh, Nathan Milstein, Ivry Gitlis, and Dorothy DeLay. He has won first prize at international competitions in Paris, the USA, Germany, and South Africa. In 1992, he won the 1st Prize, Mozart-Prize, Beethoven-Prize and Audience-Prize at the Carl Flesch International in London and since has developed an international career playing with many of the world’s Benjamin Schmidleading orchestras and conductors. As a soloist, Benjamin has performed under the baton of conductors such as Sylvain Cambreling, Vladimir Fedosejev, Hans Graf, Eliahu Inbal, Yehudi Menuhin (with whom he also gave a spectacular debut as duo partner in J.S. Bach’s Double Concerto), Franz Welser-Most, Michael Schoenwandt, Saulius Sondeckis, Horst Stein, Ralf Weikert, Marcello Viotti, Daniele Gatti and Dennis Russell Davis. He has appeared with several prominent orchestras including the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de France, Philharmonia Orchestra London, Bavarian State Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Bamberg Symphony, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, RSO Moscow (Tschaikovsky Symphony Orchestra), the Indianapolis Symphony, Vienna Symphony, RSO-Wien, the Salzburg Camerata and the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg.

mp3, 320 kbps, cd ripping, 133:08 minutes, Covers & info included.

Part1 —–   Part2 —–   Part3 —–   Part4