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 Search Beat > The Music Beat > Classical Music > Featured Composer > Johann Sebastian Bach > Chamber Music Recommendations


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Bach: Sonatas for Viola da gamba and Harpischord / Savall, Koopman
Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Jordi Savall, Koopman Ton
Alia Vox - #9812 / May 9, 2000

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Bach, like Handel and most other baroque composers, often reused compositions, either adapting and assembling portions of them to make new "compilation" works (as with the four short Masses) or rearranging them for other forces (as with the violin concertos Bach rearranged as harpsichord concertos). Bach's three sonatas for viola da gamba and keyboard are just such rearrangements, all of trio sonatas for two melody instruments and continuo. This means that the keyboard isn't just harmonic...Read more


  Bach: Brandenburg Concertos 1-3 / Koopman, Amsterdam Baroque
Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor: Ton Koopman
Performer: Wilbert Hazelzet, Ton Koopman, et al.
Ensemble: Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra
Wea/Atlantic/Erato - #16163 / October 29, 1996

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After about half a dozen years in limbo, Ton Koopman's marvelous 1983 readings with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra are back on the shelf at mid-price, though still on two single discs. The accent in these elegant, flowing performances is on variety--in the texture, in the ornamentation, and in matters of phrasing and articulation. The executants' voicing of the counterpoint is quite effective, as is their pointing of rhythm, which underscores the fact that so much of this music comes from the dance. Erato's sound is quite appealing, though the discs have been mastered at a rather high level. --Ted Libbey

Bach: Musical Offering / Kuijken, Kohnen, Leonhardt
Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Robert Kohnen, Barthold Kuijken, et al.
Sony Classics - #63189 / August 19, 1997

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This extraordinary collection of music was an "offering" Bach made to Frederick the Great, King of Prussia (1740-1786). At a command performance in 1747, Frederick suggested a melody and Bach improvised on it at the organ. Greatly impressed, the king rewarded the composer handsomely; Bach promptly went home to Leipzig and prepared an entire set of pieces based on the royal theme as a "musical offering" to the monarch. Frederick was himself a flutist and sometime composer, so Bach filled his...Read more


Bach Edition - Sonates en trio / Medlam, London Baroque
Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor: Charles Medlam
Ensemble: London Baroque
Harmonia Mundi (Fra) - #2951173 / September 7, 1999

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Mention Bach's Trio Sonatas to aficionados, and chances are they'll think you're talking about organ music. But Bach did compose four trio sonatas in the original sense of the term (the "trio" being two melody instruments with continuo), and they get excellent performances here by London Baroque. These works are in the four-movement, slow-fast-slow-fast form of the 17th-century church sonata; they combine some of the spontaneity and intensity found in Corelli's sonatas with Bach's unsurpassed...Read more


Bach Edition - Violin Sonatas / Manze, Egarr, ter Linden
Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Richard Egarr, Andrew Manze, et al.
Harmonia Mundi (Fra) - #907250 / February 8, 2000

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Andrew Manze has been called "the Grappelli of the Baroque violin" because of the improvisatory liveliness of his approach; however, he can just as easily change personalities. Sometimes he pads along with sinewy grace like a panther ready to spring (the Preludio to BWV 1023, for example), sometimes he goes for a much more relaxed cantabile line, and sometimes he plays with a sparkling and infectious sense of fun (Presto, BWV 1021). Add into the mix his varied styles of vibrato, and...Read more



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Shopping and Product Search for
Angel/EMI Boxed Sets Decca Deutsche Grammophon ECM Store DVD-Audio Sheet
Music
Shop for Classical Music
Ballet Opera Symphony Sacred Early
Music
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(c.1770-1830)
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