Author Topic: Bach Chamber and Instrumental music  (Read 79145 times)

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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Bach Chamber and Instrumental music
« Reply #340 on: February 19, 2018, 11:25:06 AM »
Do you also think that the gamba sonatas work better for the balances with an organ?

In principle yes, but the balance gamba/harpsichord is not equally critical, partly because the gamba is a softer instrument than the violin, and also because Bach has given the upper part to the harpsichord and the middle part to the gamba, while in the violin/harpsichord sonatas the violin plays the upper part and the harpsichord the middle part. The tendency to drown the harpsichord will then be less pronounced for the gamba than for the violin.

Quote from: Mandryka
I can see that Jochen Brusch - Sven-Ingvart Mikkelsen play 1019 - I'm curious to hear the recording just because of Mikkelsen, but I can't find it for sale anywhere - if anyone sees it at an affordable price, please let me know.

[img height=289]http://www.jochenbrusch.com/img/cd/sixsonatas.jpg[/im

I am not very impressed by Brusch / Mikkelsen, but I can upload it for you if you want. They use three different organs.

I once (maybe 20 years before Brusch made these recordings) attended a recital with Brusch and my former organ teacher playing BWV 1017, and I recall Brusch doing a better job than on the later recording. But of course still with some romantic tendencies.
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Bach Chamber and Instrumental music
« Reply #341 on: February 19, 2018, 11:39:21 AM »
These are the notes on the 2017 Montero/Boccaccio recording of the gamba sonatas, which I thought were really revelatory performnces.

The accordion recording they refer to is with viola, the artists are Asbjørn Nørgaard and Andreas Borregaard, my impression is that it's exuberant,

Asbjørn Nørgaard is a Danish violist, As far as I recall, he plays the Bach on modern viola and not a gamba. This was along with the accordion the reason why I passed the disc by.

And I think Montero/Boccaccio in their notes to their excellent recording have forgotten the Bijlsma/van Asperen recording which is played on violoncello and organ.

Apropos accordion, have you heard this:

https://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/classical/products/8004821--miniatures
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Bach Chamber and Instrumental music
« Reply #342 on: February 19, 2018, 11:57:27 AM »
Is there a violin/organ recording of the pieces you like?
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach Chamber and Instrumental music
« Reply #343 on: February 19, 2018, 12:05:38 PM »


Apropos accordion, have you heard this:

https://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/classical/products/8004821--miniatures

Not yet!

Is there a violin/organ recording of the pieces you like?

Maybe try Alice Pierot / Martin Gester. The organ's not bad but not as characterful as Boccaccio's in the gamba sonatas, this may be partly due to temperament; Pierlot's playing is, from memory, a bit bland and anonymous. But at least the result is listenable.



I am not very impressed by Brusch / Mikkelsen, but I can upload it for you if you want. They use three different organs.



No, don't go to the trouble, you've kind of put me off!
« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 12:09:19 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Bach Chamber and Instrumental music
« Reply #344 on: February 19, 2018, 12:09:42 PM »
Is there a violin/organ recording of the pieces you like?

Alice Pierot / Martin Gester is actually better than most violin / harpsichord renderings. Simple but deeply felt.

https://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/classical/products/7966865--bach-j-s-six-sonatas-for-violin-and-organ-2cd
 
Then there is Michele Auclair / Marie-Claire Alain which is so-so. I have only found it available here:

https://forgottenrecords.com/en/catalogue

https://forgottenrecords.com/en/Auclair-Alain--Bach--408.html

And Jochen Brusch / Sven Ingvart-Mikkelsen I cannot wholeheartedly reccommend.

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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Bach Chamber and Instrumental music
« Reply #345 on: February 19, 2018, 12:19:00 PM »
Maybe try Alice Pierot / Martin Gester. The organ's not bad but not as characterful as Boccaccio's in the gamba sonatas, this may be partly due to temperament; Pierlot's playing is, from memory, a bit bland and anonymous. But at least the result is listenable.

Well, I do not find Pierot anonymous at all. I would also like to recommend her recording of Biber's Rosary sonatas.

Quote from: Mandryka
No, don't go to the trouble, you've kind of put me off!

That was not my intention, but I can not hide, that I think Brusch/Mikkelsen is far from a must hear.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach Chamber and Instrumental music
« Reply #346 on: February 19, 2018, 12:59:40 PM »
Well, I do not find Pierot anonymous at all. I would also like to recommend her recording of Biber's Rosary sonatas.



I shall play it again tomorrow when I'm feeling a bit more rested, I feel all done in after listening to a strange mass by Thomas Ashewell, who according to wiki may have been Taverner's teacher.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach Chamber and Instrumental music
« Reply #347 on: February 20, 2018, 01:12:54 PM »
Someone's just sent me a message saying that he thinks there are Mozart sonatas which are called "keyboard sonatas with violin accompaniment" - is that true? The suggestion is that these are clearly dominated by the violin part . . .
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Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Bach Chamber and Instrumental music
« Reply #348 on: February 20, 2018, 01:33:22 PM »
Someone's just sent me a message saying that he thinks there are Mozart sonatas which are called "keyboard sonatas with violin accompaniment" - is that true? The suggestion is that these are clearly dominated by the violin part . . .

But Mozart isn't Bach. Bach's sonatas are concieved as triosonatas with equal parts.
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kishnevi

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Re: Bach Chamber and Instrumental music
« Reply #349 on: February 20, 2018, 01:47:46 PM »
Someone's just sent me a message saying that he thinks there are Mozart sonatas which are called "keyboard sonatas with violin accompaniment" - is that true? The suggestion is that these are clearly dominated by the violin part . . .

I remember reading that was a routine description of violin sonatas in Mozart's day.

But that has no real bearing on the trio sonata of Bach's era.

Baron Scarpia

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Re: Bach Chamber and Instrumental music
« Reply #350 on: February 20, 2018, 04:05:16 PM »
Do you also think that the gamba sonatas work better for the balances with an organ?

I can see that Jochen Brusch - Sven-Ingvart Mikkelsen play 1019 - I'm curious to hear the recording just because of Mikkelsen, but I can't find it for sale anywhere - if anyone sees it at an affordable price, please let me know.



Of course





.

There is a peculiar recording of the viola da gamba sonatas with Pietr Wisperwel who plays a cello piccolo with the harpsichord part shared by a keyboard (fortepiano, harpsichord, organ) and a cello playing the bass line. Makes the interaction of the viola da gamba part and the bass line more prominent.



I like it. I also like the version of BWV1027 for two flutes and continuo. Cello and Piano is also interesting (Argerich and Maisky, for instance).

I think I will seek out a version with organ, since I tend to think the harpsichord is too light for the roll it plays in this music.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 04:18:37 PM by Baron Scarpia »

Offline Jo498

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Re: Bach Chamber and Instrumental music
« Reply #351 on: February 21, 2018, 01:48:10 AM »
No, Mozart's are typically dominated more by the keyboard than the violin. There is even one which originally was a piano sonata and later arranged with violin, I think. So they are both different from the typical baroque sonata (dominating violin + b.c.) and the Bach sonatas which are trio sonatas.
Still, Bach wrote them for different instruments and must have been aware that the effect would never be as "homogeneous" as with an organ trio sonata.
The Gester/Pierot is too expensive for me anyway (esp. for a download) but I am not overly impressed by the soundbits either. It might be the reverb/space but I think what might have been gained in balance/homogeneity is partly lost in clarity and rhythmic "punch". I would have to check them but I never found the recordings with harpsichord I have (Goebel/Hill, Rannou, maybe another one) and piano (Gould/Laredo) all that problematic in the balance department.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach Chamber and Instrumental music
« Reply #352 on: March 02, 2018, 12:21:00 PM »
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/Lzlqtpa2wSQ" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/Lzlqtpa2wSQ</a>

In this interview Bezuidenhout and Faust, I'm having a lot of difficulty understanding what Bezuidenhout is saying at around 4:25.

He is adamant that Bach is writing for harpsichord and violin. His"argument" seems to rest on the third movement of the e major and the first movement of the b minor, where he asserts that it's "very clear that Bach is writing for the harpsichord", a style of writing which he seems to oppose to three voiced counterpoint, where violin is as important as the keyboard.

In fact I like what Gester does with the third movement of the e major. 

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Re: Bach Chamber and Instrumental music
« Reply #353 on: March 03, 2018, 01:02:30 AM »
He is adamant that Bach is writing for harpsichord and violin. His"argument" seems to rest on the third movement of the e major and the first movement of the b minor, where he asserts that it's "very clear that Bach is writing for the harpsichord", a style of writing which he seems to oppose to three voiced counterpoint, where violin is as important as the keyboard.

There are a few movements in these sonatas, which deviate from the general trio-writing.

B minor first movement with three part writing in the harpsichord almost throughout and some double stops in the violin. The harpsichord part may be a realised continuo part, since the violin seems to have a leading role in this movement.

E major first movement with an aria-like setting of the violin part (the violin again in a leading role) and probably a written out continuo part in the harpsichord.

E major third movement. a trio movement with occasional continuo realisation in the harpsichord part and occasional chordal writing in the violin.

F minor first movement with three part writing in the harpsichord throughout.The three parts in the harpsichord are equal and share identical thematic material. The violin has got its own somewhat different thematic material, and I wouldn't be surprised, if this movement originated as a three part keyboard piece, the violin part having been added at a later stage.

F minor third movement with persistent double stopping in the violin and fast arpeggios (again resembling a written out continuo part) in the harpsichord. So in reality a trio sonata,  the violin playing the two upper parts.

G major second movement with a few added (non-thematic) third part notes in the harpsichord.

G major third movement harpsichord solo.

In their present shape the sonatas are without doubt intended for violin and a keyboard-instrument (harpsichord or organ). The strict trio-writing for most of the movements might point to arrangements from earlier composed trio-sonatas, but the above mentioned deviations from strict trio-writing might (as to these movements) point to other kinds of precursors, most likely sonatas for melody-instrument and continuo.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 01:04:33 AM by (: premont :) »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach Chamber and Instrumental music
« Reply #354 on: March 10, 2018, 05:57:07 AM »
In this page the explanation of certato is that the harpsichord parts are written out in the full:

https://voicesofmusic.org/bachviolin.html

So I do not think the term differs much from cembalo obligato - in contrast to cembalo continuo.

In Bach's sonatas the two musicians are equal, just in the same way as the parts are equal in the organ triosonatas.

Most of the existing recordings unfortunately favor the violin. As I wrote some years ago I think Bach had a violin/organ sound in his mind for these pieces, which all except no. 6 are written in sonata di chiesa style. This would create a better balance.

Ensemble SDG have recorded the six sonatas using American neo baroque organs, they're scholar/musicians, the booklet is downloadable here and is very detailed.

http://jsb1685.blogspot.co.uk/p/downloads.html

I won't comment on the performances as I've only just started to listen.
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Re: Bach Chamber and Instrumental music
« Reply #355 on: March 10, 2018, 07:04:01 AM »
Ensemble SDG have recorded the six sonatas using American neo baroque organs, they're scholar/musicians, the booklet is downloadable here and is very detailed.

http://jsb1685.blogspot.co.uk/p/downloads.html

I won't comment on the performances as I've only just started to listen.

As far as I can see only vol.1 of the violin/keyboard sonatas has been released, and it is only available in the US:

https://www.amazon.com/J-S-Bach-Works-Violin-Keyboard/dp/B01BOOL4DM

The clips display use of harpsichord throughout.

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach Chamber and Instrumental music
« Reply #356 on: March 10, 2018, 07:23:39 AM »
Ah it's true that I'd listened only to 1018 and 1019. they say

Quote
Sonata in F Minor for Violin and Obbligato Keyboard, BWV 1018 (early version)
Sonata in G Major for Violin and Obbligato Keyboard, BWV 1019 (early version)
It is often assumed that when multiple versions of a work survive from a composer, it is the latest
version that represents the composer’s most mature thoughts about the work. In the case of some
composers, however, including Bach, we know that it was not unusual for a work to be rewritten
simply for the occasion of a repeat performance, perhaps with slightly different performing
forces. Among Bach’s cantatas there are numerous examples of the composer’s setting different
texts to the same (or similar) music; among the instrumental works he both adapted individual
movements for use in cantatas and arranged works for new instrumentation.
The versions of BWV 1018 and 1019 that are usually performed are almost certainly the latest of
the surviving versions. However, three manuscript sources of the sonatas present a version of
BWV 1018 whose Adagio movement is both closely related to and significantly different from
its counterpart; those same manuscript sources present not one, but two distinct versions of BWV
1019 that include several completely different movements. In both cases we believe that the
earliest forms of the works were intended for performance with organ as the keyboard
instrument.
The Adagio of BWV 1018 looks very much like a notated basso continuo realization. The
keyboard part of the early version has surface movement in sixteenth notes, while in the later
version the keyboard is assigned much more complex figuration moving in thirty-second notes.
The early version appears sparse compared with the later. However, the difference in movement
may suggest not a weakness or flaw in the composition but rather a difference of
instrumentation. We are convinced that the early version with its slower surface movement is
perfectly suited to the organ, while the more filled-out continuo realization fits the harpsichord. The adagio character is preserved in each version, while Bach matched the keyboardist’s part to
the sonority of each instrument.
Other, more subtle differences might suggest an instrument-specific concern for clarity. For
example, the first movement is headed “Lamento” in the early version, as if to warn an organist
not to interpret its 3/2 meter in a tempo that is too rapid. Furthermore, the second movement,
which in the later version has the quadruple meter C, is notated with the duple meter cut-C in the
early version. While the extensive sixteenth-note movement might have suggested to an organist
a moderate tempo, the alla breve meter is a signal that the “small notes” should not prevent a
spirited performance. In all of the movements Bach appears to have been particularly attentive to
keeping the texture open, without the close intervals in the bass register that would be
unidiomatic to the organ.
As for BWV 1019, scholars have disagreed over the sequence of origin for the two early
versions; it is commonly accepted that the version we perform here is the later of the two, but as
will be outlined below, we propose that the reverse actually corresponds to a historically
plausible scenario. That version survives in two nearly identical manuscripts associated with
Bach’s pupil Johann Philipp Kirnberger, both dating from the second half of the eighteenth
century. The other early version is found in a manuscript copied mostly by the composer’s
nephew Johann Heinrich Bach, which has been dated to 1725 and claims the specific
instrumentation of harpsichord and violin, with “bass for accompanying viola da gamba if
desired.” (The latest version is transmitted in a manuscript by Bach’s son-in-law Johann
Christoph Altnickol, dating from 1747–59; each version will hereafter be cited according to its
copyist’s name for convenience.)
The Kirnberger version consists of five movements just as the Altnickol version does; however,
its final movement is a repetition of the first movement rather than the new fifth movement
found in the Altnickol version, and its third movement is a Cantabile for violin and keyboard
rather than the Allegro for keyboard solo of Altnickol’s. Additionally, the first/fifth movement of
the Kirnberger version has subtle but important differences from its Altnickol counterpart that
parallel the differences between the second movements of the two versions of BWV 1018:
Kirnberger’s movement is labeled Presto, rather than Altnickol’s Allegro, and is notated in the
meter cut-C, rather than Altnickol’s C. These latter two unique elements of the Kirnberger
version led us to explore performance with violin and organ. In the first movement, as described
above for BWV 1018, the combination of tempo and meter suggests an effort to encourage a
brisk pace—a worthwhile gesture on behalf of organists, who might otherwise choose a
moderate speed on the basis of the prevailing sixteenth-note motion. Within the same movement,
certain bass notes present in the Altnickol version are missing from Kirnberger’s in places where
performance on the organ would be potentially unclear. It is the inclusion of the Cantabile,
however, that suggests most strongly the appropriateness of organ for the keyboard part.
The music of the Cantabile appears in cantatas from around 1729 and 1730—and may have
originated in a cantata, now lost, written during Bach’s Cöthen or Weimar years—in arias scored
for soprano, obbligato violin, and (in one case) string accompaniment in addition to basso
continuo. In the instrumental version of this aria, the role of the solo soprano is given not to the
violin—which, after all, has its own obbligato line to play—but to the keyboardist’s right hand.

Herein lies the most convincing reason for performing the sonata with organ: the necessary
cantabile (songlike, vocal) quality is not easily rendered on the harpsichord, but it is entirely
successful when transferred to the organ. With violin and organ, the central Cantabile becomes
instrumentally idiomatic and acoustically satisfying, validating this early version of BWV 1019
as no less a unified whole than the final surviving version.
The J. H. Bach version, on the other hand, consists of six movements, three of which are in
Johann Sebastian Bach’s hand, as if Bach interrupted his nephew’s copying work to insert them.
Two of these movements appear later in Bach’s keyboard partita in E minor, BWV 830. In the
sonata, the first of the two is likewise scored for harpsichord solo; the second, however, is for
violin solo with “bass” accompaniment, and there is reason to believe that the intended
accompanying instrument was viola da gamba alone. Not only does this version of BWV 1019
include new movements that particularly highlight the harpsichord and viola da gamba, but also
the strongly organ-oriented Cantabile of the Kirnberger version is not present here, suggesting
that the piece was revised for a specific performance with specific instruments in mind. In late
1725 Bach returned to Cöthen to perform for his former employer, Prince Leopold, and it is
likely that he would have sought to showcase not only his own skills but also those of his former
colleagues, including the violist da gamba Abel. Considering that Bach had performed a pair of
organ recitals in Dresden in September 1725, in which he is known to have played “soft
instrumental music,” it seems not too far-fetched to conjecture that he performed the Kirnberger
“organ” version of the sonata in September and then revised it as the J. H. Bach “harpsichord”
version for a Cöthen performance in December. (It is also possible that in Dresden he performed
a version that was not identical to Kirnberger’s, but rather one having the same sequence of
movements, yet whose second movement had the less elaborate keyboard part found in the J. H.
Bach version.) It is because of both the seemingly occasion-specific genesis of the J. H. Bach
version and its expanded instrumentation that we have not included a performance of that version
on the present recording.

They seem to argue that the other sonatas are best with violin and harpsichord.
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Re: Bach Chamber and Instrumental music
« Reply #357 on: March 10, 2018, 07:51:19 AM »
Ah it's true that I'd listened only to 1018 and 1019.

So they must be available somewhere?

I have listened to the first two movements of BWV 1017, which they offer on their website. Also here harpsichord is used. Beautiful and expressive violin tone, but rather conventional harpsichord playing.

Quote from: Mandryka
They seem to argue that the other sonatas are best with violin and harpsichord.

Not much logic here, I think.
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Offline Mandryka

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach Chamber and Instrumental music
« Reply #359 on: March 10, 2018, 09:22:10 AM »
I can now confirm that you need their organ CD, the 1019 is a revelation! Let me know if you have a problem getting it in Denmark and I'll send it to you.
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