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Bach Gamba Sonatas
Bach Gamba Sonatas (Move Records MD3396)
SKU: 16486
AU $23.65

Label: Move Records Cat. No.: MD3396 Medium: CD No. Discs: 1

JS Bach Sonatas for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord

Considering the fame of Bach’s solo violin partitas and his solo cello suites, it is remarkable how his sonatas for viola da gamba and keyboard remain in the shadows, at best, of most music-lovers’ consciousness. The fact that some of the material in them originated elsewhere in Bach’s output hardly explains the neglect in which they have tended to lie.

After all, Bach had no qualms about wholesale recycling, as the overlap between his Schübler Chorales for organ and his cantatas demonstrates with special vividness. More peculiar is the lack of information about when Bach’s gamba music came to be created. Most experts maintain that the greater part of it dates from fairly early in Bach’s life: specifically, from his six years (1717–23) as Kapellmeister to Prince Leopold of Cöthen. The prince’s Calvinist adherence meant few if any chances for the Lutheran Bach to write sacred music, and therefore ensured that Bach devoted more energy to producing secular works than he generally did before or afterwards. On the other hand, British musicologist Keith Anderson has tentatively ascribed the gamba sonatas to the composer’s Leipzig years (1723–50), which certainly involved Bach in providing various new instrumental pieces for the local university’s Collegium Musicum. If we accept the Cöthen ascription as the correct one, then it is very likely that Bach intended the gamba parts to be played by his violist friend Christian Abel (1682–1761), who stayed in Cöthen after Bach left for Leipzig. (Abel’s son and fellow violist, Carl Friedrich Abel, spent much of his career in England, where he collaborated with Bach’s own youngest son, Johann Christian Bach. It is possible that Carl Friedrich knew and played this music.)

Artists: Laura Vaughan (viola da gamba), Elizabeth Anderson (harpsichord)
Composers: J S Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach

Fugue in C major, BWV 952
Fugue in C major, BWV 953
Sonata no. 1 in G major, BWV 1027
Sonata no. 2 in D major, BWV 1028
Sonata no. 3 in G minor, BWV 1029
Trio sonata no. 3 in D minor, BWV 527

Medium: CD
No. of Discs: 1
SKU #: 16486
Label: Move Records
Catalog #: MD3396
Price: AU $23.65   

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