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Viola Da Gamba Sonatas

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 4, 2003
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. I Adagio
  2. II Allegro Ma Non Tanto
  3. III Andante
  4. IV Allegro Moderato
  5. I Adagio
  6. II Allegro
  7. III Andante
  8. IV Allegro
  9. I Vivace
  10. II Adagio
  11. III Allegro

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 4, 2003)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Angel Records
  • ASIN: B00005UVAR
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,264,972 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Leslie Richford on August 30, 2004
Format: Audio CD
As so often with Bach, his sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord represent the culmination of an epoque: at a time (ca. 1740) when the viola da gamba was going out of fashion and being replaced by the violoncello, Bach wrote two highly modern Italianate pieces for the instrument (BWV 1028 and 1029) that not only wonderfully display its noble, somewhat nasal qualities but also introduce elements of "discourse" between the two instruments such as are to be found in the chamber music of the Classical period. The third sonata (BWV 1027) is a transcription of a flute sonata which itself was probably transcribed from a work for two violins and basso continuo; in it Bach has re-worked his trio sonata texture so as to give the harpsichordist both the bass line and one of the two melody lines. The impression left by the whole is one of intimacy - an impression strengthened by the performance of Jordi Savall and Ton Koopman, who seem here to linger wistfully over every note, at least in the slow movements. This EMI recording was made in 1977 using analogue technology, but the sound is wonderfully close and warm, reflecting the interpretation and enabling the listener to follow every note with ease.

Savall and Koopman are two of Europe's leading period instrument instrumentalists; they seem to have got together again about a quarter of a century after making this recording to produce the same repertoire for Savall's independent label Alia Vox. I haven't heard the new version, but I must confess that I have been more than happy with the old one for many years. Its re-release on Virgin Classics is much more than an exercise in re-cycling and deserves much praise, the only caveat being that the total playing time of less than 44 minutes is extremely short.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Having listened to many recordings of these wonderful pieces, I think that this is the best recording available. The sound is lovely and unlike most recordings the gamba is not overwhelmed by an overloud harpsichord. Truly these sonatas are charming.
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