Musical works of genius are sometimes approached as museum exhibits, and the controversies concerning interpretative freedom can even be more fierce than Scheibe’s famous polemic with Bach’s advocate Birnbaum. Full of respect for the Composer’s artistic ideas as I am, I try to understand his music in the context of a time when improvisation was universally practised. The wealth, complexity and refinement of the notation make this task more difficult, but important clues are provided by the study of versions that usually differ in these very aspects, namely – texture and ornamentation. I made up my mind to look for my own embellishments, especially in those sections that are repeated da capo, but also in the brief cadenzas. My partners in this project adopted a similar stance. We believe that this approach is closer to the Composer’s own intention than a literal reading of the score. It provides for a fuller understanding of the music and for a greater freedom of expression.
– Marcin Świątkiewicz, harpsichord
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