J.S. Bach Sonatas for Viola (da Gamba) and Harpsichord
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We offer a fresh and different – yet historically informed – perspective on the three sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord by J.S. Bach. With our rather uncommon instrumentation, we contribute with a neglected perspective to the framework of understanding of these sonatas in their historical context. In our approach, we have been considering the fact that violists in J. S. Bach’s time had very little sonata repertoire and for this reason possibly “borrowed” repertoire from the viol. The three sonatas for viola da gamba are particularly adapted to the viola da braccio with almost no changes in terms of octavations or arrangements.
– Marie Stockmarr Becker and Ilaria Macedonio
[from liner notes]
Garnison Church, Copenhagen, Denmark
25-29 February 2020
|Analog to digital converter||
XLR / Thomann
Marie Stockmarr Becker draws a rich, unforced tone from her 1776 Joseph Hill viola, enhancing its mellow timbre with a restrained but tellingly sweetening vibrato.
(…) This is a superbly balanced recording, with good presence for the harpsichord and plenty of detail from both instruments while allowing them to blend nicely. (…) All in all these are highly satisfying performances, and you don’t need to be a viola enthusiast to appreciate them.
Macedonio’s agogic touch, faintly bronzed in inégal, is excellent, and her fingerwork is spoken with a finely articulated grammar. The overall sound world is luscious, and the balance achieved by the team from Channel Classics is expertly judged. (…) It takes repeated listenings to understand the duo’s interpretation: denseness and prosaically played-out sequences unhelpfully dissolve the work’s structures.
(…) This is a very audible, expressively moved conversation between the two musicians, the contrapuntal and concentrated play between the voices appears spirited and vibrant. (…) This creates a slight inner tension in the treatment of tempo, where the musicians keep each other in check and bring the whole into a balance that never gets slack. (…) It is content-rich and durable music in a recording that does not have to be ashamed of anyone. (…)
(…) Even for Bach admirers, these are not pieces which instantly give up their secrets, but for the patient listener, there are considerable rewards. It is harder to imagine them performed with more subtle musicianship than by Marie Stockmarr Becker and Ilaria Macedonio. (…)
(…) Une vision particulièrement convaincante, où les deux musiciennes se distinguent dans leur dialogue par leur entente mutuelle, leur geste ample et leur respiration fluide (…) Magnifique en tous cas, l’écoute de cette nouvelle parution Channel reste fortement recommandée.
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