After the double album of the violin and harpsichord sonatas with Kristian Bezuidenhout, a bestseller in 2018, here is the next instalment in the Bach recording adventure that began nine years ago with a set of the sonatas and partitas now regarded as a benchmark. Isabelle Faust and Bernhard Forck and his partners at the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin have explored patiently a multitude of other works by Bach: harpsichord concertos, trio sonatas for organ, instrumental movements from sacred cantatas... All are revealed here as direct or indirect relatives of the three monumental concertos BWV 1041-43.
This fascinating achievement is a timely reminder that the master of The Well-Tempered Clavier was also a virtuoso violinist.
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Violin Concertos and Sinfonias Concerto for violin, strings and basso continuo BWV 1052R (from the Harpsichord Concerto no. 1) D minor / ré mineur / d-Moll 1 I. Allegro 2 II. Adagio 3 III. Allegro 4 Sinfonia from the Cantata “Ich liebe den Höchsten von ganzem Gemüte” BWV 174 for 2 horns, 2 oboes, oboe da caccia, 3 violins, 3 violas, 3 cellos and basso continuo G major / Sol majeur / G-Dur
Concerto for violin, strings and basso continuo BWV 1042 E major / Mi majeur / E-Dur 5 I. Allegro 6 II. Adagio 7 III. Allegro assai 8 Sinfonia from the Cantata "Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis" BWV 21 for oboe, 2 violins, viola and basso continuo C minor / ut mineur / c-Moll Adagio assai
Trio Sonata for 2 violins and basso continuo BWV 529 (from the Trio Sonata for organ no. 5) C major / Ut majeur / C-Dur 9 I. Allegro 10 II. Largo 11 III. Allegro Isabelle Faust, Bernhard Forck, Raphael Alpermann
Concerto for oboe, violin, strings and basso continuo BWV 1060 (hypothetical early version) (from the Concerto for 2 harpsichords) C minor / ut mineur / c-Moll 12 I. Allegro 13 II. Largo ovvero Adagio 14 III. Allegro Isabelle Faust, Xenia Löffler
Violin Concertos and Sinfonias Overture [Suite no. 2] BWV 1067 (hypothetical early version) A minor / la mineur / a-Moll vérifier ton avec I. Faust I. Ouverture II. Rondeau III. Sarabande IV. Bourrées I & II V. Polonaise. Moderato e staccato. Double VI. Menuet VII. Badinerie. Staccato
Trio Sonata for oboe, violin and basso continuo BWV 527 (reconstruction) (from the Trio Sonata for organ no.3) D minor / ré mineur / d-Moll I. Andante II. Adagio e dolce III. Vivace Isabelle Faust, Xenia Löffler, Jan Freiheit, Raphael Alpermann
Concerto for violin, strings and basso continuo BWV 1056 (early version) (from the Harpsichord Concerto no. 5) G minor / sol mineur / g-Moll I. [no tempo marking] II. Largo III. Presto
Sonata from the Cantata "Himmelskönig, sei willkommen" BWV 182 for flute, violin, string and basso continuo G major / Sol majeur / G-Dur Grave. Adagio
Concerto for violin, strings and basso continuo BWV 1041 A minor / la mineur / a-Moll I. [no tempo marking] II. Andante III. Allegro assai
Sinfonia BWV 1045 (from a lost Cantata) for violin, 3 trumpets, 2 oboes, timpani, string and basso continuo D major / Ré majeur / D-Dur
Concerto for 2 violins, strings and basso continuo BWV 1043 D minor / ré mineur / d-Moll I. Vivace II. Largo ma non tanto III. Allegro
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It is true that we live in a golden age of Bach performances, but even among those Isabelle Faust’s releases stand out. Bach clearly had an affinity with string instruments—he is known to have played violin and gamba—and Isabelle Faust has a flair for playing Bach. Her recordings of the Sonatas and Partitas (HMC902059 and HMC902124) are already regarded as “benchmarks” and after a CD of the Violin and Harpsichord Sonatas she now turns her attention to the three great Violin Concertos, BWV 1041-3, including the universally-loved Concerto for two violins in D minor. In addition to these core works Faust also presents on this double-CD a group of pieces that constellate round them, including the well-known B minor Orchestral Suite and D minor solo Violin Concerto BWV 1052, and a Concerto for Oboe and Violin, with Bach specialist Xenia Löffler on oboe. Indispensible.