Bach: Works for Viola and Piano - Schlichtig, Sekiya
MDG Scene 903 1660-6
Bach: Sonatas for Viola and Piano BWV 1027-1029, Chorale Preludes (arr. Franz Beyer)
Hariolf Schlichtig (viola)
Yumi Sekiya (piano)
Johann Sebastian Bach composed almost two hundred chorale preludes and chorale arrangements, but they have only rarely been interpreted on the viola and piano. This recording program with the violist Hariolf Schlichtig and the pianist Yumi Sekiya features some of these familiar works as well as the three gamba sonatas from Köthen.
Johann Sebastian Bach’s three Sonatas for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord (BWV 1027-1029) number among his most famous chamber works. The French gamba culture of Bach’s time was characterized by virtuosic ornaments and highly developed chordal playing, but here we have something quite different – which means that it was quite logical and natural to transfer the gamba part to the viola.
Bach himself was fond of playing the viola at musical gatherings when his talents were not otherwise required. He evidently enjoyed placing himself “in the middle of the harmony” with this instrument in order to listen attentively to the other parts – as his biographer Forkel reports.
Franz Beyer chose with great care and skill when he removed Bach’s chorales from their sacred context in order to arrange them for the Schlichtig/Sekiya duo. A full spectrum ranging from mystical wedding music (“Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme”) and a meditation (“O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß”) to an Advent melody embellished with the finest art (“Nun komm der Heiden Heiland“), a work from the year of Bach’s death, is represented. And it is indeed fascinating now to enjoy these works – almost in absolute form and without their church associations – on a sonorous Steinway concert grand piano and in SACD multichannel sound.
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- Johann Sebastian Bach: Chorale Preludes: Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639 'Das Orgelbüchlein'
- Johann Sebastian Bach: Chorale Preludes: Nun komm der Heiden Heiland, BWV 659 'von verschiedener Art'
- Johann Sebastian Bach: Chorale Preludes: O Mensch, bewein' dein' Sünde groß, BWV 622 'Das Orgelbüchlein'
- Johann Sebastian Bach: Chorale Preludes: Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645 'Schübler'
- Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonata for Viola da Gamba and Keyboard No. 1, BWV 1027 in G major
- Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonata for Viola da Gamba and Keyboard No. 2, BWV 1028 in D major
- Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonata for Viola da Gamba and Keyboard No. 3, BWV 1029 in G minor