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Bach: Sonatas for Viola da gamba und Cembalo

1 rating: 5.0
An album by Johann Sebastian Bach, Jordi Savall, and Ton Koopman

Bach, like Handel and most other baroque composers, often reused compositions, either adapting and assembling portions of them to make new "compilation" works (as with thefour short Masses) or rearranging them for other forces (as with theviolin concertosBach … see full wiki

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1 review about Bach: Sonatas for Viola da gamba und Cembalo

Savall Makes the Gamba Credible

  • Dec 2, 2007
Throughout much of its period of popularity, the viola da gamba was not a professional musician's instrument. It was the dilettante's pleasure, the instrument for cultured recreational music. Such it has become again in modern times, with the "early music" movement. There are summer workshop "dude ranches" for amateur gambists all over America. Much of the music written for gambas even by the greatest composers of the late Renaissance and Baroque was written for gentlemen/patrons of perhaps limited virtuosity. Bach's gamba sonatas, for example, are less challenging in every way, including listening, than his solo cello suites.

Nonetheless, the Bach gamba sonatas are thrillingly beautiful, and Jordi Savall has lived with them until he understands them better than anyone but Bach himself. I have listened to Jordi's older recording of them so many times that I can recognize each from one random bar of music. Consequently, my first reaction to this newer performance was quizzical. Why's he playing it that way? But I've come to respect the new as much as the old. Now there are two master performances to choose from.

If you enjoy the sound of the gamba, you will be delighted to discover that Savall has a long catalogue of performances by the great French Baroque composers for his instrument: Marais, St. Colombe, Fourqueray, and others, all ravishing. No one since that era of French geniuses has made the gamba a more persuasive virtuoso's instrument than Jordi Savall.

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Bach: Sonatas for Viola da gamba und Cembalo
Label: Alia Vox Spain
Release Date: May 9, 2000

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