JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord Arias with obbligato viola da gamba
Paolo Pandolfo, viola da gamba Markus Hünninger, harpsichord & organ
with Michael Chance, countertenor Harry van der Kamp, bass François Joubert-Caillet, violone
Total playing time 59:42 Recorded in the Église Saint-Appolinaire in Bolland, Belgium, in May 2010 Engineered and produced by Manuel Mohino Executive producer: Carlos Céster Design: Valentín Iglesias Booklet texts: Paolo Pandolfo, Anselm Hartinger English Français Deutsch Español
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JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750 )
Sonatas for viola da gamba
Sonata I, BWV 1027 01 Adagio 02 Allegro, ma non tanto 03 Andante 04 Allegro moderato 05 Preludio (improvised) 06 Komm, süßes Kreuz(Recitativo & Aria, Matthäus-Passion, BWV 244)
Sonata II, BWV 102807 Adagio08 Allegro09 Andante10 Allegro11 Es ist vollbracht(Aria, Johannes-Passion, BWV 245)
Sonata III, BWV 102912 Vivace13 Adagio14 Allegro
About this CD
Fifteen years on from his earlier recording of Bach’s three Sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord (on Harmonia Mundi, alongside Rinaldo Alessandrini), Paolo Pandolfo is now returning to this repertory with a thoroughly-rethought approach, the fruit of active and concentrated years of consideration, study and research into the inherent possibilities of his instrument. Given the basic differing natures of these two instruments, the performance of these works very often turns – in Pandolfo’s words – into a “musical argument”, rather than what is demanded by the music’s essential nature: a “musical conversation” in which the score achieves “transparency and eloquence”.
For this exercise in interpretative discourse Paolo Pandolfo has found a suitably-engaged musical mind in harpsichordist Markus Hünninger, a friend for many years and a teacher, like Pandolfo, at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. The resulting disc has a very personal flavour to it, reiterating the uncompromising sense of quality in all that the Roman gamba player does. Following on from his essential recordings of music by Forqueray, Hume, Marais, Sainte Colombe and Abel, he is now rounding off on Glossa his own particular vision of Bach, which he commenced in 2000 with the recording of the now-legendary Six Suites.
To complete the disc there are two vocal arias with obbligato viola da gamba drawn from two of Bach’s Passions, in which Pandolfo is joined by two leading early music singers of recent times, the countertenor Michael Chance and the bass Harry van der Kamp.
It seemed that the music of Carl Friedrich Abel was proving singularly impervious to modern performance initiatives. More is known about the life and times of this Köthen-born composer than about his actual music (he can be placed as a pupil of JS Bach and as someone who died in the year of the 17 year-old Beethoven’s first visit to Vienna). Yet it was as a virtuosic improviser on the by then (surely?) outdated instrument of the viola da gamba that Abel was equally known for by his contemporaries. So, the most suitable candidate in the 21st century for bringing back Abel’s music to its rightful place needs to be not only a supreme interpreter on the viola da gamba and steeped in its repertory but one capable of understanding the almost lost art of improvisation. [read more...]
Widely admired as a virtuoso exponent of the viola da gamba through his concert performances and recordings of key composers from Germany, France, Spain, England and his native Italy, Paolo Pandolfo has in recent years been concentrating on his instincts and skills for improvising and composing (not to mention continuing with his teaching). An artist who can bring out the expressive vitality and poetry in the viol music of composers such as Sainte-Colombe, Marin Marais or J.S. Bach is plainly also relishing the challenges of other musical explorations that have included, on disc, an unaccompanied tour de force in A Solo and a travelogue (from this artist who is a modern, high-tech nomad himself) in Travel Notes. [read more...]