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Johann Sebastian Bach - The Partitas, BWV 825-830 - Richard Egarr (2017) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

Сomposer: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Artist: Richard Egarr
Title: Bach, J.S.: The Partitas, BWV 825-830
Genre: Classical
Label: © Harmonia Mundi
Release Date: 2017
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: nativeDSDmusic
Duration: 02:34:36
Recorded: janvier 2016, Doopsgezinde, Haarlem, Netherlands


At the time of my writing these notes, there lives in England an extraordinary 37-year-old ‘Savant’ who can make huge, complex calculations in his head, recite ‘pi’ to over 21,000 decimal points, and master languages unknown to him (such as Icelandic) in one week. These abilities manifested themselves after a head trauma in his young years. Unusually he displays none of the social difficulties in communication which other more autistic Savants often have. Such extraordinary people maybe give us a glimpse of the true potential of the human brain, that most complex and mysterious organ. I am convinced that Bach’s abilities with music, the manipulation of sound in time and space, were on this superhuman level. Commentators at the time attest to his ability to assess immediately the full potential and possibilities of any given fugue subject. Another frequently mentioned skill was an ability to infuse his music with numerical and mathematical material. These notes will take a look at Bach’s first major publication, his ‘Opus 1’, the six wonderful Partitas, and try to understand and suggest his message to us. The music must be familiar to any serious keyboard player or music lover, so I will restrict myself to a personal reaction to this music. Thereafter I will try to ‘decode’ the bigger and deeper message that lurks beneath these fantastic notes.
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Johann Sebastian Bach - The Art of Fugue, BWV1080 - Rachel Podger, Brecon Baroque (2016) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD128/5.64MHz

Сomposer: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Artist: Rachel Podger, Brecon Baroque
Title: Bach, J.S.: The Art of Fugue (Die Kunst der Fuge), BWV1080
Genre: Classical
Label: © Channel Classics Records
Release Date: 2016
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD128/5.64MHz
Source: nativeDSDmusic
Duration: 01:10:07
Recording: Church of Saint Jude-on-the-Hill, 15-17 December, 2015


Fugue and the art of counterpoint are often almost bywords for Bach the composer. Certainly, from the viewpoint of many later generations, he was the first composer to make fugue the basis for a whole and complete piece of music, one that often seemed to serve no purpose beyond the ‘purely musical’. In a sense, this must surely be right: while there are countless fugal compositions before Bach, very few share the same relentless, yet expressive, cohesion, and most that were written outside the keyboard sphere were associated with a text and liturgical function. There is something about Bach’s fugal composition that immediately places it at the service of composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and Schoenberg. For them, earlier counterpoint in the Renaissance tradition provided more a model for refined technique than for an overriding nexus of musically cohering ideas.
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Johann Sebastian Bach - St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244 - James Gilchrist, Stephan Loges, Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner (2017) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Artist: James Gilchrist, Stephan Loges, Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
Title: Bach, J.S. - St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244
Genre: Classical
Label: © SDG/Monteverdi Productions Ltd.
Release Date: 2017
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 02:41:02
Recorded live in Pisa Cathedral on 22 September 2016 during the Anima Mundi Festival


A new live recording of Bach’s St Matthew Passion (Matthäuspassion BWV 244), recorded in Pisa Cathedral during the Anima Mundi Festival as part of the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra’s 2016 tour.
As well as the full sung texts, the booklet includes both a programme note by Sir John Eliot Gardiner as well as his tour notes: written both before and during their 6-month international tour – which began in Valencia in March and concluded with this performance in Pisa on 22 September – these include diary entries and notes given during rehearsals or sent in the aftermath of concerts to the performers (who were performing from memory).
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Johann Sebastian Bach - St John Passion (Johannes-Passion), BWV 245 - Concerto Koln, Peter Dijkstra (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/48kHz

Сomposer: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Artist: Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Concerto Köln, Peter Dijkstra
Title: Johann Sebastian Bach - St John Passion, BWV 245
Genre: Classical
Label: © BR Klassik
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 48kHz/24bit
Source: prestoclassical.co.uk
Duration: 02:57:15
Recorded: München, Herkulessaal der Residenz: 04.-07.03.2015 (live)



The definitive version of the ‘St John Passion’ by Johann Sebastian Bach, as performed every year in concert halls and churches around the world, does not exist – or, at least, cannot be found in Bach’s own performance materials. Over the last few decades, Bach researchers have removed much of the magic from a work we all believed was familiar, in several respects. It is neither an oratorio for soloists, choir and orchestra nor a self-contained work with a fnal manuscript version. The Cantor of St Thomas did embark on such a version in 1739. 15 years after the frst performance he started making a meticulous fair copy of the score and coupled it with a thorough revision – but he suddenly broke off this new copy towards the end of the frst part, just before the chorale Wer hat dich so geschlagen (no. 11). It was only years later that he had a copyist complete it, but Bach never transferred the new versions of movements one to ten into his performance material.
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Johann Sebastian Bach - Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord, BWV 1014-1019 - Leila Schayegh, Jorg Halubek (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Artist: Leila Schayegh, Jörg Halubek
Title: J.S. Bach: Sonatas for Violin & Harpsichord, BWV 1014-1019
Genre: Classical
Label: © Glossa
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: highresaudio.com
Duration: 01:34:52
Recorded: in Achern (Alte Kirche Fautenbach), Germany, on 25-28 June 2015



Two rising stars in today’s firmament of Baroque music performance, Leila Schayegh and Jörg Halubek, join forces to record one of the major challenges in their joint repertory: the six Bach Violin Sonatas, BWV 1014-1019. The collection’s title, Sei Suonate à Cembalo certato è Violino Solo, reflects the close partnership demanded of the violin and harpsichord players, with Bach moving away from the idea of continuo support for a solo instrument and constantly making new technical demands on the musicians and thereby approaching the concept of the triosonata. Completed by around 1725, most of these richlycharacterful works combine the slow-fast-slowfast sequence of movements found in Italian works and a cantabile tone with elements of German contrapuntal style.
The artistic partnership of Schayegh and Halubek, now in its tenth year, has seen them record chamber music by Jean-Marie Leclair, CPE Bach and Giovanni Mossi but the Bach Violin Sonatas represents their first joint recording for Glossa (Schayegh took part in the recent much-acclaimed recording of Caldara Trio Sonatas, Op 1 with Amandine Beyer for the label, as well as regularly having featured on many of La Risonanza’s Glossa releases). As Schayegh and Habulek mention in their shared booklet essay guiding the listener through the Violin Sonatas (and through the 12 represented keys which are also reflected in the set’s graphic design), they have added two movements from the earlier version of the final Sonata, BWV 1019a as a kind of cheerful and delightful encore.
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Johann Sebastian Bach - Mass in B minor (Messe in h-Moll), BWV 232 - Concerto Koln, Peter Dijkstra (2017) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/48kHz

Сomposer: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Artist: Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Concerto Köln, Peter Dijkstra
Title: Johann Sebastian Bach - Mass in B minor, BWV 232
Genre: Classical
Label: © BR Klassik
Release Date: 2017
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 48kHz/24bit
Source: prestoclassical.co.uk
Duration: 02:58:42
Recorded: München, Herkulessaal der Residenz: 18.–22.04.2016 (live)


Nearly 70 years after the death of Johann Sebastian Bach, the Swiss publisher Hans Georg Nägeli undertook the daring task of preparing the manuscript score of the Mass in B minor for publication. In 1818, to mark the occasion, the Leipzig Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung described the Mass as “the Greatest Musical Work of All Times and All People.” This fulsome formulation was primarily a sales strategy: Nägeli was wooing subscribers for a composition that, until then, had been noticed only by a small number of cognoscenti. The announcement does sound rather pompous to our ears today, but the Swiss publisher’s judgement was a sound one. From the mid-19th century onwards, the Mass in B minor gradually became a fxed part of the repertoire for all major choirs, and is now an integral part of the worldwide concert business. However, unsolved questions incidental to this unusual work and its success story continue to preoccupy musicologists to this day: Why is an overall title page missing from the original manuscript, with its four individual folders? Were the four different sections, with their different orchestration, ever conceived as a single and cohesive mass? Was the work composed for any special occasion? And was a performance of the monumental mass even conceivable in around 1750? A look at the history of the music and its structure can bring us one step closer to possible answers.
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Johann Sebastian Bach - Johannes-Passion - Les Musiciens du Louvre, Marc Minkowski (2017) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)
Artist: Les Musiciens du Louvre, Marc Minkowski
Title: Bach, J.S. - Johannes-Passion, bwv 245
Genre: Classical
Label: © Parlophone Records Limited, a Warner Music Group Company
Release Date: 2017
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: Qobuz
Duration: 01:50:37
Recorded 14-19 April 2014 and live on 15 April 2014 at the Chapelle de la Trinité, Lyon, France


The foundations of Marc Minkowski’s career lie in Baroque music, and he has enjoyed a long relationship with Warner Classics, but this Johannes-Passion (St John Passion) is his first Bach for the label. The work’s terse drama – here presented through just nine singers – is ideally suited to both his scrupulous musicianship and his keen sense of theatre. The French conductor describes Bach’s great masterpieces as “a journey you have to prepare for meticulously, over a long period of time … You come back from it like an explorer comes back from Everest or the Moon – transformed.”
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Johann Sebastian Bach - Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 - Ignacio Prego (2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/88,2kHz

Сomposer: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Artist: Ignacio Prego
Title: Johann Sebastian Bach - Goldberg Variations, BWV 988
Genre: Classical
Label: © Glossa
Release Date: 2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 88,2kHz/24bit
Source: prestoclassical.co.uk
Duration: 01:19:06
Recorded: in Guadarrama (Centro Cultural La Torre), Spain, in July 2015


Ignacio Prego is a leading member of the rising generation of Spanish early music specialists, which numbers existing Glossa recording artists such as Fahmi Alqhai and Josetxu Obregón. Prego has already been securing for himself a very busy concert schedule across Europe, the US and Asia, and he is frequently to be heard performing harpsichord concertos with ensembles such as the Portland Baroque Orchestra or The English Concert, collaborating with eminent musicians such as Monica Huggett and Nicholas McGegan, or giving solo harpsichord recitals, where he is able to demonstrate his special preference for the works of JS Bach.
This new recording of the Bach Goldberg Variations represents Prego’s third solo recital on CD, but his first for Glossa. Heard playing a splendid copy of a 1738 Christian Vater harpsichord on this Federico Prieto-engineered recording, Ignacio Prego illustrates perfectly the points put forward in scholar David Schulenberg’s essay for the booklet, in which particular emphasis is placed on Bach’s threefold “cycling” of the 30 variations, each time combining one free variation, one duet and a canon. Fine photographs from Noah Shaye round up a new inspiring Glossa title.
The release of this recording will precede various international performances from Prego, including two US tours, first in November 2016 and then in March 2017, at venues such as the Benaroya Hall in Seattle and the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.
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Johann Sebastian Bach - Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, BWV 1001-1006 - Movses Pogossian (2017) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz

Сomposer: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Artist: Movses Pogossian
Title: J.S. Bach: 6 Sonatas & Partitas for Solo Violin, BWV 1001-1006
Genre: Classical
Label: © New Focus Recordings
Release Date: 2017
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Source: highresaudio.com
Duration: 02:52:23
Recorded: December 21-23, 2015, and May 28-30, 2016, at the Recording Studio of the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music


Acclaimed Armenian born violinist Movses Pogossian releases his performance of the full set of Bach's iconic Six Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin. Pogossian's soulful and thoughtful version strikes an ideal balance between various approaches to Bach. He incorporates the best characteristics of historically informed performance alongside aspects of the expansive, violinistic style associated with 20th century readings. His deep understanding of the structure of these works provides the foundation for the entire recording, elucidating the genius craft behind the fugues, the elegant harmonic architecture of the slow movements, and the brilliant "fortspinnung" or "spinning out" of motivic and episodic material in the fast movements. His lively articulation in dance movements is matched with a lyrical purity in the slower material. Pogossian mines the spiritual core of the slow movements brilliantly, preserving forward direction at deliberate tempi that allow him to explore the emotional color of each note. His approach is influenced by close work with György and Márta Kurtág, whose essential insights on Bach and music in general have inspired legions of wonderful musicians the world over. Pogossian is Professor of Violin at UCLA and can be heard as a soloist and chamber musician worldwide, as a champion of new compositions and virtuoso performer of works in the traditional canon.
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Johann Sebastian Bach - St. John Passion, BWV 245 - La Petite Bande, Sigiswald Kuijken (2012) High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz

Сomposer: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Artist: Netherlands Bach Society, Sigiswald Kuijken
Title: Bach, J.S. - St. John Passion, BWV 245
Genre: Classical, Choral
Label: © Challenge Records | Northstar Recordings
Release Date: 2012
Quality: DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Source: nativeDSDmusic
Duration: 01:51:35
Recorded: 17-20 April 2011, Academiezaal, St. Truiden, Belgium


Let’s start with a simple question : which version have you recorded? Hmm, this is actually a rather complex question. During Bach’s lifetime there were four different performances, each time with new modifications, some in response to the circumstances at the time, others influenced by which musicians and instruments he then had at his disposal. However Bach experimented to the greatest degree with the second version, dating from 1725: for instance, he used a different opening chorus (which was later to become the closing chorus of the first part of the St Matthew Passion, a work yet to be composed at this stage) and a couple of other arias near the end of the work. For the later performances he reverted to his first version from 1724, albeit with some differences in instrumentation. For instance, in the final version he includes a bassono grosso, but no one knows for certain which instrument he had in mind; possibly a 16-foot bassoon, i.e. a contrabassoon, a veritable chimney pot two metres in length. However, he scored this instrument in combination with the delicate sound of the lute and two violas d’amore, of all things! I cannot believe that Bach would opt for such an instrument in this passage; an 8-foot bassoon is more likely and the term bassono grosso probably indicates this more modern type of instrument rather than the earlier dulcian, although the latter had not totally fallen out of fashion at the time. However, I would not venture a definite opinion as to what bassono grosso means in this context. So we did not use this instrument: this was yet another reason to stick with the first version, since it raises fewer uncertain issues. Nevertheless, there are still various grey areas involved. Even prior to the first performance, before making the individual orchestral parts, Bach began to write out the score in fine calligraphy, a task he did not complete; and this score deviates in some aspects from the orchestral material used in the actual performance. The process of determining the most probable historical truth continues to have elements reminiscent of a detective novel; anyway, it will never be possible to clarify certain details. At any rate, we opted for the first version that everyone performs.
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