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J.S. Bach: Trio Sonatas / Brook Street Band

Album Summary

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Trio Sonata for Organ no 1 in E flat major, BWV 525
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Trio Sonata for Organ no 2 in C minor, BWV 526
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Trio Sonata for Organ no 3 in D minor, BWV 527
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Trio Sonata for Organ no 4 in E minor, BWV 528
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Trio Sonata for Organ no 5 in C major, BWV 529
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Trio Sonata for Organ no 6 in G major, BWV 530
Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The Brook Street Band burst onto the scene in 2003 with their Avie debut, the world premiere recording of Handel's "Oxford" Water Music, which earned the period-instrument ensemble an Editor's Choice from Gramophone. Now, the all-girl group presents their first recording of the music of J.S. Bach, adapting his Organ Sonatas to their own instrumentation of two violins, harpsichord, and cello.

"As Brook Street Band founder and cellist Tatty Theo says in her booklet-notes, the band's reason for recording yet another arrangement of Bach's six trio sonatas for organ has been for "the sheer pleasure of playing this wonderful music, and the wish to share it". And it shows, with unaffected performances of remarkable freshness and vitality. Bach took the Italian trio sonata and "organ-ised" it, assigning the two melodic lines to one manual apiece and the bass to the pedal. Theo's arrangements "reassign" the melodic lines to the violins and the bass to cello and harpsichord continuo; harpsichordist Carolyn Gibley is careful, too, not to obscure Bach's writing with her right hand.

The BSB's approach combines the clarity of London Baroque with the elegance of the Purcell Quartet while hinting at the colour of the Palladian Ensemble, which employs recorders and plucked strings as well as violin and gamba on its excellent disc of arrangements of Bach sonatas and chorales. But the exuberance is all BSB's own. Theo's bass is clear and firm throughout, providing a centre of gravity for violinists Rachel Harris and Farran Scott to really dance. This is as apparent in the fast major-key movements such as BWV529's opening Allegro and dramatic minor-key movements such as the Vivace from BWV526 as it is in the slower, which, like the Largo of BWV526, tend towards the quicker side without sacrificing delicacy or gravitas. The variety of string articulation together with Gibley's discrete harmonisations further serve both to enliven and to elucidate Bach's musical arguments. Superb."-Grammophon

"If you want an ensemble transcription of these works, if having the works performed in their original keys is a major desideratum, and if you favor the type of instrumental timbre exemplified by this ensemble, then this disc can be safely recommended."-Fanfare

Classic FM Magazine
The Brook Street Band has a trademark playing style that's communicative,energetic, and very, very zingy in every department...the playing has such deftness and verve that time flies by...In chamber music from this period, you won't find more winning and winsome playing.

Gramophone Magazine
unaffected performances of remarkable freshness and vitality...The variety of string articulation together with Gibley's discrete harmonisations further serve both to enliven and to elucidate Bach's musical arguments. Superb.

BBC Music Magazine
The Brook Street Band plays stylishly, with well-nigh impeccable intonation and tremendous verve...the vitality is riveting and the counterpoint enthralling. Delightful.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Raveningham Church, Norfolk (03/22/2010-03/25/2010).



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Works Details

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Trio Sonata for Organ no 1 in E flat major, BWV 525
  • Ensemble: Brook Street Band
  • Notes: Raveningham Church, Norfolk (03/22/2010-03/25/2010)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1730

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Trio Sonata for Organ no 2 in C minor, BWV 526
  • Ensemble: Brook Street Band
  • Notes: Raveningham Church, Norfolk (03/22/2010-03/25/2010)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1730

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Trio Sonata for Organ no 3 in D minor, BWV 527
  • Ensemble: Brook Street Band
  • Notes: Raveningham Church, Norfolk (03/22/2010-03/25/2010)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1730

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Trio Sonata for Organ no 4 in E minor, BWV 528
  • Ensemble: Brook Street Band
  • Notes: Raveningham Church, Norfolk (03/22/2010-03/25/2010)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1730

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Trio Sonata for Organ no 5 in C major, BWV 529
  • Ensemble: Brook Street Band
  • Notes: Raveningham Church, Norfolk (03/22/2010-03/25/2010)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1730

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Trio Sonata for Organ no 6 in G major, BWV 530
  • Ensemble: Brook Street Band
  • Notes: Raveningham Church, Norfolk (03/22/2010-03/25/2010)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1730