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J.S. Bach: Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord BWV 1014-1019 / Lucy Russell, violiin; John Butt, harpsichord

Album Summary

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord no 1 in B minor, BWV 1014
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord no 2 in A major, BWV 1015
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord no 3 in E major, BWV 1016
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord no 4 in C minor, BWV 1017
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord no 5 in F minor, BWV 1018
>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord no 6 in G major, BWV 1019
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Prize-winning Bach specialist John Butt O.B.E. and distinguished violinist Lucy Russell deliver a personal and historically informed performance on 'J.S. Bach: Sonatas for violin and harpsichord'. The interpretations benefit from Butt and Russell's combined cumulative experience gained over a lifetime of study, together with an evident rapport honed during their work with Dunedin Consort. Russell's performance explores the colors and emotions present in the music as well as highlighting Bach's good humor and quirkiness. The duo relish the energetic dialogue and astonishingly diverse moods and characters present in Bach's music: from the supremely expressive violin 'voice' at the opening of the first sonata to the playful rhythmic tricks in the last movement of Sonata No. 4. Bach's fiendishly complex fugal writing and typically delicious chromaticism is in evidence throughout these hugely enjoyable works. Butt's informative booklets notes highlight the historical significance of these sonatas in which Bach introduces many of the fundamental features of an essentially new genre. Perhaps best known as director of Dunedin Consort, John Butt has won two Gramophone Awards: the 'Baroque Vocal' Award for 'Handel: Messiah' and the 'Choral' Award for 'Mozart: Requiem'. Dunedin's first instrumental release, 'J.S. Bach: Six Brandenburg Concertos', saw Butt's harpsichord solos singled out for their virtuosity and technical skill, whilst his 2014 recording of Bach's '48' received several five star reviews and 'Choice' accolades. Lucy Russell is among the most distinguished of international violinists who have achieved eminence on both historical instruments and their 'modern' counterparts. Russell became leader of the Fitzwilliam String Quartet in 1995 with whom she has performed all over Europe, North America, the Middle East, and South Africa.

The Guardian, 22nd May 2015
Butt reigns in his most rambunctious side...but revels in the invention of the contrapuntal lines and fully embraces the keyboard's emancipation from accompanying role to sparring partner. His woozy rubato might drive some listeners crazy, but I'm all for it; this is playing rooted in bulletproof scholarship, but the scrunchiest harmonies and most roguish dance rhythms always win out.

Gramophone Magazine, July 2015
Russell does not attempt to seduce the listener by hiding the 'Baroque' nature of her violin, which is slightly wiry, even acidic on occasion, but also clear, in tune (not all her rivals have been!) and always alive...Butt's playing provides alert, clearly articulated and muscular support...These are immensely likeable performances, and a mission accomplished, I would suggest, for Russell.

BBC Music Magazine, September 2015
The rapport between Russell and Butt is riveting, and their meeting of musical minds leaves no detail under-characterised... for sheer freshness, insight and life-enhancing joy, this newcomer goes to the top of the class.

Sunday Times, 30th August 2015
Russell's beautifully polished playing reveals an affecting relish for the music's searching expressivity, while Butt offers shapely, crisply articulated contributions in his dual role as provider of impetus-giving continuo and - because these are essentially trio sonatas - as second melodist.

American Record Guide
This music is very special. These are the first real violin-keyboard sonatas, because the keyboard part was completely written out by Bach... It was then the performer's responsibility to flesh out the part, making it as elaborate or as simple as the his ability and imagination allowed, not to mention the tolerance of the other musician, who might want to claim the lion's share of the audience's attention... This practice eventually established the dominance of the composer over the performers and led to the decline of improvisation as an essential skill in what we now call classical music... I enjoyed this recording so much because it is so rare that I get to hear these sonatas played with absolutely no interpretive decisions that I object to, and these performers are not only very polished but play with enthusiasm. To top it off, Linn gives them excellent sound.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: St Martin's, East Woodhay, Hampshire, UK (2012-07-02_2012-07-04&2013-).



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Works Details

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord no 1 in B minor, BWV 1014
  • Performers: John Butt (Harpsichord); Lucy Russell (Violin)
  • Notes: St Martin's, East Woodhay, Hampshire, UK (2012-07-02_2012-07-04&2013-)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1720

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord no 2 in A major, BWV 1015
  • Performers: John Butt (Harpsichord); Lucy Russell (Violin)
  • Notes: St Martin's, East Woodhay, Hampshire, UK (2012-07-02_2012-07-04&2013-)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1720

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord no 3 in E major, BWV 1016
  • Performers: John Butt (Harpsichord); Lucy Russell (Violin)
  • Notes: St Martin's, East Woodhay, Hampshire, UK (2012-07-02_2012-07-04&2013-)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1720

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord no 4 in C minor, BWV 1017
  • Performers: John Butt (Harpsichord); Lucy Russell (Violin)
  • Notes: St Martin's, East Woodhay, Hampshire, UK (2012-07-02_2012-07-04&2013-)
  • Running Time: 15 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1720

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord no 5 in F minor, BWV 1018
  • Performers: John Butt (Harpsichord); Lucy Russell (Violin)
  • Notes: St Martin's, East Woodhay, Hampshire, UK (2012-07-02_2012-07-04&2013-)
  • Running Time: 15 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1720

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord no 6 in G major, BWV 1019
  • Performers: John Butt (Harpsichord); Lucy Russell (Violin)
  • Notes: St Martin's, East Woodhay, Hampshire, UK (2012-07-02_2012-07-04&2013-)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1720