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<<  -- 2 --  Ron Bierman    A DELIGHT


Since Bach was among the least fussy of composers when it came to instrumentation, the Gamba Sonatas present many alternatives for performers and therefore choices for listeners. Many will prefer Ma or Casals in spite of my bias. I'd instead opt for the better balanced Maisky and Argerich for a cello and piano version. Wispelwey uses a brighter sounding eighteenth century violoncello piccolo to good effect in his recording. He, like Linden, is accompanied by harpsichordist Egarr.

Linden and Egarr perform the three gamba pieces in a little over forty minutes. That leaves enough time to separate the sonatas with Bach Capricci for solo harpsichord. These are earlier works, not at the inspired level of the sonatas, but a little more off the beaten path and a clever way to add tasteful variety to the program. Egarr's performance is a delight [listen -- track 15, 0:00-1:15].

This is a wonderful original instruments recording of some of Bach's finest chamber music. Linden holds his own with the better known Savall, the closest thing we have to a gamba superstar. Savall is teamed with Koopman. A choice between the two CDs can come down to which added works are preferred. Savall's most recent interpretation is preceded by a Trio Sonata for Organ (BWV 529, arranged to include gamba). The Gamba Sonatas are played in sequence. Listeners won't go wrong with either Linden or Savall.

Copyright © 9 April 2003 Ron Bierman, San Diego, USA


J S Bach: Gamba Sonatas - Ter Linden and Egarr

HMU 907268 Stereo 61'15" 2000 harmonia mundi

Jaap ter Linden, viola da gamba; Richard Egarr, harpsichord

Sonata I in G BWV 1027; Capriccio in B flat BWV 992; Sonata II in D BWV 1028; Capriccio in E BWV 993; Sonata III in G minor BWV 1029



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