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Roger Myers & Céline Frisch | Viola Music of the Bach Family

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Classical: Bach Classical: Baroque Moods: Solo Instrumental
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Viola Music of the Bach Family

by Roger Myers & Céline Frisch

Explore the sumptuous, virtuosic and rarely heard sound of the Baroque Viola with original solo works from JS Bach and his sons.
Genre: Classical: Bach
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Sonata in G Minor for Viola and Harpsichord, W. 88: I. Allegro moderato
Roger Myers & Céline Frisch
7:04 $0.99
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2. Sonata in G Minor for Viola and Harpsichord, W. 88: II. Larghetto
Roger Myers & Céline Frisch
5:44 $0.99
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3. Sonata in G Minor for Viola and Harpsichord, W. 88: III. Allegro assai
Roger Myers & Céline Frisch
4:39 $0.99
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4. Sonata in A Minor for Viola and Continuo, QV 1:114: I. Amorèvole
Roger Myers & Céline Frisch
3:10 $0.99
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5. Sonata in A Minor for Viola and Continuo, QV 1:114: II. Allegro di molto
Roger Myers & Céline Frisch
3:23 $0.99
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6. Sonata in A Minor for Viola and Continuo, QV 1:114: III. Vivace
Roger Myers & Céline Frisch
3:45 $0.99
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7. Concerto in E-Flat Major for Viola and Harpsichord: II. Larghetto cantabile
Roger Myers & Céline Frisch
6:10 $0.99
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8. Wo soll ich fliehen hin, BWV 5: III. Aria. Ergieße dich reichlich du götliche Quelle
Roger Myers & Céline Frisch
5:42 $0.99
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9. Sonata in C Minor for Viola and Harpsichord: I. Adagio e mesto
Roger Myers & Céline Frisch
5:32 $0.99
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10. Sonata in C Minor for Viola and Harpsichord: II. Allegro non troppo
Roger Myers & Céline Frisch
8:43 $0.99
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11. Sonata in C Minor for Viola and Harpsichord: III. Allegro scherzando
Roger Myers & Céline Frisch
5:52 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Three in One: The Unique Union of the Viola, the Bach Family and the Court of Frederick the Great


This recording featuring works by members of the Bach family and a never before heard one by Johann Joachim Quantz presents outstanding examples of baroque and pre-classical music which are largely unrecognized today.

Historically a widely held belief persists that little solo repertoire exists for the viola from the Baroque and pre-Classical periods persists despite much evidence to the contrary. True, when compared to certain higher pitched instruments like the violin, flute and oboe there is a lot less solo repertoire for the instrument because the period, after all, favored higher-pitched voices and instruments over the lower ranged ones. The chief aesthetic was almost always about the polarity between the basso continuo and the melodic line(s). Instruments commonly used in ensemble music, therefore, were featured comparatively less in solo contexts. With all that said it is all the more surprising then to discover just how much solo viola repertoire there actually is. Furthermore, such prior assumptions about its scarcity often tend to make the issue self-fulfilling in people’s minds, so that despite blinding evidence to the contrary in the published record, many people simply don’t look for the existence of this repertoire

A sizeable amount of authentic solo viola music from the baroque and pre-classical periods is already in publication, and in many cases has existed in print for decades. For those with a more exploratory bent, works are still waiting to be recovered from libraries all over the world, and indeed with the advent of internet resources, can be found with even more ease than before. One of the most surprising discoveries is just how much solo repertoire from this period comes from the Enlightenment Court of Frederick the Great in Prussia. As a great connoisseur of art, philosophy and above all music, he assembled one of the truly great households of first-rate musicians in Europe, and one of the greatest orchestras of the time. Highly accomplished composer/performers such as Franz Benda, Carl Heinrich and Johann Gottlieb Graun, Johann Joachim Quantz and above all Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach were all employed by this court and resided there for many decades. Fascinatingly, the greater Bach family also had strong ties to this court, with Johann Sebastian Bach famously visiting it in 1747. Wilhelm Friedemann Bach actually studied violin with JG Graun and Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach’s own son later became music director to Frederick’s successor, Frederick William II.

While this recording features works by JS Bach and his sons, the fascinating addition of a the newly unearthed world premiere recording of the Sonata in A minor for viola and continuo by J.J. Quantz closes the circle joining the Bach family with the court of Frederick the Great.

The result is a summation of everything later centuries would come to realize about the tonal and technical potential of the viola. In short, the entire program, united either by Bach familial ties or by association to the Court of Frederick the Great, shows right from the outset that the tonal and technical peculiarities of the viola, rediscovered in subsequent centuries, were then fully understood and assimilated into compositions of great beauty and appeal. It would have been a wonderful thing indeed to be present when a king with his glittering court assembled for an evening concert which fully reveled in the marvels of this “instrument of the middle”.

The unique timbre of the viola adds much to the late baroque sound world with its dark, pensive hues interspersed with sporadic bursts of virtuosity, and while its higher pitched cousins feasted on a high calorie diet of plentiful repertoire, the richness of the fare consumed by the viola, aided by the Bach family and the Court of Frederick the Great ensures that the instrument does not go hungry as it proudly takes its seat at the Banquet of Music that is the Baroque.

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