The father of the Baroque period, Johann Sebastian Bach is one of the greatest composers of all time. His works, covering a wide range of instruments and voice types, continue to flourish to this day, forming a core part of musical learning. This special disc brings together the Trio Sonatas BWV525–530, works that originally appeared in a manuscript of works for organ. In this form, the pieces naturally became part of Bach’s teaching – a notable contribution to his oldest son Wilhelm Friedemann’s virtuoso organ technique.
Gavrilov is a pianist of outstanding virtuosity and power. In 1974 Melodiya recorded the 1st Tchaikovsky-concerto at the pricewinner concert of the Tchaikovsky competition together with a live solo recital. 1976 a studio recording of the 3rd Rachmaninoff concerto followed. From 1977 to 1989 he worked exclusively for EMI. From that time dates the legendary recording of the Chopin-Etudes and many other works, notably from Chopin, Scriabin, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff and J.S. Bach. From 1991 to 1993 he recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, where Gavrilov, who among new works keeps his core repertoire, also duplicated some works already recorded for EMI. A number of projects with many Gavrilov-premieres was no more realized, Bach's English Suites, the complete Beethoven piano concerti, the Choral Fantasie and the Diabelli Variations, as well as more vague plans with works by Liszt (Etudes d'execution transcendante, Paganini-Etudes), Ravels complete works for piano solo and with orchestra, the piano concertos of Grieg und Schumann and Benjamin Brittens Golden Vanity. In 2009 a number of new DVD-recordings is planned for release.
Karl Richter’s recordings of Bach’s orchestral and sacred music influenced an entire generation of musicians and listeners, presenting the conductor’s unique sound and style. When Richter recorded Bach’s works, he freed them from a ponderous tradition that had mired the music in romantic sounds and idiom. Richter lightened Bach’s music, and, with an orchestra of outstanding musicians, helped bring it toward the more modern interpretations that listeners have become familiar with today. This is still a bit far from the historically-informed performances that are pretty much the norm, but there is a unity and natural originality that comes through the music in these recordings.
When it came time for Johann Sebastian Bach to publish his Opus 1, what work do you think he picked? One of the sacred cantatas? One of the Brandenburg Concertos? One of the cello suites? No, none of the above. In 1726, Bach chose his B flat major Partita to start his publishing career – and once a year for the next five years, he published five more partitas, then collected them under the title Clavier-Übung in 1731. When it came time for Hungarian pianist András Schiff to make his major-label debut, what work do you think he picked? Yes, that's right. In 1985, Schiff released his recording of the complete partitas – and followed it with many more Bach recordings over the next few years until he'd released nearly the complete canonical works by 1996. And yes, Schiff's partitas are wonderful.