In a church in a quiet northern Italian town survives a hidden jewel: an organ dating from 1749 which is perfect for Bach’s music. In this recording, renowned Italian organist Luca Guglielmi presents a fine sequence of some of Bach’s finest keyboard works, played on the historic organ in the Chiesa di San Nicolao, Alice Castello. The programme is compiled from works by Bach collected by two eighteenth century scholars, Padre Martini and Friedrich Wilhelm Rust, which would surely have been performed in the famous Abbey of Montecassino, a magnet for musical travellers on ‘The Grand Tour’. Martini and Rust played a major role in the creation of the first collected edition of Bach’s works. Guglielmi’s neatly-structured programme includes the brilliant Fantasia Chromatica, the solemn Fuga sopra il Magnificat, the fine Fantasia pro Organo in C minor and the great Fantasia & Fuga pro Organo, as well as Preludes and Fantasias, Duetti from the Clavierübung and seven Chorales for the Catechism, all demonstrating the vivid colours of this remarkable instrument.
The Ricercar Consort was founded in 1980 by harpsichordist and now director Philippe Pierlot. On this seasonal new release we are presented with three festive works by J S Bach (1650-1715), where an exuberant ensemble, with flutes, oboes, trumpets, timpani and voices, express the comfort and joy inspired by the Nativity. The cantatas in question are "Unser Mund Sei Voll Lachens" (BWV110), "Süsser Trost Mein Jesu Kommt"( BWV151) and "Christen, Atzet Diesen Tag" (BWV63). There are many different recordings of the Christmas Cantatas available and while I enjoyed this new one from France I am not convinced it is the definitive version although it is certainly most listenable. Bach's innate joie de vivre is never more clear than in his celebration of the Nativity. The melodies keep pouring from him and the instrumental accompaniment dances around the vocal lines like peasants dancing around a Christmas tree: joyfully unrestrained and unselfconscious. . (Steven Whitehead)
There is an art to the duo performance – many jazz artists have tried it and accomplished it beautifully in many settings, live and in the studio. That said, there are very few recorded live performances between an electric guitarist and a pianist. Life in Leipzig is one. Recorded in 2005 by Germany's MDR radio as part of its broadcast of the city's jazz festival, this marks the debut live offering by pianist and composer Ketil Bjornstad.
Johann Christian Bach (September 5, 1735 – January 1, 1782) was a composer of the Classical era, the eleventh and youngest son of Johann Sebastian Bach. He is sometimes referred to as 'the London Bach' or 'the English Bach', due to his time spent living in the British capital, where he came to be known as John Bach. He is noted for influencing the concerto style of Mozart. Johann Christian Bach was born to Johann Sebastian and Anna Magdalena Bach in Leipzig, Germany. His distinguished father was already 50 at the time of his birth, which would perhaps contribute to the sharp differences between his music and that of his father. Even so, his father first instructed him in music and that instruction continued until his death…