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Immersing Myself in Bach's Trio Sonatas: Keyboard and Ensemble

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Posted on September 13, 2020 at 12:26:18
jdaniel@jps.net
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A thousand years ago a friend raved about E. Power Biggs' Columbia Trio Sonata set played on Pedal Harpsichord. He loaned me the Lp's but I just didn't get into the music at time.

Fast forward to the release of Vikingur Olafsson's "Bach" on DG a few months ago: while sampling, one track really grabbed me, a rather new age-y arrangement of the Andante from the fourth Trio Sonata. It's quite lovely. (Please forgive the visuals, including the woman from the garbage dump in "Walking Dead," apparently before her big break.)

Intrigued, I went ahead and downloaded Florilegium's Trio Sonatas (Channel) and the London Baroque's (BIS). I wouldn't want to be without either but overall I prefer the cleaner, clearer counterpoint projected by the LB. Florilegium's more diverse and colorful instrumentation in some of the trios occasionally blurs the lines IMHO. Both ensembles vary instrumentation depending upon the Sonata being played.

Unfortunately I can't post a preview of the BIS because there are no Youtube freebees, but a link is provided below for your sampling pleasure. I'm especially fond of LB's perky performance of first mov't of the first Sonata. Their Andante from the fourth Sonata is moving as well, vibrato notwithstanding! : )

Finally, I'll end where I began: E. Power Biggs performing the first mov't of the first Sonata:






View YouTube Video






View YouTube Video

 

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OMG I'm less popular than Zukerman or Masur! Babe pic enclosed to increase marketability!! , posted on September 14, 2020 at 06:43:05
jdaniel@jps.net
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,

 

RE: Immersing Myself in Bach's Trio Sonatas: Keyboard and Ensemble, posted on September 14, 2020 at 10:14:55
alc777
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Well, I think I was transported back a thousand years and being in the same situation receiving Power Biggs' trio sonata. That sounds to me as a lute and banjo practicing class. Did you really not thinking that Mr. Biggs brought more of how an American plays classical music than things about Bach's work?

Olafsson's playing was fine to me until he got to those heavy pounding chords, they have the dramatic effect that probably he wanted there but drives me away from where I was immersing myself into.

Ah Lara! I like her playing if not a bit restless to me. Can be great when I don't want those quiet and repetitive Bachs.

Zukerman do share some similarities with Masur of their music styles. But I'll vote more for Masur because his excellent Beethoven symphonies.

 

RE: Immersing Myself in Bach's Trio Sonatas: Keyboard and Ensemble, posted on September 14, 2020 at 10:59:34
jdaniel@jps.net
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My first exposure to Bach was Ormandy's full orchestral arrangements of his music.

Biggs' instrument does indeed sound like a banjo at times, Vintage electric guitar as well. : )

As for Masur, he was apparently adored by audiences in NY and fought hard for human rights in E. Germany after the fall.

Did his recordings sell very well? I don't know. Maybe some sleepers out there waiting to be discovered.

 

Another bad day today, jdaniel? [nt] ;-), posted on September 14, 2020 at 11:07:22
Chris from Lafayette
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Not anymore, apparently. See how your marketing tricks work like magic? : ) And as of today..., posted on September 14, 2020 at 11:48:08
jdaniel@jps.net
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I can add two more HIP groups that employ vibrato and don't clip phrases: Egarr's AAM and Cohen's Archangelo.

 

RE: OMG I'm less popular than Zukerman or Masur! Babe pic enclosed to increase marketability!! , posted on September 14, 2020 at 11:58:42
bald2
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The Harnoncourt version and Telefunken is quite beautiful...-I also love the first recording by Marie Claire Alain on Erato...

 

OK - I was just worried about you there for a minute! [nt] ;-), posted on September 14, 2020 at 14:16:28
Chris from Lafayette
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But now I'm beginning to worry about you for another reason, posted on September 14, 2020 at 14:50:39
Chris from Lafayette
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Hearing vibrato where it doesn't exist? Sounds like that condition could be serious!

 

Come on, now you're being delusional. Sample the London Baroque 1st Trio Sonata and try to convince anyone , posted on September 14, 2020 at 15:17:50
jdaniel@jps.net
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in here that there isn't ample vibrato.

 

Olafsson without The Walking Dead, posted on September 14, 2020 at 15:21:57
pbarach
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That video of Olafsson is just totally bizarre, but I loved the musical performance so much that I bought the hi-res version of his Bach album, which I'm thoroughly enjoying.

Recently, Olafsson recorded that Trio Sonata slow movement on the piano in the Berlin home he was about to leave in order to move back to his family in Iceland. So you can hear him play this piece in an NPR video without zombie choreography. He also plays a Debussy prelude and a couple of Rameau pieces.

 

Ah! Now I see what you're getting at!, posted on September 14, 2020 at 16:05:31
Chris from Lafayette
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Well. . . if the London Baroque ensemble is still playing like this in 2020, then I say, "More power to them!".

It does remind of Karl Munchinger's band, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, which issued some recordings on the Tacet label in the early 2000's. They still played at that time the way they did when Munchinger was their conductor - maybe even better! Of course, these ensembles are not what I had in mind when I've talked about HIP. ;-)



 

Yes, and there's more coming. You can't just focus on the most extreme Branch Vibridian Sects. Nt, posted on September 14, 2020 at 16:19:21
jdaniel@jps.net
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.

 

I've also been very impressed with Olafsson from what I've heard on Qobuz [nt], posted on September 14, 2020 at 16:51:26
Chris from Lafayette
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Who says I can't? [nt] ;-), posted on September 14, 2020 at 16:55:46
Chris from Lafayette
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Thanks, I was unable to find a recording or sound sample on the Web. nt, posted on September 14, 2020 at 18:11:07
jdaniel@jps.net
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.

 

Because it reveals the you have no HIP street cred. nt, posted on September 14, 2020 at 18:46:57
jdaniel@jps.net
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Hey - I'm PROUD of that! [nt] ;-), posted on September 14, 2020 at 20:24:57
Chris from Lafayette
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I wasn't interested in Masur's conducting until, posted on September 14, 2020 at 21:02:47
alc777
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I heard his Eterna Beethoven series. I listen to one of them and found I enjoyed a lot so I went on for another, and another...
I don't know if his recordings sell well either but I would guess not because his style doesn't seems to elicit impulse buying. His New York Beethoven series was said to be even better than the earlier east German recordings, but I haven't dig into those yet.

Another surprise came from his Liszt Hungarian Rhapsodies. How can such a moderate, lukewarm, lacks of sparkle treatment be good for these? But it worked again. The orchestral sings nicely, charming melodies, everything connects well, it's like cruising down the street on a bike in the sunset, just pleasant.

 

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