Spanning 4 CDs and presenting over three hours of absorbing listening, this charming release explores the musical output of Georg Böhm – one of the most important German organists and composers around the turn of the 18th century, and who is considered to have had a major influence on the training of Johann Sebastian Bach.
The compilation focuses on the main nucleus of Böhm’s output, his works for keyboard, and divides equally into those for harpsichord and/or organ. Of chief interest among the pieces for the former instrument are the 11 Suites, works that were probably written for domestic performance, and these are joined by a range of other genres also common to the period. From the French Overture style of the Prelude in F to the art of variation that is the Chaconne in G, Böhm’s compositions abound in inventive detail, and we soon move onto the works for organ – where the composer’s most important contribution to North German keyboard music, that of the chorale partita, comes to the fore.
Performing all these works is Simone Stella, one of today’s most celebrated early music specialists and whose discography already includes two recordings for Brilliant Classics (Buxtehude’s Complete Organ Music 94422; Buxtehude’s Complete Harpsichord Music 94312). The release offers a fascinating insight into what is perhaps a lesser-known facet of the Baroque repertoire, and is certain to delight keyboard music aficionados.
- Recorded 22–24 September 2011, OnClassical Studio, Pove del Grappa (CDs 1 & 2); 11–14 May 2012, Chiesa di Sant’Antonio Abate, Padova (CDs 3 & 4).
- Harpsichord: after Johannes Ruckers, Antwerp 1638; organ: Francesco Zanin 2006 (German Style).
- Böhm developed the so-called “Chorale Partita”, variations on the Lutheran chorale, in the form of a multi-movement partita. In this he was of great influence on the young Johann Sebastian Bach.
- Simone Stella continues his survey of Pre-Bachian German keyboard works with the complete harpsichord and organ works of Georg Böhm (1661-1733). He is one of the leading harpsichordists and organists of Italy, his earlier issue of the complete keyboard works of Buxtehude received uniform praise in the international press: “Thoroughly imaginative and engaging” (Fanfare), “Gelungen und überzeugend” (Klassic.com).”
- Includes extensive notes on the composer and the music (English and Italian).
- Includes a biography of the artist.