J.S. Bach: Miscellaneous Pieces for Harpsichord

J.S. Bach: Miscellaneous Pieces for Harpsichord
Composer Johann Sebastian Bach
Artist Pieter-Jan Belder harpsichord
Format 3 CD
Cat. number 96065
EAN code 5028421960654
Release October 2022

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About this release

Over a career spanning more than 30 years, the Dutch harpsichordist and conductor Pieter-Jan Belder has become renowned as a Bach interpreter with his surveys in concert and on record of the keyboard and orchestral masterpieces such as The Well-Tempered Clavier, the Brandenburg Concertos and no fewer than three recordings of the Goldberg Variations.

On this new album, recorded in 2020 and 2021 on a modern Titus Crijnen copy of a Ruckers model, Pieter-Jan Belder turns to the overlooked corners of Bach’s early writing for the harpsichord. These include standalone fugues, fantasias and suites based on themes by contemporary composers such as Reincken and Albinoni. Nevertheless, there is no sense of routine or technical exercise about them. The pieces here are almost all extrovert, playing to the strengths of the young Bach as a performer as well as composer, and already demonstrating that confidence which would go on to mark his mature compositions. An appreciation of French flair is discernible in the F minor Suite BWV823 and elsewhere, but the dominant influence is the keyboard writing of Girolamo Frescobaldi, whose toccatas and canzonas were studied by Bach from an early age.

The better-known pieces here include the sober and songful Aria variata BWV989 with its courtly French theme, and the E flat Prelude, Fugue and Allegro originally written for lute, but which also finds a happy home on the harpsichord. The most famous but also most uncharacteristic piece is the mysterious Capriccio ‘on the departure of a beloved brother’ which appears to be a work of Bach’s late teenage years, though no definite corroborative proof of its commission or purpose has yet come to light. Rather, it seems unique in Bach’s output as a humorous parody of styles and emotions.

In his Bach “journey”; the recording of the complete keyboard works by Johann Sebastian Bach, harpsichordist Pieter-Jan Belder has compiled a collection of “miscellaneous” works, mostly early works: suites, sonatas, fantasias, variations, a capriccio, fugues and preludes & fugues. These pieces offer a fascinating insight in the “making of genius”, the experiments with musical ideas, form and rhetoric which clearly show the hand of the Master he became later.
Included are some very attractive works, like the Capriccio sopra la lontananza del Fratello dilettissimo BWV992, a delightful programmatic work, the Aria Variata BWV 989 and the Ouverture in F BWV 820.
Pieter-Jan Belder is currently engaged in the new recording of the complete keyboard works by Bach. Belder is one of the world’s foremost keyboard players, with an astonishing number of CD’s to his name: the complete Scarlatti Sonatas, Bach keyboard works, Rameau, Soler, Duphly, Marais, CPE Bach, Corelli, Purcell, Telemann, the complete Fitzwilliam Virginal Book...to be continued. Critics praise his versatility, his innate feeling for style, his impeccable technique: “Superb keyboard artistry and consummate technique”(MusicWeb), “alive, fresh-sounding and thoroughly engaged..” (Fanfare), “The most vital Bach performances of the moment” (Volkskrant).

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Johann Sebastian Bach: Fantasie A Minor, BWV 922
  2. Johann Sebastian Bach: Ouverture in F Major, BWV 820: I. Ouverture
  3. Johann Sebastian Bach: Ouverture in F Major, BWV 820: II. Entrée
  4. Johann Sebastian Bach: Ouverture in F Major, BWV 820: III. Menuet 1&2
  5. Johann Sebastian Bach: Ouverture in F Major, BWV 820: IV. Bourrée
  6. Johann Sebastian Bach: Ouverture in F Major, BWV 820: V. Gigue
  7. Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonata in D Major, BWV 963: I. Allegro
  8. Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonata in D Major, BWV 963: II. Adagio
  9. Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonata in D Major, BWV 963: III. Fuga
  10. Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonata in D Major, BWV 963: IV. Adagio
  11. Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonata in D Major, BWV 963: V. Thema all’ imitatione Gallina Cucca
  12. Johann Sebastian Bach: Fugue in D Minor, BWV 948
  13. Johann Sebastian Bach: Suite in F Minor, BWV 823: I. Prélude
  14. Johann Sebastian Bach: Suite in F Minor, BWV 823: II. Sarabande en rondeau
  15. Johann Sebastian Bach: Suite in F Minor, BWV 823: III. Gigue
  16. Johann Sebastian Bach: Prelude and Fugue in B Minor on a Theme by Albinoni: I. Praeludium, BWV 923
  17. Johann Sebastian Bach: Prelude and Fugue in B Minor on a Theme by Albinoni: II. Fuga, BWV 951
  18. Johann Sebastian Bach: Praeludium et partita del tuono terza in F Major, BWV 833: I. Praeludium
  19. Johann Sebastian Bach: Praeludium et partita del tuono terza in F Major, BWV 833: II. Allemande
  20. Johann Sebastian Bach: Praeludium et partita del tuono terza in F Major, BWV 833: III. Courante
  21. Johann Sebastian Bach: Praeludium et partita del tuono terza in F Major, BWV 833: IV. Sarabande & double
  22. Johann Sebastian Bach: Praeludium et partita del tuono terza in F Major, BWV 833: V. Air
  23. Johann Sebastian Bach: Prelude and Fugue in A Major, BWV 896: I. Praeludium
  24. Johann Sebastian Bach: Prelude and Fugue in A Major, BWV 896: II. Fuge
  25. Johann Sebastian Bach: Capriccio in honorem Johann Christoph Bachii Ohrdruf in E Major, BWV 993

Disk 2

  1. Johann Sebastian Bach: Capriccio sopra la lontananza del Fratello dilettissimo, BWV 992: I. Arioso, ist eine Schmeichelung der Freunde, um denselben von seiner Reise abzuhalten
  2. Johann Sebastian Bach: Capriccio sopra la lontananza del Fratello dilettissimo, BWV 992: II. Ist eine Vorstellung unterschiedlicher Casuum, die ihm in der Fremde könnten vorfallen
  3. Johann Sebastian Bach: Capriccio sopra la lontananza del Fratello dilettissimo, BWV 992: III. Adagiosissimo Ist ein allgemeines Lamento der Freunde
  4. Johann Sebastian Bach: Capriccio sopra la lontananza del Fratello dilettissimo, BWV 992: IV. Allhier kommen die Freunde, weil sie doch sehen, dass es anders nicht sein kann, und nehmen Abschied
  5. Johann Sebastian Bach: Capriccio sopra la lontananza del Fratello dilettissimo, BWV 992: V. Allegro Poco, aria del postiglione
  6. Johann Sebastian Bach: Capriccio sopra la lontananza del Fratello dilettissimo, BWV 992: VI. Fuga all’ imitatione della posta
  7. Johann Sebastian Bach: Suite in A Major, BWV 832: I. Allemande
  8. Johann Sebastian Bach: Suite in A Major, BWV 832: II. Air pour les trompettes
  9. Johann Sebastian Bach: Suite in A Major, BWV 832: III. Sarabande
  10. Johann Sebastian Bach: Suite in A Major, BWV 832: IV. Bourrée
  11. Johann Sebastian Bach: Suite in A Major, BWV 832: V. Gigue
  12. Johann Sebastian Bach: Fugue in C Major, BWV 946 after Albinoni
  13. Johann Sebastian Bach: Fantasia and Fugue in B Minor, BWV 951a on a Theme by Albinoni: I. Fantasia
  14. Johann Sebastian Bach: Fantasia and Fugue in B Minor, BWV 951a on a Theme by Albinoni: II. Fuga
  15. Johann Sebastian Bach: Fugue in A Major, BWV 950 on a Theme by Albinoni
  16. Johann Sebastian Bach: Praeludium in C Minor, BWV 921
  17. Johann Sebastian Bach: Fantasie in C Minor, BWV 1121
  18. Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonata in A Minor, BWV 967
  19. Johann Sebastian Bach: Fantasie in G Minor ‘in duobus subiectis’, BWV 917
  20. Johann Sebastian Bach: Fugue in A Minor, BWV 947
  21. Johann Sebastian Bach: Canzona in D Minor, BWV 588
  22. Johann Sebastian Bach: Fugue in A Major, BWV 949
  23. Johann Sebastian Bach: Praeludium in E-Flat Major, BWV 815
  24. Johann Sebastian Bach: Fugue in B-Flat Major, BWV 955 on a Theme by Erselius

Disk 3

  1. Johann Sebastian Bach: Aria variata, BWV 989
  2. Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonata in D Minor, BWV 965 after Reincken: I. Adagio
  3. Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonata in D Minor, BWV 965 after Reincken: II. Fuga
  4. Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonata in D Minor, BWV 965 after Reincken: III. Adagio
  5. Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonata in D Minor, BWV 965 after Reincken: IV. Presto
  6. Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonata in D Minor, BWV 965 after Reincken: V. Allemande
  7. Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonata in D Minor, BWV 965 after Reincken: VI. Courante
  8. Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonata in D Minor, BWV 965 after Reincken: VII. Sarabande
  9. Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonata in D Minor, BWV 965 after Reincken: VIII. Gigue
  10. Johann Sebastian Bach: Fugue in B-Flat Major, BWV 954 on a Theme by Reincken
  11. Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonate in C Major, BWV 966 after Reincken: I. Praeludium
  12. Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonate in C Major, BWV 966 after Reincken: II. Fuga
  13. Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonate in C Major, BWV 966 after Reincken: III. Adagio
  14. Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonate in C Major, BWV 966 after Reincken: IV. Allegro
  15. Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonate in C Major, BWV 966 after Reincken: V. Allemande
  16. Johann Sebastian Bach: Praeludium, Fugue & Allegro in E-Flat Major, BWV 998: I. Praeludium
  17. Johann Sebastian Bach: Praeludium, Fugue & Allegro in E-Flat Major, BWV 998: II. Fuge
  18. Johann Sebastian Bach: Praeludium, Fugue & Allegro in E-Flat Major, BWV 998: III. Allegro