J.S. Bach: Violin Sonatas & Partitas, Cello Suites transcribed for harpsichord by Gustav Leonhardt

J.S. Bach: Violin Sonatas & Partitas, Cello Suites transcribed for harpsichord by Gustav Leonhardt
Composer Johann Sebastian Bach
Artist Roberto Loreggian harpsichord
Format 3 CD
Cat. number 95757
EAN code 5028421957579
Release December 2018

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About this release

Four hours of ‘new’ harpsichord music by Bach.

During the late 1970s, the Dutch harpsichordist Gustav Leonhardt (1928-2012) transcribed and arranged the works by Bach for solo violin and solo cello for harpsichord. He played them in his own recitals and recorded some of them for a German label. Only in 2018 did these arrangements become more widely available for keyboard players thanks to a new Bärenreiter edition prepared by Siebe Henstra at the invitation of Leonhardt’s widow Marie and daughter Saskia. With typical understatement, Leonhardt declared that ‘I think Bach would have forgiven me for the fact that I have set myself to making arrangements of his works. Whether or not he would have forgiven the way I have done it, remains of course a moot point.’

The Cello Suites, the Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin and a pair of slow dances (originally for flute and for lute) now receive their first recordings not made by Leonhardt himself, and at the hands of an early-music keyboard player who has enriched the Brilliant Classics catalogue with acclaimed recordings of Telemann, Frescobaldi, Bach and much more.

Leonhardt’s transcription of the great Chaconne from the D minor Partita is as rich and thrilling as to be anticipated from one of the sovereign Bach interpreters of our age (or any other), discreetly opening out Bach’s implied harmonies without adding superfluous anachronisms. In some ways more enlightening and impressive are his elaborations of the Cello Suites’ plainer textures. Much more than a curio, this significant new album demands the attention of all Bach devotees.

First complete recording of the Sonatas, Partitas and Suites by Bach in the harpsichord transcription by Gustav Leonhardt.
The transcription of these works, which were originally written for a solo string instrument (violin, cello) requires the hand of a master: Gustav Leonhardt certainly proves his deep insight of both Bach’s sound world and the possibilities of the harpsichord in these transcriptions, which feature complex counterpoint and harmonies.
Bach himself transcribed many of his own works and those of others for different instruments. The close study of these works gave Leonhardt the courage and vision to write his own, commenting in his typical modest way: “I think that Bach would have forgiven me the fact that I have set myself to making arrangements of his works. Whether or not he would have forgiven the way I have done it is a moot point..”.
Italian harpsichordist Roberto Loreggian has a substantial discography to his name, including works by Frescobaldi, Gabrieli, Vivaldi, Galuppi, Handel and others.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Sonata in D Minor, BWV 1001: I. Adagio
  2. Sonata in D Minor, BWV 1001: II. Fuga allegro
  3. Sonata in D Minor, BWV 1001: III. Siciliana
  4. Sonata in D Minor, BWV 1001: IV. Presto
  5. Partita in E Minor, BWV 1002: I. Allemanda
  6. Partita in E Minor, BWV 1002: II. Double
  7. Partita in E Minor, BWV 1002: III. Corrente
  8. Partita in E Minor, BWV 1002: IV. Double. Presto
  9. Partita in E Minor, BWV 1002: V. Sarabande
  10. Partita in E Minor, BWV 1002: VI. Double
  11. Partita in E Minor, BWV 1002: VII. Tempo di borea
  12. Partita in E Minor, BWV 1002: VIII. Double
  13. Partita in G Minor, BWV 1004: I. Allemanda
  14. Partita in G Minor, BWV 1004: II. Corrente
  15. Partita in G Minor, BWV 1004: III. Sarabanda
  16. Partita in G Minor, BWV 1004: IV. Giga
  17. Partita in G Minor, BWV 1004: V. Ciaccona

Disk 2

  1. Sonata in G Major, BWV 1005: I. Adagio, BWV 968
  2. Sonata in G Major, BWV 1005: II. Fuga
  3. Sonata in G Major, BWV 1005: III. Largo
  4. Sonata in G Major, BWV 1005: IV. Allegro assai
  5. Partita in A Major, BWV 1006: I. Preludio
  6. Partita in A Major, BWV 1006: II. Loure
  7. Partita in A Major, BWV 1006: III. Gavotte en rondeau
  8. Partita in A Major, BWV 1006: IV. Menuet I
  9. Partita in A Major, BWV 1006: V. Menuet II
  10. Partita in A Major, BWV 1006: VI. Bourrée
  11. Partita in A Major, BWV 1006: VII. Gigue
  12. Suite in E-Flat Major, BWV 1010: I. Praeludium
  13. Suite in E-Flat Major, BWV 1010: II. Allemande
  14. Suite in E-Flat Major, BWV 1010: III. Courante
  15. Suite in E-Flat Major, BWV 1010: IV. Sarabande
  16. Suite in E-Flat Major, BWV 1010: V. Bourrée I
  17. Suite in E-Flat Major, BWV 1010: VI. Bourrée II
  18. Suite in E-Flat Major, BWV 1010: VII. Bourée I
  19. Suite in E-Flat Major, BWV 1010: VIII. Gigue

Disk 3

  1. Suite in C Minor, BWV 1011: I. Prelude
  2. Suite in C Minor, BWV 1011: II. Allemande
  3. Suite in C Minor, BWV 1011: III. Courante
  4. Suite in C Minor, BWV 1011: IV. Sarabande
  5. Suite in C Minor, BWV 1011: V. Gavotte I
  6. Suite in C Minor, BWV 1011: VI. Gavotte II en rondeau
  7. Suite in C Minor, BWV 1011: VII. Gavotte I
  8. Suite in C Minor, BWV 1011: VIII. Gigue
  9. Suite in D Major, BWV 1012: I. Prelude
  10. Suite in D Major, BWV 1012: II. Allemande
  11. Suite in D Major, BWV 1012: III. Courante
  12. Suite in D Major, BWV 1012: IV. Sarabande
  13. Suite in D Major, BWV 1012: V. Gavotte I
  14. Suite in D Major, BWV 1012: VI. Gavotte II
  15. Suite in D Major, BWV 1012: VII. Gavotte I
  16. Suite in D Major, BWV 1012: VIII. Gigue
  17. Allemande in A Minor, BWV 1013
  18. Sarabande in C Minor, BWV 997