Bach Organ Trio Sonatas
Ever the inveterate transcriber, JS Bach would surely not raise an eyebrow at Florilegium’s respray of the six organ Trio Sonatas for ‘multiple instruments’. And anything that brings these marvels to the attention of those who wouldn’t be seen dead near an organ loft is to be cheered. But there are pitfalls. These arrangements spell out the harmony, elaborated by the continuo, whereas the original BWV 525-530 inclines towards the ‘purer’ model of the three-part Inventions. The ear, too, must hold all three interleaving strands in perfect equilibrium and not be sidetracked by a spotlight on a middle line here, a harpsichord flourish there. That said, if the spirit of the originals is hard to reproduce, the attempt yields a rich crop of repertoire-enhancing chamber music. The playing sparkles with an intoxicating freshness that continually invites the lively outer movements onto the dance floor. Some of the slow movements occasionally verge on the ponderous though, and balance can be problematic. The recorded sound is warm, but a glitch at the start of BWV 526 (a botched edit?), is a disturbance.