LABELS: Naïve Astrée
WORKS: Trio Sonata in D minor, BWV 527; Trio Sonata in G, BWV 530; Trio Sonata in A minor, BWV 1029; Trio Sonatain G minor, BWV 1030; Trio Sonata in C, BWV 1037
PERFORMER: Rare Fruits Council
CATALOGUE NO: E 8804
The trio sonata for two violins and basso continuo was one of the commonest forms of the Baroque period, yet no such works by Bach have survived. To rectify this anomaly, the Rare Fruits Council – string trio, harpsichord and organ – has followed Bach’s own practices of transcription and parody and transformed five of his other sonatas into works for violins. It has chosen two organ sonatas (BWV 527 and 530), a flute sonata (BWV 1030), a gamba sonata (BWV 1029) and a sonata that was written for two violins (BWV 1037) but is now thought to be by Bach’s pupil Goldberg. The group has taken a final liberty too, using a ‘double’ continuo of harpsichord and organ to create a textural density that (it says) complements Bach’s unique structural density.
In performance, the Rare Fruits Council makes the case with magnificent eloquence, its flair and conviction carrying all before it. The music may at times sound a touch overwrought, a little too busy, but the excellent playing remains a joy and a saving grace. There are magical moments, too – the Adagio e dolce of BWV 527, for example, where the violins’ tender exchanges recall the sublime Largo ma non tanto of the Double Violin Concerto. Such moments justify the whole project. Graham Lock