Js, Johann Christoph, Jl & H Bach, Wilche, Pagh

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COMPOSERS: Jl & H Bach,Johann Christoph,Js,Pagh,Wilche
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Bachiana
WORKS: Works
PERFORMER: Musica Antiqua Köln/Reinhard Goebel
CATALOGUE NO: 471 150-2
Reinhard Goebel’s new Bachiana disc features music by older members of JS Bach’s family, by friends of the family circle as well as by Johann Sebastian himself. Some of the issues raised are conjectural, some of the items recently discovered, and some of them probably entirely new to the ears of Bach family enthusiasts. The earliest pieces are Sonatas by Heinrich Bach, grandson of Veit, the earliest recorded member of the family to show musical talent. Rich-textured, in five parts, they are full of pleasing, if unrefined character. More distinctive and on a higher plane are an extended theme and variations for harpsichord, Aria Eberliniana pro dormente Camillo by Johann Christoph Bach, the most original of JS Bach’s ancestors and described by JSB himself as a ‘profound composer’. Here is a work that seems at times almost to explode with inventive ideas, yet retains an all-pervading lyricism. JS Bach’s cousin and near contemporary from Meiningen, Johann Ludwig, is represented by an orchestral suite which is quite well known, and a curious, but appealing concerto, which is not. A sonorous, wild Sonata (Battalia) by Cyriacus Wilche, who was perhaps the grandfather of Bach’s second wife, Anna Magdalena, and another by ‘Signor Pagh’ (Johann Michael Bach?) add further perspective to a family lineage of extraordinary fascination, while JSB himself is represented by the two movements which form the Sinfonia to the Easter Oratorio. A stimulating programme played with vitality and finesse. Nicholas Anderson