JS Bach: Early works: Toccatas BWV 912, 914 & 916; Capriccio sopra la lontananza del fratello dilettissimo etc.

COMPOSERS: JS Bach
LABELS: Harmonia Mundi
ALBUM TITLE: JS Bach
WORKS: Early works: Toccatas BWV 912, 914 & 916; Capriccio sopra la lontananza del fratello dilettissimo etc.
PERFORMER: Andreas Staier (harpsichord)
CATALOGUE NO: HMC 901960
Hard to know which star shines brightest here: Andreas Staier’s or that of the instrument, a copy of a 1734 HAss. It’s a bruiser of a Harpsichord with deep, rich tonal resources on which Wanda Landowska would have felt at home! Staier gives it a thorough workout exploring JS Bach’s youthful indiscretions. Certainly there’s nothing ‘discreet’ about the D major Toccata, which closes with a gigue fugue running on essence of sunshine – under Staier’s fingers the final bars are scorching. Luckily the sobriety of the chorale partita is to hand, ready to douse any flames in a cleverly rounded portrait which includes his secular reply to Kuhnau’s Biblical sonatas, ‘Cacpriccio on the Departure of a beloved brother’ and the neglected A minor Suite whose Sarabande Staier invests with a compelling French gravitas.

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