Friday, October 30, 2009

Andreas Bach Buch - Benjamin Alard, clavecin et orgue

Andreas Bach Buch - Benjamin Alard, clavecin et orgue
Keyboard | Eac, flac, cue | single tracks, cover | 1 CD, 358 MB
2005 | Hortus | RapidShare

The first “official” recording made by Benjamin Alard, the first prize winner in the 2004 Bruges competition, is truly an event. His decision to perform on the harpsichord as well as the organ (the lovely Rémy Mahler instrument in Saint Etienne de Baïgorry) is an unusual one, showing his desire to perpetuate baroque tradition. Added interest is provided by a programme taken from the Andreas Bach Buch, a collection of works put together by Johann Christoph Bach, J.S. Bach’s eldest brother and the father of Andreas Bach. The juxtaposition of certain pieces (Buxtehude’s Ciaccone, Bux WV 159 and Bach’s Fantasia, BWV 1121, for instance) reminds the listener that Bach’s genius did not generate spontaneously. It is also fascinating to realise that the theme in the Fantasia & Imitatio, BWV 563 was reused note for note by Handel in the chorus “And their cry” in Israel in Egypt. Alard’s recital is a welcome foray into the musical treasures of northern Germany, which are still largely unknown despite the efforts of certain musicologists and musicians.
Benjamin Alard is fully equal to the challenge, and the listener’s first impression will be of a musical personality that makes no concession to fashion. Turning his back on vehemence – his playing is a far cry from Hantaï’s imperious power and Rannou’s theatrical style – Alard suggests, never forcing the music to express things it may not contain. His approach reveals musical meaning through complete clarity of interpretation, and he pays particular attention to the musical line. YUTHA TEP

When J. S. Bach was about ten, he was orphaned and went to live with his brother Johann Christoph. This older brother had two music copybooks, one of which bore the name of his son Andreas and it is thus known as the Andreas Bach Buch. The book still exists and has been consulted over the years by such figures as Brahms, Spitta, Schulze, and the editors of many major baroque music editions. Collections such as this were often used for instruction and to recall pieces of interest to the copyist. We are not certain how all of the music in this book came to be written down there, but there are works by Buxtehude, J. S. Bach, Ritter, Marais, and Reincken, among others.

CD Content
BUXTEHUDE: Ciacona in c, BuxWV 159
J. S. BACH: Fantasia in c, BWV 1121 (Adagio); Fantasia & Imitatio in h, BWV 563;
Toccata in c, BWV 911
FISCHER: Praeludium & Ciacona
RITTER: Suite in f#
POLLAROLO: Capriccio (Allegro)
MARAIS: Extracts from Suite d’Alcide
REINCKEN: Ballet (10 variations)

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