Sonatas For Viola Da Gamba, Bw
Label: CHALLENGE CLASSICS
Catalog: CC 72909
Format: COMPACT DISC
Sergei Istomin Viviana Sofronitsky
Any attempt at dating J.S. Bach’s three sonatas for viola da gamba and obligato harpsichord (BWV 1027 – 1029) is a very complex issue. According to the most recent research, Bach’s gamba sonatas are dated 1736 – 41, and therefore could have been written for Carl Friedrich Abel (1723–1787). Here the Viola da gamba Sonatas are performed by two musicians who have a wide experience and deep knowledge of period instruments and late Baroque performing practice. They focused their attention on the instruments to play. Sergej Istomin chose a viol built by Jacob Stainer in 1655, whose sound is especially brilliant and resonant. Sofronitzky very unusually decided to play these late pieces by Bach on a Silbermann fortepiano copy, built by Paul McNulty. A new instrument at that time, the fortepiano was approved and appreciated by Johann Sebastian Bach during his visit to Gottfried Silbermann in 1747. Paul McNulty’s copy of Silbermann’s 1749 instrument represents the final stage of the builder’s development, seventeen years after the first fortepiano he had built following a description of Christofori’s original design. These two instruments’ blend of tones and colors conjure up for a unique, singing and invigorating account of well-known works.