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Bach: Suites / Jean-marc Apap


Release Date: 04/04/2006 
Label:  Zig Zag   Catalog #: 51103   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Jean-Marc Apap
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quatuor Terpsycordes
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A jazz and gypsy-music violist brings his versatility to Bach

Jean-Marc Apap has a varied background in which jazz, gypsy music and Argentine tangos have played important parts; his performances of Bach on the viola are forceful, direct and informed by a strong sense of rhythm. In the Suites there’s an issue as to what bowing patterns Bach intended – the surviving sources are often contradictory. Apap, however, goes his own way, ignoring many slurs and making up his own patterns in other places. When he opts for separate bows, in the first three movements of the C major Suite, for example, what’s gained in vigour is lost in elegance and poise, and those passages where separate bows are clearly intended (in the Corrente
Read more of the C major No 3, for instance) don’t stand out as they should.

Apap tends to favour powerful accents, making little difference between strong and weak beats. Under this approach, the effect of the Gigues, and of the Minuets in the first two Suites, is almost brutal. Nor do the Allemandes give the expected impression of suave good breeding. The Sarabandes, on the other hand, have a noble dignity, even though Apap concentrates on long musical lines, rather than showing the eloquence of each phrase.

The three chorale prelude transcriptions for viola and string quartet sound lovely, as postludes to each suite (does any other composer provide such tempting material for the arranger?). They’re played with fine, clear tone and an expressive style that combines immediacy with restraint – the most persuasive tracks on the CD.

Duncan Druce, The GRAMOPHONE
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Works on This Recording

1.
Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 659 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Jean-Marc Apap (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quatuor Terpsycordes
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1723; ?Weimar, Germany 
2.
Trio super Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend', BWV 655 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Jean-Marc Apap (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quatuor Terpsycordes
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1723; ?Weimar, Germany 
3.
An Wasserflüssen Babylon, BWV 653 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Jean-Marc Apap (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quatuor Terpsycordes
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1723; ?Weimar, Germany 
4.
Suite for Cello solo no 1 in G major, BWV 1007 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Jean-Marc Apap (Viola)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
5.
Suite for Cello solo no 3 in C major, BWV 1009 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Jean-Marc Apap (Viola)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
6.
Suite for Cello solo no 2 in D minor, BWV 1008 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Jean-Marc Apap (Viola)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; Cöthen, Germany 

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