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Bach: Viola Da Gamba Sonatas / Guigues, Procopio


Release Date: 09/11/2012 
Label:  Paraty   Catalog #: 307112   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Emmanuelle GuigesBruno Procopio
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 1 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



BACH Sonatas for viola da gamba: in G, BWV 1027 ; in D, BWV 1028 ; in g, BWV 1029 ; in Eb, BWV 1031 . Suite for solo cello, No. 5 in c, BWV 1011 . Italian Concerto, BWV 971 Emmanuelle Guigues (vdg); Bruno Procopio (hpd) Read more class="ARIAL12"> PARATY 307.112 (60:39)


As a composer of chamber music, Johann Sebastian Bach was less prolific than his friend Georg Philipp Telemann, partly because this was considered somewhat ancillary to his main occupation as a church musician. The exception was the six-year period he spent as a court composer in Cöthen, where vocal music took second place, and Bach was able to explore a range of styles not connected with the music of the church.


The viola da gamba was one of the ubiquitous instruments of the Baroque period, a versatile member of the continuo ensemble but also capable of considerable expression as a solo instrument. In his sixth Brandenburg concerto, Bach uses a pair to offset the darker colors of his solo violas, and in the cantatas, solos for the gamba are not infrequent, taking advantage of its ability to blend well with the voice. The three sonatas with harpsichord are thus homage to the instrument, demonstrating its manifold capabilities. It is not known precisely when they were written. Most likely, they date from his Cöthen years, but the occasionally intricate counterpoint and imitation between the gamba and harpsichord seem to reflect a later period in Leipzig. The opening movement of the G-Minor sonata certainly sounds like the Brandenburg that got away, but given the consistency in style throughout his life, that may or may not be an indication of date of composition. Whatever the date, there can be no doubt that these works are a major part of the repertory, having been often recorded before. The Italian Concerto is Bach’s essay in the Italian style, published in 1735. The two remaining works are really for other instruments, the Suite for Solo Cello and a transcription of the Siciliano from the Flute Sonata, BWV 1031.


Not much needs to be said about the music, since these are no strangers to the repertory, even in transcriptions or performances on other instruments (mainly the cello for the gamba sonatas). Gambist Emmanuelle Guigues gives a solid and stately rendition, with a warm, sonorous tone. Bruno Procopio accompanies her deftly on the harpsichord, emerging as necessary, such as in the Adagio of the D-Minor sonata, to engage in a nicely nuanced dialogue between the instruments. These are good, solid performances, though I don’t find them rising significantly above others, such as Jonathan Manson and Trevor Pinnock’s more energetic version from 2006. On the other hand, the polish of Guigues and Procopio is evident throughout. My advice is that, if you don’t own a copy of the gamba sonatas yet, this one will fill that niche nicely.


FANFARE: Bertil van Boer
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Works on This Recording

1. Sonata for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord no 2 in D major, BWV 1028 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Emmanuelle Guiges (), Bruno Procopio (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/2007 
Venue:  Musée de Beaux-Arts de Chartres, France 
Length: 13 Minutes 15 Secs. 
2. Italian Concerto, BWV 971 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Bruno Procopio (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1735; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/2007 
Venue:  Musée de Beaux-Arts de Chartres, France 
Length: 11 Minutes 36 Secs. 
3. Sonata for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord no 1 in G major, BWV 1027 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Emmanuelle Guiges (), Bruno Procopio (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/2007 
Venue:  Musée de Beaux-Arts de Chartres, France 
Length: 12 Minutes 13 Secs. 
4. Suite for Cello solo no 5 in C minor, BWV 1011: 1st movement, Prelude by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Emmanuelle Guiges ()
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/2007 
Venue:  Musée de Beaux-Arts de Chartres, France 
Length: 5 Minutes 59 Secs. 
5. Sonata for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord no 3 in G minor, BWV 1029 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Bruno Procopio (Harpsichord), Emmanuelle Guiges ()
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/2007 
Venue:  Musée de Beaux-Arts de Chartres, France 
Length: 13 Minutes 31 Secs. 
6. Sonata for Flute and Harpsichord in E flat major, BWV 1031: 2nd movement, Siciliano by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Bruno Procopio (Harpsichord), Emmanuelle Guiges ()
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1734; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/2007 
Venue:  Musée de Beaux-Arts de Chartres, France 
Length: 2 Minutes 38 Secs. 

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