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Baroque Legacy / Jeremy Mccoy & Friends

Bach / Handel / Eccles / Mccoy
Release Date: 11/13/2012 
Label:  Msr   Catalog #: 1440   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian BachGeorge Frideric HandelHenry EcclesFrançois Couperin
Performer:  Jeremy McCoyMatthew LarkinKevin Murphy
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



BAROQUE LEGACY: BACH AND CONTEMPORARIES PERFORMED ON DOUBLE BASS Jeremy McCoy (db); 1 Matthew Larkin (org); 2 Kevin Murphy (Hpd); 3 Kurt Muroki (cont db); 4 Shirien Taylor-Donahue, 5 Caterina Maria Szepes (vn); 6 Milan Milisavljevic (va); Read more class="SUPER12"> 7 Jerry Grossmann (vc); 8 MSR MS1440 (71:44)


BACH 1,2 Sonatas in G, D, and g, BWV 1027-1029. HANDEL 1,3,4 Sonata in C. ECCLES 1,3,4 Sonata in g. COUPERIN 1,4,5,6,7,8 Concert Pieces


Jeremy McCoy is assistant principal double bass with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He plays an instrument made in 1749 by Domenico Busan in Venice, which was most likely in use during the lifetimes of Bach and Handel. McCoy called upon musicians from the Met Orchestra, the New York City Opera, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center to join him in making this totally non-operatic recording of music by Bach and his contemporaries. These musicians certainly prove that there are some wonderful stars in opera orchestra pits. McCoy and Matthew Larkin play three of Johann Sebastian Bach’s sonatas that were written for viola da gamba and harpsichord. Actually, the Sonata in G Major was first written for two flutes and harpsichord before its transcription for the gamba. McCoy and Larkin play them on double bass and a positiv organ built by Karl Wilhelm in 1972. The positiv is a small, usually one-manual, pipe organ that is built to be more or less mobile. It was commonly used in sacred and secular music from the 10th to the 18th centuries since it could fit easily into chapels and small churches. Now these instruments are especially popular for basso continuo work. Although neither the double bass nor the organ were the instruments for which the sonatas were composed, the listener won’t care because the performances by McCoy and Larkin are magnificent. The cool, limpid tones of the positiv are a pleasant change from the leaner sound of the harpsichord, too.


It’s quite amazing that Bach and Handel were born some 80 miles apart and in the same year, but they never met. Their music, however, has a great deal in common. The sonata in C Major may not be Handel’s, however, since it has no complete chain of attribution. It may be a very early work written in Italy by Handel or by a contemporary. McCoy plays it here with Kevin Murphy at a French double manual harpsichord. They play it with robust tonal colorings and, despite its shaky provenance, it is a beautiful piece that deserves to be heard more often. Henry Eccles, whose sonata in G Minor we hear on this disc, was an English composer who played at the court of Louis XIV. In 1732, he produced 12 sonatas for viola da gamba and bass, but he is best known for this sonata in G. Again, McCoy plays it with Murphy at the harpsichord. The finale is François Couperin’s Pièces en Concert (Concert Pieces). This composer once said, “If we enter into the poetry of music we discover that it carries grace that is more beautiful than beauty itself.” His music is an outstanding example of tonal grace and it is played here with stunning elegance. You really can hear the change in style from the German to the French. The sound on this disc is clear and the engineer was careful to give each instrument the importance it deserves. I really enjoyed both the music and the 11-page booklet full of interesting information that came with the package. I recommend this compact disc to all lovers of Baroque music.


FANFARE: Maria Nockin
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Works on This Recording

1. Sonata for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord no 3 in G minor, BWV 1029 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Jeremy McCoy (Double Bass), Matthew Larkin (Organ), Kevin Murphy (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
2. Sonata for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord no 2 in D major, BWV 1028 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Jeremy McCoy (Double Bass), Matthew Larkin (Organ), Kevin Murphy (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
3. Sonata for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord no 1 in G major, BWV 1027 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Jeremy McCoy (Double Bass), Matthew Larkin (Organ), Kevin Murphy (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
4. Sonata in C major by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Jeremy McCoy (Double Bass), Matthew Larkin (Organ), Kevin Murphy (Harpsichord)
5. Sonata in G minor by Henry Eccles
Performer:  Jeremy McCoy (Double Bass), Matthew Larkin (Organ), Kevin Murphy (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
6. Pièces en concert, for cello & string ensemble (arranged by Bazelaire) by François Couperin
Performer:  Jeremy McCoy (Double Bass), Matthew Larkin (Organ), Kevin Murphy (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 

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