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Bach: Sonatas For Viola Da Gamba / Perkola, Hakkinen


Release Date: 12/11/2007 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8570210   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Aapo HäkkinenMikko Perkola
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 16 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



BACH Gamba and Harpsichord Sonatas: in G; in D; in g, BWV1027–1029. Trios: in g; in d, BWV 583–584. Keyboard Sonatas: in a, BWV 967; in D, BWV 963 Mikko Perkola (vdg); Aapo Häkkinen (hpd) NAXOS 8.570210 (75:42)


These two young Finnish artists have turned out an excellent disc that displays fine Read more interpretations of Bach’s three viola da gamba and keyboard sonatas and several more of his works for this combination or for solo keyboard. The sound quality is excellent.


What is most interesting is the following notation on the back of the jewel case: “Pitch: A=403 hz; Temperament: Sorge, 1758.” The pitch has been decreased almost a whole tone below that of current practice, which is thus in keeping with the pitch in Bach’s era. The temperament, or tuning of the scale, has been adjusted with respect to (or with “care” regarding) the era around 1758. How this compares with Bach’s well-tempered scale is not discussed.


The viola da gamba produces a raw sound compared to its modern counterpart, the cello. In conjunction with the harpsichord, the string sound is somewhat mellowed. The performances of these three beautiful sonatas are clean and well articulated, with the part-writing well delineated. My favorites have always been the G Major and G Minor, with the middle sonata having a bit less interesting material. But when I’m in the mood for the D Major, it’s a great listening experience.


I was not familiar with the two trios or with the A-Minor Keyboard Sonata, but I am now. But the best of these additional pieces is the D-major Keyboard Sonata, which is beautifully and expressively played by Aapo Häkkinen.


The viola da gamba and keyboard sonatas are more familiar in their modernized version for cello and piano (or piano and cello, which is the order I prefer). The touted recording by Glenn Gould and Leonard Rose is magnificently played by Leonard Rose, but is spoiled by Gould with his staccato-style “Bach-speak.” I have read that Gould believed that this enabled the piano to imitate the harpsichord, but whatever Gould’s reason, this Perkola-Häkkinen CD is preferable. I conclude with a very favorable recommendation, but also with the hope that a Schiff-Perényi CD will someday let us hear these sonatas in a modern-instrument version with a rational keyboard sound.


FANFARE: Burton Rothleder
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sonata for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord no 1 in G major, BWV 1027 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Aapo Häkkinen (Harpsichord), Mikko Perkola (Viola da gamba)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
2.
Trio for Organ in D minor, BWV 583 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Aapo Häkkinen (Harpsichord), Mikko Perkola (Viola da gamba)
3.
Trio for Organ in G minor, BWV 584 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Mikko Perkola (Viola da gamba), Aapo Häkkinen (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
4.
Sonata for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord no 2 in D major, BWV 1028 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Mikko Perkola (Viola da gamba), Aapo Häkkinen (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
5.
Sonata in A minor, BWV 967 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Aapo Häkkinen (Harpsichord), Mikko Perkola (Viola da gamba)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1715 
6.
Sonata in D major, BWV 963 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Aapo Häkkinen (Harpsichord), Mikko Perkola (Viola da gamba)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1704 
7.
Sonata for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord no 3 in G minor, BWV 1029 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Mikko Perkola (Viola da gamba), Aapo Häkkinen (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; Cöthen, Germany 

Sound Samples

Viola da gamba Sonata in G major, BWV 1027: I. Adagio
Viola da gamba Sonata in G major, BWV 1027: II. Allegro ma non tanto
Viola da gamba Sonata in G major, BWV 1027: III. Andante
Viola da gamba Sonata in G major, BWV 1027: IV. Allegro moderato
Trio in D minor, BWV 583
Trio in G minor, BWV 584
Viola da gamba Sonata in D major, BWV 1028: I. Adagio
Viola da gamba Sonata in D major, BWV 1028: II. Allegro
Viola da gamba Sonata in D major, BWV 1028: III. Andante
Viola da gamba Sonata in D major, BWV 1028: IV. Allegro
Keyboard Sonata in A minor, BWV 967
Keyboard Sonata in D major, BWV 963: I. Sonata
Keyboard Sonata in D major, BWV 963: II. Adagio
Keyboard Sonata in D major, BWV 963: III. Fugue
Keyboard Sonata in D major, BWV 963: IV. Adagio
Keyboard Sonata in D major, BWV 963: V. Fugue, "Thema all'imitatio Gallina Cuccu"
Viola da gamba Sonata in G minor, BWV 1029: I. Vivace
Viola da gamba Sonata in G minor, BWV 1029: II. Adagio
Viola da gamba Sonata in G minor, BWV 1029: III. Allegro

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