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The six sonatas for violin and obbligato harpsichord provide a cycle that feeds on the idea of exploring the manifold possibilities of the type rather than on the inevitability of the order. As such, they are among the finest chamber works from Bach’s pen. This cycle of six works accompanied Bach for a long time, as can be seen, for example, from the surviving versions of the G major sonata with and, so to speak, he also inserted contemporary taste. The largely adhered to structure with four movements offers in the slow movements the possibility to show moods. The fast movements, on the other hand, rely on elements such as contrapuntal mastery. Also noteworthy is the use of the obbligato harpsichord, which gives the player in the right hand an elaborate concertante part.

Daniel Gaede on violin and Raphael Alpermann on harpsichord present these works in a very eloquent manner, which may allude to the fact that Bach himself often played them with his children or friends as house music, which on the other hand also becomes clear in the repeated arrangements and certainly also improvements. Even if the harpsichordist has the leading role, the performance lives from the collaboration of the two musicians. If one compares their playing with that of Reinhard Goebel and Robert Hill, recorded in the mid-eighties of the last century, the completely different expressive approach becomes clear. While Goebel & Hill offer a busy, somewhat mechanical or brittle style, especially in the fast movements, Gaede & Alpermann dare to let the music be music and simply let it sound beautiful. Perhaps someone would like to object that this may well lead to excessive expressiveness. But I do not get this impression, rather the two interpreters succeed fantastically in enlivening the baroque forms with their sensitively portioned expressive possibilities in such a way that they not only offer the listener a pleasure, but also make it possible to experience the quality of the compositions.

Uwe Krusch

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