Three Sonatas for Cello and Harpsichord

XWN 18627

XWN 18627

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4. S. BACH: THREE SONATAS FOR CELLO AND HARPSICHORD

No. 1 in G Major (S. 1027)

ANTONIO JANIGRO - Cello

| K6then, when Johann Sebastian Bach THE NIUASIS arrived there in November 1717, had | very much both the appearance and the

atmosphere of what today would be called a small university town. The center of Kéthen, however, was not a school, but the Schloss which housed the young Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Kéthen and more privileged members of his retinue. The Prince was only twenty-two when he had first met Bach at his sister, the Princess, wedding in Weimar and, having neither wife nor occupation to divert him, he poured all his affection and understanding into the practice and appreciation of music. Bach, both as a personality and a com- poser, seems to have appealed to him immediately and he at once set about luring the great musician into his service. As Johann Sebastian was at that moment irate because he had been overlooked for promotion on the death of his Weimar employer's Kapellmeister, he allowed himself to be quickly convinced in spite of the complete absence of church music at the Kothen court.

The town of K6then, half rural and half urban, hemmed in from the surrounding fields and woods by a towered medieval wall, was dependant for its cultural life upon the activities at the Schloss.. The Schloss itself more resembled a college dormi- tory enclosing a quadrangle of garden plots and trees than a castle , although it was surrounded by a thin moat, and the court itself was conducted on a small but discriminating scale. There is much argument as to where the Bach family lived during the five years Johann Sebastian served the Prince but as Leopold was extremely attached to his Kapellmeister’s person and superlatively adulatory of his accomplishments, it would seem most likely that they had an apartment in one wing of the Scholoss. Besides possessing the long coveted title of Kappell- meister, Bach also drew the second largest salary at the court, had his own private music copyer and complete charge of all musical arrangements. The Kapelle—called by the Prince the Collegium Musicum—consisted of eighteen members including Bach, who played the only viola in the group. The basic strings, winds, and brasses were augmented by traveling players and singers, and the visits of these musicians to Kéthen provide the basis for dating many of the Kéthen compositions which could not have been performed without such necessary instru- mental and vocal additions. It was in this way that Bach first met Anna Magdelene Wilcken, who shortly was to become his beloved second wife.

Wherever Johann Sebastian may have lived, he was respon- sible for rehearsing the Kapelle at his house and this arrange- ment in addition to the informality of the court must have made his relationship with his fellow musicians more gemiitlich than business-like. The absence of all elaborate church music in the Calvinist congregation to which Prince Leopold belonged left Bach’s efforts almost solely concentrated on chamber works both for orchestra and solo instruments, the great majority of which have, sadly, been lost. The Brandenburg Concerti, the solo Sonatas for violin and cello, the first book of the Well Tempered Klavier are among the many magnificent creations of this period when Johann Sebastian was in his middle thirties, fully in com- mand of his materials and considerably sobered from his youthful propensity for virtuoso exclamations. The three Sonatas for Klavier and Viola da Gamba are no exception to the high quality

No. 2 in D Major (S. 1028)

and moving depth of his Kòthen chamber music.

By the first part of the eighteenth century the viols, long the kings of European music, had retreated to the attic. Their soft organ-like tone and lack of brilliance and nimbleness made them unsuitable for the tenser demands of the concert hall. The bass member of the family, however, became popular in its Own right as a virtuoso instrument and was still cultivated in Bach's time by talented amateurs and a few professionals. In size, the bass viol was somewhat smaller than a cello and fitted with frets on the fingerboard, as were all the viols. It was tuned in fourths with a central third, thus: DGcead, and when played it was held ‘decently betwixt your knees”, as the Jacobean Christopher Simpson instructs. Prince Leopold counted the playing of the gamba among his musical accomplishments, but whether or not he could maneuver the Gamba Sonatas is impossible to tell. Bach, however well paid and adored, was never a composer to make concessions to the pleasure of half-skilled performers and it 1s more likely that his gambist colleague in the Kappelle, Christian Ferdinand Abel, whose son Karl become the last of the great gamba virtuosos, performed the Sonatas with Bach at the klavier for the Prince’s edification.

The Sonatas for Klavier and Viola da Gamba, composed around 1720, are trio rather than solo sonatas, in which the gam- ba or cello takes the tenor line while the harpsichord surrounds it with the bass and treble. For this reason the string music is re- stricted to the upper range of the instrument and is is controlled by the demands of the piece rather than by a desire for brilliance or showmanship, an attitude which became increasingly promi- nent in Johann Sebastian’s work. The Sonata No. 1 in G Major was arranged by the composer from a slightly earlier version for two flutes and continuo. It consists of four movements: Adagio, Allegro ma non tanto, a short Andante, and Allegro Moderato. Bach must have been especially fond of this music for he later adapted the final movement as an organ trio. The Second Sonata in D Major is also in four movements: it opens with a brief but lyrical Adagio, next an Allegro, Andante, and a long final Allegro which has a rocking motion like a Barcarolle.

The form of the Third Sonata in G Minor is more condensed, but at the same time more richly developed musically. The work has many of the qualities of a small concerto and although the basic outlines of the trio sonata are retained, the working out of the material is much more fllexible technically and emotionally. In many places the music is like a horse trying to get hold of the bit: the harmonies are filled in and elaborated as though the bounds of the trio might be broken by sheer weight, while the initial themes give way to variants and new sentiments in the course of their development. The Sonata is in three movements: Vivace, a beautiful Adagio, and a complex but delightful Allegro.

The impact of the power of Bach’s musical. architecture, such as overwhelms one in the solo violin sonatas and partitas, the later Musical Offering, and Art of the Fugue, is also evident in the Klavier and Gamba Sonatas, but tempered with a beautiful melodic simplicity. The close relationship between the size and tuning of the division viola da gamba and the more recent cello allow the works to be played without alterations on either instrument.

J. ROBISON

No. 3 in G Minor (S. 1029)

ROBERT VEYRON-LACROIX - Harpsichord

ANTONIO JANIGRO

es ANTONIO JANIGRO has taken bis THE ARTISTS place among the world’s leading vir- ) tuoso cellists. In solo recitals and ap-

pearances as soloist with many of the major symphony orchestras he has toured all over the world— Europe, South America, North Africa, Indonesia—and in the United States he has recently played to sold-out houses and cheering audiences from coast to coast. In his many orchestral appearances Mr. Janigro has played under such noted conductors as Ansermet, Cluytens, Fricsay, Kletzki, Markevitch, Scherchen, and Van Beinum.

ROBERT VEYRON-LACROIX was born in Paris in 1922, and studied at the Conservatorie Nationale de Musique in that city. Being equally gifted as a performer on the harpsichord and the piano, he has been a soloist with major European orchestras, while his talent for chamber music brought him an invitation to participate in the Prades Festival under Pablo Casals. When not on concert tours throughout Europe, Africa and the Orient he does much research on old and unedited music. Mr. Veyron-Lacroix is professor of harpsichord at the Schola Cantorum, Parts.

di : This recording is processed according to the TH E * ECO è, D IR.I.A. A. characteristic from a tape re- i corded with Westminster's exclusive ''Panor-

thophonic''® technique. To achieve the great- est fidelity, each Westminster record is mastered at the volume level technically suited to it. Therefore, set your volume control at the level which sounds best to your ears. Variations in listening rooms and playback equipment may require additional adjustment of bass and treble controls to obtain NATURAL BALANCE. Play this recording only with an unworn, microgroove stylus. (.001 radius). For best economical results we re- commend that you use a diamond stylus, which will last longer than other needies. Average playback times: diamond—over 2000 plays; sapphire—50 plays; osmium or other metal points—be sure to change frequently. Remember that a damaged stylus may ruin your collection.

ROBERT VEYRON-LACROIX

HEAR THESE OTHER OUTSTANDING WESTMINSTER RECORDINGS BY ANTONIO JANIGRO AND ROBERT VEYRON-LACROIX

VIVALDI: Six Sonatas for Cello and Harpsichord—Antonio

Janigro cello; Robert Veyron-Lacroix, harpsichord.......... XWN18628

BACH: Suites for Unaccompanied Cello —Antonio Janigro

No. in G Major: No. 2 inCMapr i. XWN18349 Ne" 2 n D Minor Me 6 WB eer XWN18350 i À Né: 4 in E Flat Major No. 9 in Mia... XWN18073 RAMEAU: Complete Works for Harpsichord—Robert Veyron-Lacroix,

BOCCHERINI: Cello Concerto in B Flat Major HAYDN: Cello Concerto in D Major, Op. 101——Antonio Janigro,

HAYDN: Concertos for Harpsichord—D Major; F Major, G Major;

herpsichord i. Cl... iii

Concertino in C Major—Robert Veyron-Lacroix, harpsichord;

Vienna State Opera Orch.; Horvat, cond......................... XWN18042

davi XWN3303

» To keep records static and dust Y free, we recommend the use of the DIS-CHARGER, manufactured by Mercury Scientific Products Corp., Dept. W, 1725 West 7th Street, Los Angeles 17, California.

(also available separately on XWN18124, XWN18125, and

XWN18126)

cello; Vienna State Opera Orch.; Prohaska, cond. .......... XWN18406

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Printed in U.S.A.

334 RPM

J. S. BACH THREE SONATAS FOR CELLO AND HARPSICHORD

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18627 XTV 26396

Made in USA SONATA NO. 1 IN G MAJOR (S. 1027)

band one 1. Adagio - Allegro ma non tanto band two 2. Andante band three 3. Allegro moderato SONATA NO. 2 IN D MAJOR (S. 1028) band four 1. Adagio - Allegro band five 2. Andante band six 3. Allegro ANTONIO JANIGRO - Cello ROBERT VEYRON-LACROIX - Harpsichord

Ma gino NCE, BROADCASTING AND 994

al al BALANCE

97,

39% RPM

=== \ i} J. S. BACH THREE SONATAS FOR CELLO AND HARPSICHORD

SIDE XWN 2 18627

XTV 26397 | Made in USA

SONATA NO. 3 IN G MINOR (S. 1029)

1. Vivace 2. Adagio 3. Allegro ANTONIO JANIGRO - Cello ROBERT VEYRON-LACROIX - Harpsichord

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