The King's Consort - Bach(Arr R King): Six Trio Sonatas BVW 525-530

Thursday 1st August 1996
The King's Consort - Bach(Arr R King): Six Trio Sonatas BVW 525-530

STYLE: Choral
RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
LABEL: Hyperion 66843

Reviewed by John Irvine

Let me start off by saying that this disc is gorgeous: it gives me little shivers of excitement and enjoyment down my spine every time I listen to it. Do I need to say anything else in the review? Originally written as organ pieces to challenge and develop the organ-playing of his eldest son, J S Bach's "Orgel-Trios" have attracted arrangers and performers since their publication in the early 18th century and lured them into attempting re-orchestrations and transcriptions for other instruments. These adaptations attempted to add instrumental colour to the complex and remarkable organ lines - a cello for example can add all the nuances of a bowed instrument which are lacking in the organ pedals, as you can hear on this disc. Robert King's arrangements for the King's Consort are fresh and vital transcriptions of Bach's music, adaptations following in the spirit of Bach's many transcriptions of his own work. Hints taken from the melody lines of the Bach Trios have dictated the development of the arrangements. The G Major Sonata Suggests the Italianate Baroque style of Corelli and Vivaldi and this has been exploited to the full with two solo violins contrasted with a harpsichord and strings continue The melancholy opening of the D Minor Sonata is all the more so for the combination of oboe, violin and organ continue The slow and mysterious E Minor Sonata is achingly beautiful in this transcription and the Largo of the C Minor Sonata dazzling in its simplicity and in its appealing melodic lines gloriously brought to new heights by a violin/viola combination. This is a disc of great music, excellent transcriptions and superb musicianship, it is a joy to listen to.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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