Phantasm

Johann Sebastian Bach: The Well-Tempered Consort I

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Phantasm’s 2020 album on Linn Records, Johann Sebastian Bach: The Well-Tempered Consort I, is a collection of transcriptions for viol consort, arranged from a handful of preludes and fugues from the Well-Tempered Clavier, ricercars from the Musical Offering, and other harpsichord and organ pieces that have proved adaptable to the customary parts and range of the ensemble. This group has made its name in 17th century repertoire, reviving the consort music of John Jenkins, William Byrd, William Lawes, Christopher Tye, John Dowland, and Matthew Locke, who established the genre in England and gave it its introspective character and subdued moods. Aside from the initial shock of hearing some of Bach’s most famous keyboard pieces translated to strings, the sound of the viol consort, which flourished in the late Renaissance and early Baroque, has its own period associations and techniques and seems off by a century when applied to Bach’s music. That said, the music itself retains interest primarily through the counterpoint, and it is quite easy to accept the smooth string sonorities in music that benefits from the clarity of this group’s lines. Linn’s recording in the Jesus-Christus-Kirche in Berlin has some resonance in the background, but the viols are quite clear in their separation and have little of the sustained blurring that affects church recordings of viol ensembles.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Musical Offering BWV1079
1 05:57 Amazon
2 02:44 Amazon
3 03:11 Amazon
Prelude & Fugue No. 19 BWV 864
4 01:17 Amazon
5 02:18 Amazon
Prelude and Fugue in C major BWV 547
6 03:12 Amazon
Prelude & Fugue No. 17 BWV 886
7 02:20 Amazon
Prelude & Fugue No. 22 BWV 867
8 02:15 Amazon
9 02:24 Amazon
Prelude & Fugue No. 14 BWV 859
10 03:00 Amazon
Prelude & Fugue No. 24 BWV 869
11 02:28 Amazon
12 05:44 Amazon
Prelude & Fugue No. 9 BWV 854
13 01:16 Amazon
14 04:55 Amazon
Prelude & Fugue No. 22 BWV 891
15 01:56 Amazon
16 03:28 Amazon
17 02:06 Amazon
Prelude & Fugue BWV 552 (from Clavier-Übung III)
18 05:32 Amazon
19 03:52 Amazon
Musical Offering BWV1079
20 06:46 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick