Chursächsische Capelle Leipzig

Kammermusik der Bach-Familie

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Kammermusik der Bach-Familie is a 1996 recording re-released in Raum Klang's reduced-price Souvenir series, making available once again an item from early in its history. The Chursächsische Capella Leipzig is a group made up of musicians drawn from the Halle Händel Festival Orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, and freelancers that drift and out of the group. Among the freelancers here, there are some heavy hitters: Ludger Rémy provides the harpsichord continuo, Laurence Dean pitches in the flute part in the Johann Christian Bach sonata, and Alison McGillivray contributes the cello parts. Although a small group, they successfully approximate an orchestral sound in the Overture by Johann Bernhard Bach and in Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach's Concerto in A minor Wq. 1, which was Bach Son No. Two's earliest harpsichord concerto, played here with grit and determination, but not great presence in the recording, by Ludger Rémy. Raum Klang's three-dimensional recording technique, at least in 1996, did well to represent ensembles, but not soloists, something that has improved with time.

The high point of Kammermusik der Bach-Familie is Wilhelm Friedemann Bach's Duet in G for 2 violins, played here on violin and cello by Dorothea Vogel and McGillivray, respectively; the gut strings and resulting flexibility of pitch helps to make Bach Son No. One's already strange and alien music sound stranger still. The low point, however, is Vogel's handling of Johann Sebastian Bach's G major Violin Sonata, a performance that betrays momentary tentativeness and perhaps some measure of distraction.

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