“Sinfonie da cantate”
Takashi Watanabe organo
ENSEMBLE CORDIA – Stefano Veggetti
Familiar and little-known masterpieces of concertante writing by Bach in an unfamiliar context and sparkling new performances.
This recording presents ten instrumental introductory movements taken from sacred compositions by Bach.
Bach used to make the best of what was available to him. In his sinfonias, he often reused movements from previously composed longer instrumental works – some of them now lost in their original, others still very much with us, such as the Brandenburg Concertos. When adapting the first movement of the Third as the opening of BWV174, Bach added winds and a pair of virtuoso horn parts with a flair and audacity that would make most modern transcribers quail.
Following an old tradition, in the 17th century German composers used to open their sacred compositions with a short instrumental introduction, which they usually called “sonata” or “sinfonia”. Johann Sebastian Bach continued this tradition: his instrumental introductions were magnificent virtuosic sinfonias with concertato instruments that introduced the splendid atmosphere of the court chapel into the world of municipal church music, reminding listeners that their composer was the former kapellmeister of the Prince of Anhalt-Cöthen, a title he still used.
This new recording presents six Sinfonias for obligato organ, from the cantatas BWV188, 169, 49, 146, and 35.
The majority of these introductory sinfonias are movements taken from the pool of instrumental pieces that Bach had composed for the court at Cöthen and that to a large extent are lost today.
This is the Bach concertos album you never knew you could have; the sinfonias are too rarely heard outside their original sacred context