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Bach Trio Sonatas - Palladian Ensemble - BBC Music Magazine


01 February 1995
BBC Music Magazine

By transcribing four of Bach's organ sonatas, the Palladian Ensemble has, quite legitimately, reversed Bach's own ingenious concept of placing a trio under the hands, and feet, of a single player. There's a wonderful sense of communication between recorder, violin and cello, interweaving and imitating each other. The exhileration of fast movements is heightened by the plucked continuo, variously, guitar, archlute and theorbo - the opening of BWV 529, effectively a concerto, is breathtaking...
Between the sonatas are four duets, rarely heard pieces in which Bach indulges his fancy in a remarkable range of devices-fugue, canon, inversion...The disc ends with similar contrapuntal delights, 14 canons which Bach jotted down on the back of his own copy of the Goldberg Variations. There's a droll solution to the problem of ending 'perpetual canons' - the players simply fade away. If this is an ensemble in search of a repertoire, they've found a highly effective one. In the trio sonatas especially, they shed fresh light on Bach with their extrovert playing and sense of uninhibited elation.
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