C.P.E. Bach: Viola da gamba Sonatas

C.P.E. Bach: Viola da gamba Sonatas

by Dmitry Kouzov


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C.P.E. Bach: Viola da gamba Sonatas

While the majority of listeners are doubtless familiar with the now-famous sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord by J.S. Bach, the works for the same instrumentation by J.S. Bach's second son, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, may be completely unknown. The fact that C.P.E. Bach would have written for the gamba owes a great deal to geography and circumstance, as the gamba had fallen out of favor in most areas outside the court of Frederick the Great, where he was employed at the time. Unlike his father's sonatas, C.P.E.'s works favor the gamba part much more than the harpsichord, which serves more of an accompanimental role. This Naxos recording of the three sonatas features cellist Dmitry Kouzov and harpsichordist/pianist Piotr Laul. Their performance is generally sufficient, but neither artist plays with any overwhelming level of excitement or energy, failing to make these relatively unknown works truly memorable. Kouzov's cello produces odd, unidentifiable wolfs or buzzes in the lower register of the instrument, a fact that probably should have been addressed during editing. Laul's choice to perform the "G minor Sonata" on a modern piano is equally perplexing, as the combined sound quality of cello and harpsichord in the previous two sonatas was much more appealing.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/25/2008
Label: Naxos
UPC: 0747313074075
catalogNumber: 8570740


  1. Sonata for viola da gamba & continuo in C major, H. 558, Wq. 136
  2. Sonata for viola da gamba & continuo in D major, H. 559, Wq. 137
  3. Sonata for viola da gamba & continuo in G minor, H. 510, Wq. 88

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