Sunday, 13 May 2018

Bach - Gamba Sonatas - Perl, Schornsheim, Santana

Rating: 3/5

Not a recording for me

Much as I admire Hille Perl and love much of her work, I'm afraid I find this rendition of Bach's trio sonatas rather unengaging.

This is a set of six trio sonatas, originally composed for the organ.  They lend themselves well to transcription for other instruments as both Florilegium and especially The Purcell Quartet have shown in their excellent recordings.  I ought to find these arrangements for viola da gamba, harpsichord and lute a delight because I love the sound of the gamba and they are played by three excellent musicians, but I don't.  I can't really put my finger on why; there's a slightly meandering quality in places, the sound seems to be curiously lacking in depth and resonance…whatever it is, somehow I just lose interest.

This is a very personal response, so don't let me put you off.  Three top-quality musicians playing Bach together ought to be special and it may well be so for you, but for me this isn't one of Hille Perl's best recordings and I personally I can't really recommend it.

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