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J.S.BACH: Sonatas for Viola da Gamba & Harpsichord
Jonathan Manson/Trevor Pinnock

Avie CD AV2093 [TT 59:21, September 2005]

The recording of these sonatas by Laurence Dreyfus (an excellent role model) inspired Jonathan Manson to take up the viola da gamba, and this CD made with Trevor Pinnock must surely be a bench mark recording for a long time.

Cooler than some versions with cello, and with a less sumptuous sonority than Dreyfus's, balance is perfectly managed, the cello very slightly more prominent, but not a note on harpsichord ever lost. I think you will prefer this new one.

Both artists have amassed substantial discographies, and the booklet has photos of the artists, recent and when younger, and a fine essay by John Butt to focus interest on Bach's remarkable mixture of "an astonishing number of genres, forms,styles and gestures" in these imperishable master works which, surprisingly, still remain less often programmed than the solo suites.

Little more needs to be said; don't miss it!

© Peter Grahame Woolf