SOL 003  
Exercitium
Transcriptions of Bach works
Laterna Magica

 


Johann Sebastian Bach - Exercitium, Laterna Magica



 

Prelude in A minor BWV 931
Trio sonata in A minor BWV 528
Prelude in D minor BWV 899
Trio sonata in D minor BWV 1029
Prelude in C major BWV 924
Trio sonata in A minor BWV 526
Prelude (Fantasia) in C minor BWV 921
Trio sonata in F major BWV 1028
Pedal Exercitium in G minor BWV 598
Chorale prelude over Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr in G major BWV 676


The Laterna Magica ensemble is composed of qualified musicians or teachers from the Higher Conservatoires of Brussels, Paris and The Hague. Preferring the interpretation of trio sonatas originating from the baroque period, the Ensemble does not however ignore the historical tradition of arrangements and transcriptions, and indeed reserves a special place for these in its concert programmes. This recording is the Ensemble's first.
Laterna Magica performs regularly in various concert halls and festivals throughout Europe and has performed several times in Asia (Hanoi, Vietnam and New Delhi, India) and in Latin America (the Encuentro musical Boliviano-Europeo in La Paz and Misiones de Chiquitos in Santa Cruz, Bolivia in 2004 and 2006). During these trips beyond European borders the musicians from the Ensemble have also developed an educational project within certain Conservatoires consisting of lectures and master classes based on both baroque and contemporary music.

Nathalie Houtman, Laura Pok - recorders
Bernard Woltèche - cello
Raphaël Collignon - harpsichord


The programme chosen for this recording contains exclusively transcribed works, enhanced by pieces for harpsichord. This procedure of transcription used to be very common and indeed, Bach himself, often resorted to it. For his own use and for teaching purposes, he transcribed more than twenty concertos, moving from the orchestra to a single keyboard instrument, harpsichord or organ, and concentrating mostly on the works of Italian composers (Vivaldi, Marcello, etc.). He also transformed his own concertos for violin into concertos for harpsichord and those for harpsichord into concertos for violin. For practical reasons, he often used fragments of earlier works to create new compositions by giving them a different aspect. For his student, Schübler, he transcribed six chorals extracted from cantatas which have today become famous, and even quite popular, pieces for organ.
The sonatas BWV 526 and 528 are part of an ensemble of six trio sonatas "a 2 clav. e pedal" with no further details. They are always included in an organist's repertoire. According to the earliest sources (Forkel, who received the information from Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach), they were specifically intended for the organ and almost certainly composed for Wilhelm Friedemann Bach who, furthermore, became a remarkable virtuoso equal to his father. They are perhaps study pieces which demand a high level of proficiency and which are not confronted before the completion of a musician's studies, but which add an exceptional musical richness to their educational value. The fact that the interpretations are found in a different configuration from that for organ is far from displeasing. In fact the two recorders easily replace the two manual keyboards with a certain fidelity, while the cello takes over the part of the pedal board of the organ. Enhanced by the basso continuo, which actually conforms to the original norms, these Sonatas are virtually new works.


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