BACH, J.S.: Trio Sonatas, BWV 525-527 / Prelude and Fugue, BWV 543

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Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750)

Trio Sonatas

Sonata No.1 in E Flat Major, BWV 525

Sonata No.2 in C Minor, BWV 526

Sonata No.3 in D Minor, BWV 527

Prelude and Fugue in A Minor, BWV 543

Johann Sebastian Bach made his earlyreputation as an organist. The son of a town and court musician, JohannAmbrosius Bach, he owed much of his early training, after the death of hisparents, to his brother, Johann Christoph, organist at Ohrdruf, and began hiscareer as organist at Arnstadt at the age of eighteen, moving to Mühlhausenfour years later and in 1708 winning appointment as organist and chambermusician to Duke Wilhelm Ernstat Weimar, the elder of the two rulers of theduchy.

Bach's later career took him in 1717 toCöthen as Hofkapellmeister to the young Prince Leopold, a position thatinvolved him rather in secular music, owing to the Pietist leanings of thecourt. His patron's marriage to a woman without cultural interests led Bach toleave Cöthen in 1723 and move to Leipzig, where he had accepted the position ofKantor at the Choir School of St. Thomas. There he was to remain for the restof his life in a position that brought responsibility or the music of theprincipal city churches and concomitant difficulties both with the town counciland later with the Rector of the Thomasschule, where he was employed to teachthe choristers. He assumed responsibility for the University Collegium musicum,established earlier by Telemann, a preferred candidate for the position ofKantor, and arranged for this group some of his earlier instrumentalcompositions. He remained in Leipzig until his death in 1750.

It was natural that a musician trained inhis craft as Bach had been should write the kind of music for which there wasan immediate need. In Weimar he wrote much of his organ music, in Cöthen muchof his instrumental music and in Leipzig the greater part of his church music.

The six Trio Sonatas for organ seem to belong to the earlier years of Bach'speriod in Leipzig, dated conjecturally to 1727, apparently devised for the useof the composer's eldest son Wilhelm Friedemann, who became one of the mostdistinguished organists of his generation in Germany. The sonatas demandclarity of performance and distinct enunciation of the two melodic lines andbass pedal part.

The first of the sonatas, in E flat major,opens with the lower melodic part announcing a theme, immediately imitated bythe upper part, over a continuing bass-line. The C minor Adagio offers an upperpart aria, imitated again by the lower melodic part, as the movement unfolds, aprocedure followed in the final Allegro, with its inversion of the originalsubject in the second half of the movement. The second sonata, in C minor,proposes initially a different texture, with the two upper parts moving togetherin thirds. The second movement has the two lower parts accompanying a sustainedmelody, before a reversal of roles. This is followed by a final movement inwhich the opening interval of a fourth in the upper part subject providesmaterial for the bass accompaniment of the theme in a series of descendingfourths. The third of the sonatas, in D minor, provided material for the laterA minor Concerto for flute, violin, harpsichord and strings. It opens with aneight-bar theme in the upper part, accompanied in the bass, before the entry inimitation by the second melodic part, again in a form familiar from sonatas fortwo melodic instruments and basso continuo. There is a fine-spun slow movementin F major and are turn to the original key in a lively final movement thatintroduces, as it proceeds, a triplet rhythm.

Bach's Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV543, was probably written during the composer's time in Weimar. In commonwith certain other works for organ of this period, the Prelude and Fugue areclosely related, the Prelude leading immediately into the Fugue, with itsclimax in the concluding section.

Wolfgang Rübsam

A native of Germany, Wolfgang Rübsamreceived his musical training in Europe from Erich Ackermann, Helmut Walcha andMarie-Claire Alain, and in the United States from Robert T. Anderson. Based nowin the Chicago area, he has held a professorship at Northwestern Universitysince 1974 and since 1981 has served as University Organist at the Universityof Chicago. International recognition came in 1973, when he won the Grand Prixde Chartres, Interpretation, and has I continued to grow through his recordingcareer, with over eighty recordings, many of them winning awards. WolfgangRübsam performs frequently in major international festivals and concert-halls,including the Los Angeles Bach Festival, the Vienna Festwochen, the FinlandLahti International Organ Festival, London's Festival Hall and the Alice TullyHall in New York. He gives master classes in the interpretation of early andromantic organ repertoire and in the interpreting of the keyboard music of J.

S. Bach on the modern piano.

Item number 8550651
Barcode 4891030506510
Release date 12/01/1999
Category Baroque
Label Naxos Classics
Media type CD
Number of units 1
Artists Rubsam, Wolfgang
Rubsam, Wolfgang
Producers Appenheimer, Gunter
Appenheimer, Gunter
Disc: 1
Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 543
1 I. Trio Sonata No. 1
2 II. Adagio
3 III. Allegro
4 I. Vivace
5 II. Largo
6 III. Allegro
7 I. Andante
8 II. Adagio e dolce
9 III. Vivace
10 Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 543
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