It is only recently that two seemingly unconnected names, those of Vivaldi and the viola da gamba, have been uttered in the same breath. The established, uncontested view on the matter was quite simply this: from the middle of the 17th century, the viol, which was still flourishing north of the Alps, had all but disappeared in Italy, where it had been replaced by the bass violin and, subsequently, by the cello.
Johann Gottlieb Graun (27 October 1703 – 28 October 1771) was a German Baroque/Classical era composer and violinist, born in Wahrenbrück. (His brother Carl Heinrich was a singer and also a composer, and indeed is the better known of the two.)
Johann Gottlieb studied with J.G. Pisendel in Dresden and Giuseppe Tartini in Padua. Appointed Konzertmeister in Merseburg in 1726, he taught the violin to J.S. Bach's son Wilhelm Friedemann. He joined the court of the Prussian crown prince (the future Frederick the Great) in 1732 and was made Konzertmeister of the Berlin Opera in 1740…
Imagined as a concert that Bach could have instigated, this disc explores the Cantor ‘s art of transcription and reveals the wealth of influences which the Germanic empire was exposed to in the first half of the eighteenth century. Going back and forth between fantasy and counterpoint, between German and Italian styles, Bach makes these forms and styles his own and thus plays with the rich sound pallets of the viola da gamba and the harpsichord. This album is the first recorded by two rising stars whose tremendous energy and complicity has conferred greater depth to this concert.
Cassandra Luckhardt has established an international reputation as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician and teacher on both cello and viola da gamba. Cassandra has played and recorded as principal cello with The Academy of Ancient Music, Il Complesso Barocco, Les Musiciens du Louvre and as gamba soloist with the King's Consort.
For some time now musicology has widely reviewed the previously long held belief that Johann Sebastian Bach’s chamber output originates mostly from his Köthen period (1717-1723). Although precise dates are still lacking, various clues have led many of his works for one/two instruments and basso continuo or concertante harpsichord to be moved forward to his Leipzig years (1723-1750) and in particular to the decade 1730-1740. This group of works also includes the three sonatas for viola da gamba and ‘obbligato’ harpsichord BWV 1027 in G major, BWV 1028 in D major and BWV 1029 in G minor, again assigned on the basis of clues to the period 1736-1741 .
Ballet is not a form for which British composers are generally known, but this CD includes four dance works by Malcolm Arnold: two of the composer's complete shorter ballets, Rinaldo and Armida and Electra, as well as suites from two of his longer ballets, Homage to the Queen and Sweeny Todd, performed with impressive enthusiasm by the BBC Philharmonic under Rumon Gamba and recorded in imposed digital sound by Chandos.
This set contains the complete works by Telemann in which the Viola da Gamba (or viol) has a prominent and soloistic role. The Viola da Gamba may be described as the predecessor of the modern Violoncello, and in its time it was a popular instrument much in use in instrumental music and as part of the Basso Continuo. Its slightly more modest volume compared with the cello is more than compensated by its specific timbre, with its vocal and sometimes melancholic qualities.