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on 21 May 2013
Bach: The Three Sonatas for Viola da Gamba & Harpsichord; Rose/Gould
I should have known before I bought this, but I foolishly assumed that a disc titled "Sonatas for Viola de Gamba and Harpsichord" would actually contain recordings of sonatas played on the viola de gamba and harpsichord. Having had a previous recording of these pieces played on the authentic period instruments, (which I thoroughgly enjoyed),I found this recording a profoundly unsatisfactory experience.
Bach wrote these suites for viol de gamba and harpsichord, and those are the instruments upon which they should be played, not a modern cello and concert grand. The balance between the two instruments here is all wrong. The piano is too dominant, and the cello lacks the attack of the older instrument. Having listened once, I'll probably listen once more, but I would bet money that this is a CD that will find its way to a charity shop very soon. It's a perfect illustration of why Bach wrote in one way for the cello and in another for the viola de gamba, two VERY different instruments. The sharpness and precision of the harpsichord is also totally lacking here. Gould should be the accompanist, not the dominant player. This is a definite no-no for me. I'm now looking for a version played on the right instruments as the Master intended.