Classical Editor: Rob Barnett                               Music Webmaster Len Mullenger:


Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord
CD1: No. 1 in B minor, BWV1014
No. 2 in A major, BWV1015
No. 3 in E major, BWV1016
No. 4 in C minor, BWV1017
CD2: No. 5 in F minor, BWV1018
No. 6 in G major, BWV1019
No. 6 (alternative movements)
Lucy van Dael (violin)
Bob van Asperen (harpsichord)
Naxos 8.554614 [61.09] 8.554783 [49.14]

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach described these six sonatas for violin and harpsichord as 'among the best compositions of my dear departed father'. And it is true that they are masterly examples of Bach's art, and of the possibilities offered by baroque chamber music.

These performances match those high expectations. Both artists have distinguished careers, specialising in baroque style, and they bring much sane artistry to their performances. The musical construction alternates quick movements with slow, and this allows the personality of the composer and his interpreter to be conveyed to maximum effect. In lively music there is always vitality alongside clear articulation; in slow music the poetic nature of the sonatas is heard to great effect.

At the attractive Naxos price it will be tempting for collectors to acquire the complete set, though either disc can be recommended individually. It is unlikely that any but the most stalwart Bach enthusiast will want to hear all six sonatas in a row; but if a rewarding experience is required, any of them will serve individually. Full marks to the recording engineers too. This is not the easiest recorded balance to achieve, but it seems near ideal, thanks also to the sympathetic acoustic of St Michael's church, at Highgate in London.

Terry Barfoot

Return to Index

Reviews from previous months

You can purchase CDs, tickets and musician's accessories and Save around 22% with these retailers: - The UK's Biggest Video Store Concert and Show tickets
Musicians accessories
Click here to visit