Bach & Entourage

Johannes Pramsohler violin, Philippe Grisvard harpsichord
65:11
Audax Records ADX13703
J S Bach BWV1024, 1026, Anh. 153
J G Graun Sonata in G
Krebs Sonata in c
Pisendel Sonata in a

This latest fruit (and a rich one at that) of the collaboration of two of the stars of the younger generation focuses on music for solo violin by Johann Sebastian Bach and his colleagues and pupils. Alongside world premiere recordings of works by Krebs and Graun are the G minor Fuga by Bach himself, the unaccompanied sonata in A minor by Pisendel and two works of uncertain origin – Anh. 153 might be authentic Bach, and Pisendel is a possible author of BWV1024. As the premise of the CD suggests, these two men were well acquainted, and Bach clearly knew Graun’s reputation since he sent Wilhelm Friedemann to him for lessons; Krebs, of course, was one of Bach senior’s pupils. As usual the combination of Pramsohler’s virtuosity in realising the demands placed on him by these composers – along with a genuine desire to give the music a heart and a soul – and Grisvard’s magical realisations (one minute providing harmonic support, then engaging in a keen dialogue with the violin, sometimes even grabbing the limelight for himself) is a joy to behold; if the photo on the cover of the packaging is all very serious, the one on the front of the booklet suggests they have tremendous fun together, too. And that is oh so audible! If Audax had a subscription series, I would recommend you sign up.

Brian Clark