Go Arai oboe, Daniel Deuter violin, Thomas Fritzsch viola da gamba, Inka Döring cello
Coviello Classics COV91712
Although there can be little doubt that Bach wrote music for his friend and colleague, Abel, there is no more than circumstantial evidence to suggest that this set of six two-movement quartets was among them – the gamba player “has been able to restructure the former viola part”. Be that as it may, these four performers give very convincing accounts of them, which gave me a new appreciation of Bach’s music; with very few exceptions, any pieces I have ever played have had neither substance nor depth, but there are movements here that reveal a higher level of intensity, a clever ear for counterpoint and a satisfying structural sense. That said, I’m not sure I could listen to the whole disc through many times. The booklet is full of Gainsborough reproductions of the main suspects in the history of the publication, and a new edition of the music is available so anyone inspired can explore it for themselves.