J Bach .S. / Cavasanti / Padoan - From Kothen To Leipzig | FAMS COALITION


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The motivations behind a choice The basic question we asked ourselves in taking on this work was whether it was practicable and interesting on an artistic level to study and perform these trio sonatas by Bach using musical instruments that he had not originally envisaged, but which nevertheless belonged to his era and musical environment. We are now convinced that the answer is affirmative, and not only that, but that this kind of experience of study and listening can lead to the discovery of details and expressive resources that are fully inherent to the music that Bach composed. On the other hand, it is well known that reworking, "accommodation", as it was then often referred to, was a daily and natural practice in the Baroque era, both at the compositional level and at the performance level tout court (the distinction, with the consequent value judgement, between an "original" and it's adaptations, belongs to a more modern sensibility): the motivation for such operations, which were considered entirely legitimate, often derived from marketing requirements (think, for example, of the numerous title pages of printed works explicitly designated for various different instruments in order to attract more buyers: "[...] for a German flute, Violin, Hautbois or Harpsichord [...]" etc.) and the intended use for teaching purposes and the study of composition, as well as from the availability, in a given court environment, of instruments and virtuosos of particular ability, or even simply the need to have ready-made musical material, one's own or that of others, to be adapted to other ensembles and other functions. What was and is important to us is the survival of the original idea of the work. Indeed, if respected, this is revived and communicated to the listener in all it's potential thanks to the different timbres, the different dynamics and the various "pronunciations" in the emission and articulation of sound that characterise each chosen instrument. A fascinating operation because it can enhance the richness already inherent in the work, in this case of Bach, sometimes revealing it's most hidden and otherwise neglected aspects. While it is true that the musical idea often (but not always) develops in a composer at the moment in which he also imagines it's instrumental destination, and is therefore influenced by it, one could also speculate, precisely on account of what we have described as the very nature of composition and performance in the Baroque era, that the work (the idea) is conceived to a large extent even before it takes on a specific instrumental voice and therefore remains in a certain sense available to be communicated through different means.

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