J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Arthur Grumiaux
Soloists:Arthur Grumiaux, Violin
Christiane Jaccottet, Harpsichord
Philippe Mermoud, Cello
Individual Works:Sonata in B minor, BWV 1014
Sonata in A major, BWV 1015 BWV 1015
Sonata in E major, BWV 1016 BWV 1016
Sonata in C minor, BWV 1017 BWV 1017
Sonata in F minor, BWV 1018 BWV 1018
Sonata in G major, BWV 1019 BWV 1019
Sonata in G major, BWV 1019a (alternative movements) BWV 1019
Sonata in G minor, BWV 1020 BWV 1020
Sonata in G major, BWV 1021 BWV 1021
Sonata in F major, BWV 1022 BWV 1022
Sonata in E minor, BWV 1023 BWV 1023
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Philips
Catalog Number:454 011-2
Year Released/Recorded:Recorded: 1979, 1980
This Release: 1996
Total Playing Time:2:09:11
Comments:Jan Hanford said:

There is a lot of interest surrounding the abundance of recordings of the Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, while these works for Violin and Harpsichord are surprisingly neglected. I can't imagine why; they're stunning. Go get them!

This is some of the liveliest Bach around. The sonatas have an almost Italian/Vivaldi style to them. Some of the slow movements rival the Brandenburgs with their beautiful melodies and ingenious accompaniment. Regarding the accompaniment: this is not continuo. The harpsichord is integrated with the violin, providing a constant melodic background as well as frequent harmonic and contrapuntal interplay with the violin. Christiane Jaccottet's performance is perfect and the addition of Philippe Mermoud on cello for two of the sonatas rounds out the sound. Grumiaux's performance is a little screechy and forceful for my taste.

I prefer the Goebel with Hill, Tenenbaum with Ranck and Kapp or Holloway with Moroney recordings.

Bob Gonzalez said:

This seems to be the same recording as 426 452-2 at a recording time of 2.09'11". Also present and credited on this recording is Philippe Mermoud on cello. Gorgeous marriage of these two instruments. The compositions somewhat approximate the feeling of the Brandenberg Concerti. Bach's father was a violinist and taught his son the basics of strings. I took a chance on this recording because I have loved the unaccompanied cello suites for nearly twenty years. The harpsichord & violin duets possess all the vigor, passion and precision of composition of Bach at his best.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Bob Gonzalez
And from the collection of Jan Hanford.
Date First Submitted:05/13/1997