CD BAM 2034

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Johan Sebastian Bach

the belair collection

Is Bach the best composer who ever lived and could he be the composer of the second millennium? It is interesting to note that in 1745, three years after the first performance of Händel’s Messiah, a German journal published a list of what it considered the 10 most important composers of the day. Händel was listed as fifth, Bach seventh. None of the others have been heard of since.

A monumental figure of the Baroque period, the German organist, harpsichordist and composer was born in 1685 in Eisenach, Thuringia. Bach summed up the musical knowledge and techniques that preceded him and developed them further. A prolific composer whose work extend into all areas except opera and ballet. Bach was influenced by a broad range of styles from the German, French and Italian schools, especially interested in works of Frescobaldi, Buxtehude, Händel and Vivaldi,

Largely self-taught, through transcribing earlier composers’ work, he was successively organist at Arnstadt and Mühlhausen, court organist at Weimar and Cöthen, Cantor at the Thomaskirche and civic director of music in Leipzig from 1723 until his death on 28 July 1750. Bach’s music was already considered old-fashioned before he died and nothing was published for fifty years after his death. In spite of that, composers and writers that followed him did not forget him; they acknowledged his genius and his music have been in the repertoire ever since the early nineteenth century when the 20 year old Felix Mendelssohn stunned a Berlin audience with a performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion.

Today, according to the editors of The New Bach Reader, Bach is omnipresent: “The further we climb in our own musical education, the higher the mountain of Bach’s music thrusts its peak into the sky.” Bach has been transcribed to jazz by Jacques Loussier and MJQ, synthesized by Moog. He has been turned to rock by Sting and Elvis Costello and his influence can be heard in the solo improvisations of Irish fiddle players. Even those who are not familiar with Bach’s music easily recognize some of his music like the “Air on the G string”, made famous first by a cigar advertisement and later used as the basis for Procul Harum’s 1960s hit “A Whiter Shade of Pale”. Perhaps Bach was the summation of all who preceded him and the greatest influence on all who followed him. The spell of inspiration and influence cast by Bach continues into the second millennium - Bach the composer many regard as the greatest of all time.


       Johan Sebastian Bach (1685 -1750)
 Unique interpretation of the same works by Bach in Classical and Jazz.


  CD 1 Classical version
Concerto in D minor, BWV 1052
1. Allegro 7:25
2. Adagio 6:51
3. Allegro 7:24

Partita no.1 in B flat major
4. Praeludium 1:55
5. Allemande 2:39
6. Corrente 2:19
7. Sarabande 6:04
8. Menuet 2:18
9. Gigue 2:01

Concerto in F minor, BWV 1056
10. Allegro 3:30
11. Largo 3:08
12. Presto 3:29

Total playing time 49:42

CD 2 Jazz version
Concerto in F minor, BWV 1056
1. Allegro 3:11
2. Largo 2:49
3. Presto 2:04

Partita no.1 in B flat major
4. Praeludium 1:37
5. Allemande 2:17
6. Corrente 2:11
7. Sarabande 5:40
8. Menuet 2:13
9. Gigue 1:36

Concerto in D minor, BWV 1052
10. Allegro 6:04
11. Adagio 4:43
12. Allegro 5:56

Total playing time 41:27

   CD 1: Valeri Grohovski, Piano. The Russian Philharmonic Orchestra, Michael Guttman, Conductor
CD 2:
Valeri Grohoski Piano, Hamilton  Price, Bass & Gerry Gibbs, Drums. Arrangements by Valeri Grohovski

MPEG3 sound sample
CD1: Free MP3 sample from track no. 11 Largo  download digital quality
CD 2: Free MP3 sample from track no. 2 Largo
  download digital quality

CD 1: DDD Recording, Moscow Radio Studio 5, 10/2003.
CD 2: DDD Recording, San Antonio Recital Hall, The University of Texas, San Antonio, Texas, USA. 11/2003.
® & © 2003 - 2006 Bel Air Music®/Valeri Grohovski. Made in the EC. All rights reserved.

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