Tag: Bach Birthday Bash

Playlist 2019-03-24

JS Bach

The annual Sunday Baroque Bach Birthday Bash – an all-Bach program celebrating the composer’s genius and extraordinary legacy.

This Week’s Links

Essential Bach

J.S. Bach Homepage

Decoding Bach’s the ART OF FUGUE

Bach Family Tree

Bach Timeline

Bach Family History

Bach for Children

First Hour

Allein Gott in der Höh’ sei Ehr’ BWV676 (To God Alone on High Be Glory), Bálint Karosi – organ, Hungaroton HCD 32745-46, CLAVIERUBUNG III THE CHORALES

Well Tempered Clavier Book 2 Prelude & Fugue #1, Prelude & Fugue #3, & Prelude & Fugue #6, Vladimir Feltsman – piano, Music Master 67162, THE WELL-TEMPERED CLAVIER BWV870-893 – BOOK II

Sonata #3 in e BWV527, Tempesta di Mare Chamber Players, Chaconne, CHAN 0803, BACH SIX TRIO SONATAS

3-Part Invention #1 in C BWV787, 2-Part Invention #2 in c BWV773, 2-Part Invention #3 in D BWV774, 2-Part Invention #4 in d BWV775, 2-Part Invention #5 in Eb BWV776, 2-Part Invention #6 in E BWV777, 2-Part Invention #7 in e BWV778, & 2-Part Invention #8 in F BWV779, Janine Jansen – violin, Maxim Rysanov – viola, Decca 4759081, THE BACH ALBUM

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Overture in the French Style BWV831: Gavottes 1 & 2, Passepieds 1 & 2, & Bourrees 1 & 2, Hank Knox – harpsichord, Early Music EMCCD-7775, J.S. BACH KEYBOARD WORKS

Second Hour

Cantata BWV207a: opening chorus, Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki, BIS 2311, SECULAR CANTATAS VOL.9 THE CONTEST BETWEEN PHOEBUS AND PAN

Cantabile in G BWV1019A, Rachel Barton Pine – violin, Jory Vinikour – harpsichord, Cedille CDR 90000 177, JS BACH: THE SONATAS FOR VIOLIN & HARPSICHORD

Cello Suite #6 in D BWV1012: gavottes 1 & 2, Yo Yo Ma – cello, Sony 190758 54652, YO-YO MA – SIX EVOLUTIONS

Chaconne in d (Partita #2 BWV1004), Igor Levit – piano, Sony 24452, LIFE

Erbarm dich mein, O Herre Gott BWV721
Christ, unser Herr, zum Jordan kam BWV684, Wayward Sisters, Paul von Hoff – sackbut, Wayward Sisters 2018, A RESTLESS HEART

Oboe & Violin Concerto in c BWV1060, Berlin Baroque Soloists, Frank Peter Zimmermann – violin, Serge Zimmermann – violin, Hanssler Classics HC17046, BACH VIOLIN CONCERTOS

Magnificat BWV243: sicut locutus est, Arcangelo, Hyperion CDA68157, BACH, BACH & BACH MAGNIFICATS

Third Hour

Goldberg Variations: aria, Yo Yo Ma – cello, Ton Koopman – organ, Sony 60681, SIMPLY BAROQUE 2

Suite in G (Anna Magdalena Book), Michael Parloff – flute, Gerald Ranck – harpsichord, ESS.A.Y 1027, THE FLUTE ALBUM

Sinfonia from Cantata BWV156, Accademia Bizantina, Ottavio Dantone, Decca 4782718, BACH SINFONIA

Musical Offering – Trio Sonata BWV1079, Emmanuel Pahud – flute, Matthew Truscott – violin, Jonathan Manson – cello, Trevor Pinnock – harpsichord, EMI Classics 84220, THE FLUTE KING

Brandenburg Concerto #6 in Bb BWV1051, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Ton Koopman, Erato 45374, Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 4, 5 , 6

Fourth Hour

Wo soll ich flien hin hin BWV646 (Whither Shall I Flee)
Ach bleib bie uns, Herr Jesu Christ BWV649 (Lord Jesus Christ, With Us Abide), Alison Balsom – trumpet, Stephen Cleobury – organ, Warner Classics 925116, JUBILO

Sonata in E BWV1035, Brasil Guitar Duo, Marina Piccinini – flute, AVIE 2196, BACH FLUTE SONATAS

Mass in b: Cum Sancto Spiritu, Sanctus, & Dona nobis pacem, Boston Baroque, Martin Pearlman, Telarc 80517, J.S. BACH: MASS IN B MINOR

Prelude, Fugue & Allegro in Eb BWV998, Yasunori Imamura – lute/theorbo, Etcetera 1109, J.S. BACH: LUTE MUSIC

Art of Fugue: contrapunctus I, contrapunctus II, & Contrapunctus IX, Les Violons du Roy (King’s Violins), Bernard Labadie, Dorian 90297, ART OF THE FUGUE

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Essential Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) had many professional responsibilities and relationships with patrons and other musicians throughout his life that involved writing special music. The prolific composer was himself a virtuoso keyboard player and violinist who excelled in writing instrumental music, and he was a church musician and man of devout Christian faith who composed a variety of eloquent sacred music. As a result, Bach left a significant body of work.

To acquire a complete recording collection of Bach’s compositions would be a dramatic commitment of time and financial resources. Therefore, I’ve jotted down this broad overview of “Essential Bach” music and some suggested recordings. It is NOT intended to be a conclusive, exhaustive or definitive survey of his work. Rather, I propose it as a starting point to explore Bach’s extraordinary legacy and some of the musicians who do justice to it, in my opinion. It’s meant to augment the March 24, 2019 playlist for the Sunday Baroque Bach Birthday Bash, so you can assume everything on the playlist is also worth your consideration. This list is, by definition, highly subjective – these are my opinions and suggestions for where to begin and which performers I admire. It is also an incomplete list, because Bach’s output is too far-reaching and enormous to encapsulate in one simple list. I consider this an open-ended recommendation that will undoubtedly change and expand with new and alternate performances of these and other Bach compositions.


Brandenburg Concertos BWV 1046-1051

Akademie Fur Alte Musik Berlin – Harmonia Mundi 901634/35

Ensemble Caprice – Analekta AN 9996-7

Orchestra Mozart – Deutsche Grammophon 4778908


Mass in b minor BWV 232

Bach Choir of Bethlehem & Bach Festival Orchestra – Dorian 90253

Boston Baroque – Telarc 80517

Collegium Vocale Chorus & Orchestra – Harmonia Mundi 901614/5


Orchestral Suites BWV 1066-1069

Bach Collegium Japan – BIS 1431

Boston Baroque – Telarc 80619

Ensemble Sonnerie – AVIE 2171


Violin and Harpsichord Sonatas BWV 1014-1019

Rachel Barton Pine – violin and Jory Vinikour – harpsichord – Cedille CDR 90000 177

Isabelle Faust – violin and Kristian Bezuidenhout – harpsichord – Harmonia Mundi 902256/57

Michelle Makarski – violin and Keith Jarrett – piano – ECM New Series 2230/31


Violin Concertos BWV 1041-1043

Hilary Hahn – violin, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra – Deutsche Grammophon B0000986

Joshua Bell – violin, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields – Sony 88843

Gottfried von der Goltz – violin, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra – Harmonia Mundi HMC 902145


Suites for Unaccompanied Cello BWV 1007-1012

Yo-Yo Ma – cello – SIX EVOLUTIONS (Sony 190758 54652) & INSPIRED BY BACH (Sony 63203)

Janos Starker – cello – RCA 61436

Matt Haimovitz – cello – Pentatone 5186 555


St Matthew Passion BWV 244

Academy of Ancient Music, Richard Egarr – AAM Records AAM004

Collegium Vocale, Philippe Herreweghe – Harmonia Mundi 951676/78

Concentus Musicus Vienna & Arnold Schoenberg Chorus, Nikolaus Harnoncourt – Teldec 81036


Goldberg Variations BWV 988

Richard Egarr – harpsichord – Harmonia Mundi 907425/46

Peter Serkin – piano – RCA 68188

Simone Dinnerstein – piano – Telarc 80692


Organ Works and Cantatas – BWV various

JS Bach

NOTE: Bach wrote A LOT of cantatas and solo organ music, and there are a few box sets that have them all. They are fine recordings, but they are a splurge and a big commitment. For cantatas I recommend the collections by ensembles such as Bach Collegium Japan with Masaaki Suzuki, Bach-Collegium Stuttgart with Helmut Rilling, or the Bach Pilgrimage series recorded by John Eliot Gardiner with the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists. For complete organ collections, try organists such as Ton Koopman, Marie-Claire Alain, and Simon Preston. However, if you want to tread more modestly into these arenas without breaking the bank try these:

Philippe Herreweghe, La Chapelle Royale & Collegium Vocale – Bach: The Most Beautiful Cantatas – Harmonia Mundi 2908091/95

Masaaki Suzuki, Bach Collegium Japan – Bach Secular Cantatas – BIS 1411

Joshua Rifkin, Bach Ensemble – My Favorite Bach: Six Favorite Cantatas BWV 147, 80, 140, 8, 51, 78 – L’Oiseau Lyre 455706 

John Eliot Gardiner, Monteverdi Choir & English Baroque Soloists – Bach: Cantatas Vol. 1 – City of London – Soli Deo Gloria 101

John Eliot Gardiner, Monteverdi Choir & English Baroque Soloists – Bach: Cantatas Vol.12 – Tooting/Winchester – Soli Deo Gloria 171

Ton Koopman – organ – Organ Spectacular: Famous Organ Works by Bach – Teldec 8573-82041-9

Masaaki Suzuki – organ – Bach Organ Works: Volume 1 – BIS 2111 & Bach Organ Works Volume 2 – BIS 2241

Peter Hurford – organ – JS Bach Great Organ Works – Decca 443 485-2

David Goode – organ – JS BACH Organ Music – Signum SIGCD261

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Playlist 2018-03-18

Johann Sebastian Bach

This Week’s Links

Johann Sebastian Bach Homepage

Johann Sebastian Bach classical archives

Johann Sebastian Bach YouTube Channel

Johann Sebastian Bach Timeline

Musicians (and others) who admire Bach

Quotes about Bach

First Hour

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Wer nur den lieben Gott…BWV647, Ton Koopman – organ, Deutsche Grammophon 413638, J.S.BACH: WORKS FOR ORGAN / WORKS FOR HARPSICHORD

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Goldberg Variations BWV988: Aria, Variation 3 – 6, Richard Egarr – harpsichord, Harmonia Mundi 907425/46,

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Motet BWV229: Komm, Jesu, komm, Hilliard Ensemble, ECM 1875, JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH MOTETTEN THE HILLIARD ENSEMBLE

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Brandenburg Concerto #4 BWV1049, Ensemble Caprice, Matthias Maute, Olivier Brault – violin, Matthias Maute & Sophie Lariviere – recorders, Analekta AN 9996-7, BACH BRANDENBURG CONCERTOS

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Harpsichord Concerto in f BWV1056, Concerto Copenhagen, Lars Ulrik Mortensen, Larks Ulrik Mortensen – harpsichord, cpo 777248,

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Cantata BWV94: opening chorus, English Baroque Soloists & Monteverdi Choir, John Eliot Gardiner, Deutsche Grammophon 463590, CANTATAS FOR THE 9TH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY

Second Hour

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Cantata BWV208: Sheep may safely graze, Sinfonia Varsovia, Albrecht Mayer – oboe, Deutsche Grammophon 476047, JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH LIEDER OHNE WORTE TRANSCRIPTIONS FOR OBOE

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), “Little” fugue in g BWV578, Marie-Claire Alain – organ, Erato 88004, BACH - TOCCATA & FUGUE - PASSACAILLE - M.C. ALAIN

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Christmas Oratorio: Shepherds’ Music, Festival Strings Lucerne, Rudolf Baumgartner, Deutsche Grammophon 469376, THE FOUR SEASONS: A MUSICAL CALENDAR OF FAVOURITE CLASSICS

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Chaconne, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Joshua Bell – violin, Sony 88843, JOSHUA BELL BACH

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Orchestral Suite #3: Air on the G String, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Ton Koopman, Yo Yo Ma – cello, Sony 60680, SIMPLY BAROQUE

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Concerto in d for 2 violins BWV1043, Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki, Ryo Terakado – violin, Natsumi Wakamatsu – violin, BIS 961, J.S. BACH VIOLIN CONCERTOS WITH RYO TERAKADO

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Lute Suite in e: Bourree BWV996, Lutz Kirchhof – theorbo/lute, Sony 48256, MASTERWORKS DINNER CLASSICS

Third Hour

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), 2-Part Invention #1 in C BWV772, 2-Part Invention #8 in F BWV779, 2-Part Invention #14 in Bb BWV785 & 2-Part Invention #5 in Eb BWV776, Janine Jansen – violin, Maxim Rysanov – viola, Decca 4759081, THE BACH ALBUM

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Orchestral Suite #1 in C BWV1066: Ouverture, Gavottes 1 & 2, Menuets 1 & 2, Brazilian Guitar Quartet, Delos 3254, FOUR SUITES FOR ORCHESTRA BWV 1066-1069

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, John Bullard – banjo, Bullard Music JB100, THE PERFECT SOUTHERN ART

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Suite for brass (French & English), London Brass, LB-CD 001, AN EVENING WITH LONDON BRASS

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Sarabande from Cello Suite #6 in D BWV1012, Yale Cellos, Aldo Parisot, Delos 3041, BACH BACHIANAS

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Trio Sonata #5 in F (orig.C) BWV529, Dusan Bogdanovic – guitar, Elaine Comparone – harpsichord, ESS.A.Y 1023, BACH WITH PLUCK!

Fourth Hour

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Cantata BWV207a: opening chorus, Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki, BIS 2311, SECULAR CANTATAS VOL.9 THE CONTEST BETWEEN PHOEBUS AND PAN

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Sonata #1 in b BWV1014, Isabelle Faust – violin, Kristian Bezuidenhout – harpsichord, Harmonia Mundi 902256/57, J.S.BACH SONATAS FOR VIOLIN and HARPSICHORD

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Oboe & Violin Concerto in c BWV1060, Berlin Baroque Soloists, Frank Peter Zimmermann – violin, Serge Zimmermann – oboe, Hanssler Classics HC17046, BACH VIOLIN CONCERTOS

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Sonata for viola da gamba #3 in g BWV1029, Yo-Yo Ma – cello, Chris Thile – mandolin, Edgar Meyer – bass, Nonesuch 558933, BACH TRIOS

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Magnificat BWV243: Magnificat anima mea (opening chorus), Chorus: Fecit potentiam, Terzet: Suscepit Israel, Sicut locutus est, & Gloria patri (closing chorus), Arcangelo, Jonathan Cohen, Hyperion CDA68157, BACH, BACH & BACH MAGNIFICATS

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Playlist 2017-03-26

Johann Sebastian Bach

This Week’s Links

J.S. Bach Homepage

Reconstruction of Bach’s image

Bach Portrait

Can Any Composer Equal Bach?

Bach’s AIR vs. Whiter Shade of Pale

Revealed: The violent, thuggish world of the young JS Bach

Bach biography

First Hour

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Partita #3 in E BWV1006: gavotte en rondeau & bouree, Rachel Barton Pine – violin, AVIE AV 2360, TESTAMENT

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Toccata in e BWV 914, Luc Beausejour – piano, Analekta AN 2 9128, BAROQUE SESSION ON PIANO

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Canon alla Ottava, & Contrapunctus 5, Brecon Baroque, Rachel Podger – violin, Channel Classics 38316, J.S. BACH THE ART OF FUGUE

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Orchestral Suite #3 in D BWV1068, National Arts Center Orchestra of Canada, Pinchas Zukerman, Analekta AN2 8783, BAROQUE TREASURY

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Wo soll ich flien hin hin BWV646 (Whither Shall I Flee), Wer nur den lieben Gott last walten BWV647 (Who Allows God Alone to Rule) & Ach bleib bie uns, Herr Jesu Christ BWV649 (Lord Jesus Christ, With Us Abide), Alison Balsom – trumpet, Stephen Cleobury – organ, Warner Classics 925116, JUBILO

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Sonata for 2 violins & continuo in G after BWV1039, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Tafelmusik Media TMK1028, BEST OF GERMAN BAROQUE

Second Hour

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), English Suite #2 in a BWV807: Bouree 1 & 2, Byron Schenkman – harpsichord, Centaur 2715, MUSIC OF J.S. BACH

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Sonata in g BWV1034, Michala Petri – recorder, Keith Jarrett – harpsichord, RCA 61274, BACH SONATAS

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Capriccio on the Departure of His Most Beloved Brother BWV992, Jean Louis Steuerman – piano, Philips 420176, BACH * PIANO WORKS * STEUERMAN

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Cantata BWV131: Aus der Tiefen: chor ICHE HARRE DES HERRN & closing chor ISRAEL, HOFFE AUF DEN HERRN, Chorus & Orchestra of Collegium Vocale, Ghent, Philippe Herreweghe, Virgin 59237, BACH CANTATAS

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Violin Concerto #1 in a BWV1041, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Joshua Bell – violin, Sony 88843, JOSHUA BELL BACH

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Fantasia in C BWV570 (orig for org), Boulder Brass, Dorian 93204, BOLDER BAROQUE

Third Hour

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Suite #1 in G BWV1007: prelude & gigue, Matt Haimovitz – cello, Pentatone 5186 555, THE CELLO SUITES ACCORDING TO ANNA MAGDALENA

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden BWV 230, Monteverdi Choir, John Eliot Gardiner, Soli Deo Gloria SDG 716, JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH MOTETS

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Canzona in d BWV588, Ton Koopman – organ,, Deutsche Grammophon 413638, J.S.BACH: WORKS FOR ORGAN / WORKS FOR HARPSICHORD

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Triple Concerto in a BWV1044, Arion Baroque, Jaap ter Linden, Hank Knox – harpsichord, Claire Guimond – flute, Chantal Remillard – violin, EarlyMusic EMCCD-7753, BACH SUITES & CONCERTOS

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Concerto for 2 Violins in d BWV1043, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Jeffrey Kahane, Hilary Hahn – violin, Margaret Batjer – violin, Deutsche Grammophon B0000986, HILARY HAHN BACH CONCERTOS

Fourth Hour

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), “Little” fugue in g BWV578, Marie-Claire Alain – organ, Erato 88004, BACH – TOCCATA & FUGUE – PASSACAILLE – M.C. ALAIN

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), WTC Bk II:#1 in C BWV870, Glenn Gould – piano, Sony 52603, THE GLENN GOULD EDITION: BACH WELL TEMPERED CLAVIER VOL.2

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Cantata #12: Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen: Chorus & final chorale, The Bach Ensemble, Joshua Rifkin, Dorian 93231, THREE WEIMAR CANTATAS BWV 182, 12, 172

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Concerto in C BWV1061, Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki, Masaaki Suzuki – harpsichord, Masato Suzuki – harpsichord, BIS 2051, CONCERTOS FOR TWO HARPSICHORDS

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Brandenburg Concerto #6 in Bb BWV1051, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Ton Koopman, Erato, 45374,