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For the Record, Op. 92: Violist Antoine Tamestit's Bach Viola da Gamba Sonatas

August 23, 2019, 1:07 PM · Welcome to "For the Record,"'s weekly roundup of new releases of recordings by violinists, violists, cellists and other classical musicians. We hope it helps you keep track of your favorite artists, as well as find some new ones to add to your listening!

Antoine Tamestit and Masato Suzuki
Harpsichordist Masato Suzuki and violist Antoine Tamestit. Photo courtesy FB.

Bach: Sonatas for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord
Antoine Tamestit, viola da gamba
Masato Suzuki, harpsichord

Violist Antoine Tamestit and Masato Suzuki, Principal Conductor of the Bach Collegium Japan, immersed themselves in Bach’s three sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord in order to present this interpretation using a modern viola. The change in instrumentation allows the artists total freedom to rediscover the exquisite qualities of these all too rarely played masterpieces. "This Bach recording is so special to me, as it comes out of a long friendship with Masato Suzuki, whom I have always deeply admired as much for his innate and deep knowledge of Bach and baroque music as for his modernity and imagination," Tamestit said.

"We have been friends for 10 years, and this recording is the result of all our discussions on music, style, expression, energy and meaning. I feel particularly happy to be able to present the masterpieces that are Bach's Viola Da Gamba Sonatas, which are often forgotten or overlooked despite having the same genius as the most beautiful Cantata arias, the energy of the Brandenburg Concertos and the incredible counterpoints of the Art of Fugue. With my beautiful Stradivari Viola of 1672 and the amazing Kroesbergen harpsichord, it was my dream to release such a recording.” To coincide with this new release, Suzuki and Tamestit will tour this program throughout Europe. Here is a link to a performance by Tamestit and Masato of Bach's Sonata for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord in G minor at Verbier Festival 2019.

If you have a new recording you would like us to consider for inclusion in our Thursday "For the Record" feature, please e-mail Editor Laurie Niles. Be sure to include the name of your album, a link to it and a short description of what it includes.


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