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Johann Bernhard Bach: Orchestral Suites

97770 - Johann Bernhard Bach: Orchestral Suites

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Johann Bernhard Bach’s Orchestral Suites are amongst the most varied musical works of the high baroque period in Middle Germany – and they formed part of the core repertoire for Johann Sebastian Bach’s Leipzig Collegium Musicum. Sparkling virtuosic brilliance, as if written by a fiery Italian, whilst displaying the elegant taste of a noble Frenchman – in short, “mixed taste” at its finest. Bon Appétit! more

Johann Bernhard Bach

"Johann Bernhard Bachs Orchestersuiten sind beschwingt und unterhaltsam, gerade wenn sie so spielfreudig musiziert werden wie hier." (NDR Kultur)

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​Mixed Taste at its finest - The complete Orchestral Suites of Johann Bernhard Bach

Johann Bernhard Bach's four Orchestral Suites, composed for the court orchestra of the cultured duke of Saxony-Eisenach, are amongst the most varied and sophisticated musical works of the high baroque period in Middle Germany. It was not by chance that Georg Philipp Telemann, a one-time Kapellmeister at Eisenach, commented retrospectively: "I have to praise this orchestra, arranged for the most part according to the French style, for it surpassed the very famous Parisian opera orchestra." From 1703, Bernard Bach was engaged as harpsichordist in this noble orchestra. His Orchestral Suites provide the only surviving "soundtrack" of the illustrious musical life at the Eisenach court during the 1710s and 20s. And what a soundtrack: cosmopolitan, and truly European, with sparkling virtuosic brilliance, as if written by a fiery Italian, whilst displaying the elegant taste of a noble Frenchman. In other words, the "mixed taste", for which the best German composers of the late baroque period were famous, in its finest form. Little wonder then that Bernhard Bach's suites became core repertoire for Johann Sebastian Bach's Leipzig Collegium Musicum, also influencing his compositions.

All this provides sufficient motivation for the Thuringian Bach Collegium to continue their exploration through the Middle German courts for their second CD recording and, with unbridled enthusiasm in their music-making, to bring these jewels of the early Thuringian orchestral music back to life. Bon Appétit!

Reviews

Early Music Review
Early Music Review | 01.12.2019 | David Stancliffe | December 1, 2019 | source: https://earlymus...

These four suites by Johann Sebastian’s second cousin and near contemporary display his skill and invention. Cast in the form of suites with aMehr lesen

These four suites by Johann Sebastian’s second cousin and near contemporary display his skill and invention. Cast in the form of suites with a series of dances, some movements feel more like concerti so close are they to the Italian and French models current in the cultured courts of the principalities of central Europe, where French cuisine and dress and Italian music were known.

From 1703, Johann Bernhard held the post of organist in Eisenach till his death in 1749, overlapping between 1708 and 1712 with Telemann. He was also harpsichordist to the admired court orchestra of Duke Johann Wilhelm of Sachsen-Eisenach.

J. S. Bach had copied out at least three of these suites for the Collegium in Leipzig, and it is because of this set of parts that Johann Bernhard’s music survives. The two Bachs were cross godparents to each other’s children, and Johann Bernhard’s ease with the French as well as the Italian style gives us an interesting glimpse of the cosmopolitan nature of this small Saxon court.

The competent players of the Thüringer Bach Collegium use single strings plus the director, Gernot Süßmuth’s solo violin and muster two oboes, a taille and fagotto, and one is heard playing recorder and traverso.

The performances are snappy, and sometimes a little rustic – some slapping of the instruments from time to time; but the major and in the end irritating fault is that the kontrabass is either miked far too closely or else just plays insensitively. With single strings, I would have been quite content with a violone or bass violin at 8’ pitch, but a substantial double bass thumping away – frequently joined by the harpsichordist’s lute stop – is an error of judgment and doesn’t blend with the rest of the band as it should.

The music was recorded in the Georgenkirche in Eisenach and from the photo in the booklet the players were standing just east of the font in which JSB was baptised. The essay (in German and then in English) on where this music fits into the high Baroque in Saxony is admirably informative. But there is no information on instruments or temperament, which would have been a plus. The ensemble has already recorded concerti by Prinz Johann Ernst von Sachsen-Weimar on the same label, and is clearly performing a notable service in making this kind of court music available to a modern audience.

The music is novel, fills a gap in our understanding of court life in the early 18th century and is tuneful as well as original. If you can bear the kontrabass, you will enjoy this music.
These four suites by Johann Sebastian’s second cousin and near contemporary display his skill and invention. Cast in the form of suites with a

Gramophone
Gramophone | December 2019 | Lindsay Kemp | December 1, 2019

Rinaldo Alessandrini’s new recording of Bach’s Orchestral Suites may well be the danciest ever. Thirteen years after his joyful account of theMehr lesen

Rinaldo Alessandrini’s new recording of Bach’s Orchestral Suites may well be the danciest ever. Thirteen years after his joyful account of the Brandenburg Concertos (11/05) blasted its way to a Gramophone Award, he has turned to these four noble creations and infused them with a choreographic shape and swing that ought to make it hard for listeners to keep still. His long booklet note is full of the evidence of much consideration of the natures of all the different dance types Bach embraced across these 24 movements, but yeah, plenty of people have done that and made claims for the end result before. What makes the difference here is that Alessandrini has not come up with a blanket, one-style-suits-all tempo or manner for each dance, but treated each one on its own merits. Compare, for instance, the three Menuets: Suite No 1’s has a buoyantly motoring one-in-a-bar; No 2’s bustles and twitters; and No 4’s twirls frilly cuffs at us.

Elsewhere Alessandrini shows that he has no auto-pilot for these pieces, only lively ideas in plenty. Normally racing dances such as the Réjouissance and Badinerie are calmly measured, as are the Ouvertures, though never in the same way twice. The First Suite’s Courante flaunts a rather deliberate inégal while the Forlane stamps like a snorting horse. The Second Suite’s Rondeaux is surprisingly brisk, while its Sarabande refuses to allow itself to fixate on its treble-bass canon, concentrating instead on light and natural phrasing. The Third Suite’s famous Air is presented not as a melody with subservient accompaniment but as an intricate and lovingly drawn contrapuntal web.

Any performance with as many ideas as this will invite dislikes (I have a bit of a problem with the intermittently clodhopping bass in the First Suite’s Passepied), but overall I’m sure the lasting impression for many will be of a joyous and refreshing encounter with familiar music, served with a meticulous and constantly imaginative attention to details of phrasing and articulation, a crispness of ensemble and a bright and bracing transparency of texture, that may not have been matched since Musica Antiqua Köln’s brilliant but less yieldingly human Archiv recordings in the 1980s.

Alessandrini augments the four Bach Suites on this two-disc set with a suite each by two of his slightly older cousins, Johann Bernhard and Johann Ludwig, both of them more Telemann-like and closer in manner to the form’s French origins than their more famous counterparts. They are welcome in themselves, but also have the effect of emphasising just how contrapuntally rich Sebastian’s suites are.

Ludwig’s Suite is the only one of his to survive, as it happens, but we are luckier with Bernhard, for there are four of his left to us, mainly thanks to the interest taken in them by Sebastian, who had three of them copied out to perform alongside his own at the Leipzig Collegium Musicum in the 1730s. All four appear in their own right on a disc from the Thüringer Bach Collegium, a newish group formed to explore just this kind of Bach hinterland and who, led by the violinist Gernot Süssmuth, engage fully with the music’s bright mix of movementtypes, including some – such as its Caprice, Fantaisie and a couple of French-style character-pieces – not used by Sebastian. Playing one-to-a-part, they find all the nimble energy needed for the likes of the Rigadons and Passepieds, as well as the soulful melody installed in the sweetly rapt Sarabandes and Airs, including one in the G major Suite that is in real ‘Air on the G string’ territory. The sound is intimate, transparent and not always ideally blended, but it is altogether more present and engaging than in the recording made a little while ago by L’Achéron (Ricercar, 2/17), whose larger forces sound squidgy and distant by comparison. The Thuringians also give us a bonus in ‘La Tempête’, the little encore – actually a short overture composed in 1691 by Steffani – which Sebastian added to the G major Suite for his Leipzig listeners’ entertainment.
Rinaldo Alessandrini’s new recording of Bach’s Orchestral Suites may well be the danciest ever. Thirteen years after his joyful account of the

NDR Kultur
NDR Kultur | Sonntag, 20. Oktober 2019, 19:15 bis 20:00 Uhr | Friederike Westerhaus | October 20, 2019 | source: https://www.ndr.... BROADCAST: CD-Neuheiten
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[…] Das Thüringer Bach Collegium rückt einen Cousin von Johann Sebastian ins Rampenlicht: Johann Bernhard Bach. Dessen Orchestersuiten sindMehr lesen

[…] Das Thüringer Bach Collegium rückt einen Cousin von Johann Sebastian ins Rampenlicht: Johann Bernhard Bach. Dessen Orchestersuiten sind beschwingt und unterhaltsam, gerade wenn sie so spielfreudig musiziert werden wie hier.
[…] Das Thüringer Bach Collegium rückt einen Cousin von Johann Sebastian ins Rampenlicht: Johann Bernhard Bach. Dessen Orchestersuiten sind

Stretto – Magazine voor kunst, geschiedenis en muziek | Oktober 17, 2019 | Michel Dutrieue | October 17, 2019 | source: http://www.stret...

Van Johann Bernhard Bachs orkestmuziek zijn slechts vier suites overgeleverd en wel in het handschrift van Johann Sebastian Bach. Deze meerdeligeMehr lesen

Van Johann Bernhard Bachs orkestmuziek zijn slechts vier suites overgeleverd en wel in het handschrift van Johann Sebastian Bach. Deze meerdelige composities zijn gecomponeerd in de stijl van de orkestsuites van Telemann.

Johann Bernhard Bach der Ältere (1676-1749) was een achterneef van Johann Sebastian Bach. Johann Bernhards grootvader, Johann (1604-1673), was nl. de oudste broer van Johann Sebastians grootvader, Christoph (1613-1661). Johann Ambrosius, één van zijn drie zonen, (de andere twee waren Georg Christoph en Ambrosius’ tweelingbroer, Johann Christoph) werd nl. de vader van Johann Sebastian. Johann Sebastians eerste vrouw Maria Barbara (1684-1720) was in diezelfde graad familie van haar echtgenoot en van Johann Bernhard. Háár grootvader Heinrich (1615-1692), de derde en jongste broer, werd nl. de stamvader van de “Arnstadt-Linie”, de voortzetting van de “Erfurter Linie”.

Johann Bernhard Bach werd in 1676, in Erfurt geboren in het huis “Zu den drei Rosen” op Junkersand, en gedoopt in de Erfurter Kaufmannskirche. Net als zijn broer Johann Christoph Friedrich, geboren in 1685, werd hij als kind muzikaal opgeleid door zijn vader Johann Egidius Bach, violist en altist in de plaatselijke “Stadtmusikanten-Kompagnie”. Na een bezoek aan de Schola Mercatorum, werd hij in het najaar van 1690 ingeschreven aan het Ratsgymnasium in Erfurt. In 1695 werd hij organist aan de Kaufmannskirche in Erfurt (foto) en in 1699 verhuisde hij naar de St.-Catharinakerk in Magdeburg.

In 1703 benoemde hertog Johann Wilhelm van Saksen-Eisenach hem tot klavecinist in het hoforkest in Eisenach, en werd hij ook aangenomen als opvolger van zijn oom Johann Christoph Bach, als organist van de Georgenkirche. Van 1708 tot 1712 werkte Johann Bernhard Bach in Eisenach samen met Telemann die toen Hofkapelmeester aan het hof van Hertog Johan Willem van Saksen-Eisenach (foto) was. In 1712 vertrok Telemann naar Frankfurt.

In 1716 trouwde Johann Bernhard met Johanna Sophia Siefer. Het echtpaar kreeg drie kinderen. In 1741 werd het hertogelijke orkest ontbonden, zodat Johann Bernhard Bach daarna tot aan zijn overlijden uitsluitend als cantor werkte. Met zijn beroemde neef Johann Sebastian was Johann Bernhard zijn leven lang bevriend. In 1715 werd hij trouwens peetvader van Johann Sebastians zoon Johann Gottfried Bernhard, terwijl in 1722 Johann Sebastian de peetvader werd van zijn oudste zoon Johann Ernst. Hij was na het overlijden van Johann Bernhard, zijn opvolger als organist in de Georgenkirche in Eisenach (foto). Johann Pachelbel (foto) had invloed op de orgelcomposities van Johann Bernhard Bach. Pachelbel was nl. van 1678 tot 1690, organist in Erfurt. Het is ook bekend dat Johann Sebastian Bach met zijn Collegium Musicum, verschillende composities van zijn achterneef uitvoerde in Leipzig.

Elke Suite bestaat uit een ouverture, gevolgd door vijf tot zeven dansen (Passepied, Gavotte, Sarabande, Rigaudon, Menuet), een Air, een Rondeau, een Fantaisie, of genrestukken als La Joye, Caprice, Les plaisirs of La Tempête. Het Thüringer Bach Collegium geeft met amper elf musici (enkel strijkers, houtblazers en continuo), o.l.v. Gernot Süssmuth, (concertmeester van de Staatskapelle Weimar, Professor aan de Hochschule für Musik „Franz Liszt“ in Weimar en ook violist van het Waldstein Quartett), met de indringende klank van hun historische instrumenten, op een indrukwekkend authentieke manier, sonoor gestalte aan het roemrijk tijdperk van het land van de Bachs. Niet te missen. Schitterend!
Van Johann Bernhard Bachs orkestmuziek zijn slechts vier suites overgeleverd en wel in het handschrift van Johann Sebastian Bach. Deze meerdelige

www.pizzicato.lu | 07/10/2019 | Remy Franck | October 7, 2019 | source: https://www.pizz... Musik vom Cousin

Randvoll ist diese neue CD mit der Gesamteinspielung von Johann Bernhard Bachs Orchestersuiten durch das Thüringer Bach Collegium. Johann BernhardMehr lesen

Randvoll ist diese neue CD mit der Gesamteinspielung von Johann Bernhard Bachs Orchestersuiten durch das Thüringer Bach Collegium. Johann Bernhard Bach (1676-1749), ein Cousin zweiten Grades von Johann Sebastian Bach, komponierte diese Suiten für die Hofkapelle des Herzogs von Sachsen-Eisenach. Es sind stilistisch sehr vielfältige Stücke eines als kosmopolitisch bekannten Komponisten, der damit einen hervorragenden Beitrag zu Musik des Hochbarocks beisteuerte.

Das Thüringer Bach Collegium bestätigt mit seiner zweiten CD-Produktion sein hohes Niveau. Es zeigt in dieser exemplarischen Einspielung, wie kraft- und ausdrucksvoll deutsche Barockmusik sein kann, ohne je schwerfällig zu werden. Andere Ensembles haben versucht Schwere mit fetzigem Musizieren zu umgehen, aber das ist auch nicht der richtige Weg. Die Thüringer gehen da viel zielsicherer vor, mit klaren Phrasierungen, die die Musik kraftvoll wie elegant dahinströmen lassen. Sehr schön sind hier ein homogener Klang, viel Transparenz und ein feinfühliges Zusammenwirken, ausgehend von der Intensität eines hervorragend gestalteten inneren Dialoges.

This new CD is packed with the complete recording of Johann Bernhard Bach’s Orchestral Suites by the Thüringer Bach Collegium. Johann Bernhard Bach (1676-1749), a second-degree cousin of Johann Sebastian Bach, composed these suites for the court orchestra of the Duke of Saxony-Eisenach. The composer, known as cosmopolitan wrote stylistically very diverse pieces and thus made an outstanding contribution to the music of the High Baroque period.

With its second CD production, the Thüringer Bach Collegium confirms its high standard. In this exemplary recording it shows how powerful and expressive German baroque music can be without ever becoming cumbersome. Other ensembles have tried to avoid heaviness with high speed, but this is not the right way either. The Thuringians proceed much more purposefully, with clear phrasings that let the music flow powerfully and elegantly. The well balanced sound, a lot of transparency and a sensitive inner dialogue are very attractive.
Randvoll ist diese neue CD mit der Gesamteinspielung von Johann Bernhard Bachs Orchestersuiten durch das Thüringer Bach Collegium. Johann Bernhard

Note 1 - Neuheitenheft | Oktober 2019 | October 1, 2019 Der Vetter aus Eisenach

Als Georg Philipp Telemann 1712 von Eisenach nach Frankfurt wechselte, wurde Johann Bernhard Bach (1676-1749), ein Cousin zweiten Grades von JohannMehr lesen

Als Georg Philipp Telemann 1712 von Eisenach nach Frankfurt wechselte, wurde Johann Bernhard Bach (1676-1749), ein Cousin zweiten Grades von Johann Sebastian, zum Nachfolger ernannt. Hätte Letzterer 1730 nicht vier Orchestersuiten des Vetters für den eigenen Gebrauch kopiert, sie wären – wie die meisten anderen seiner Kompositionen – heute wohl verloren. Die Werke werden vom Thüringer Bach Collegium durch zusätzliche Bläser noch farbiger gestaltet. Das Ensemble setzt mit dieser Einspielung seine Entdeckungsreise durch die mitteldeutschen Residenzen fort und lässt mit unbändiger Musizierfreude die Juwelen barocker Thüringer Orchesterkultur wieder lebendig werden.
Als Georg Philipp Telemann 1712 von Eisenach nach Frankfurt wechselte, wurde Johann Bernhard Bach (1676-1749), ein Cousin zweiten Grades von Johann

Merchant Infos

Johann Bernhard Bach: Orchestral Suites
article number: 97.770
EAN barcode: 4022143977700
price group: BCA
release date: 4. October 2019
total time: 81 min.

News

date /
Typ
title
Rating
Dec 12, 2019
Review

Early Music Review
These four suites by Johann Sebastian’s second cousin and near contemporary...
Dec 4, 2019
Review

Gramophone
Rinaldo Alessandrini’s new recording of Bach’s Orchestral Suites may well be...
Oct 27, 2019
Info

BROADCAST: Radio Coteaux
Oct 30, 2019
Review

Stretto – Magazine voor kunst, geschiedenis en muziek
Van Johann Bernhard Bachs orkestmuziek zijn slechts vier suites overgeleverd en...
Oct 28, 2019
Review

NDR Kultur
BROADCAST: CD-Neuheiten
Oct 7, 2019
Award

5/5 Noten - Johann Bernhard Bach: Orchestral Suites
Oct 7, 2019
Review

www.pizzicato.lu
Musik vom Cousin
Oct 7, 2019
Award

Interpretation & Klang: 4/5 Sternen - Johann Bernhard Bach: Orchestral Suites
Sep 24, 2019
Info

BROADCAST: MDR KULTUR Spezial
Sep 24, 2019
Info

BROADCAST: RBB Kultur
Sep 30, 2019
Review

Note 1 - Neuheitenheft
Der Vetter aus Eisenach
Nov 1, 2019
Info

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