BACH 716

Harpsichord Concerto No. 2, BWV 1053
George Malcolm, harpsichord, German Bach Soloists / Helmut Winschermann

Italian Concerto in F Major BWV 971 from Clavierübung Part II
George Malcolm, harpsichord

Harpsichord Concerto No. 7, BWV 1058
George Malcolm, harpsichord, German Bach Soloists / Helmut Winschermann

Chromatic Fantasy in d-minor, BWV 903
George Malcolm, harpsichord

Concerto in d-minor for 3 harpsichords and strings, BWV 1063
George Malcolm, Valda Aveling, and Geoffrey Parsons, harpsichords
with the English Chamber Orchestra / Raymond Leppard

1. Concerto No. 2 in E Major for harpsichord and strings, BWV 1053
    Allegro – Siciliano – Allegro

2. Italian Concerto in F Major BWV 971 from Clavierübung Part II
    Allegro (tempo giusto) – Andante – Presto

3. Concerto No. 7 in g-minor for harpsichord and Strings, BWV 1058
    Allegro – Andante – Allegro assai

4. Chromatic Fantasy in d-minor, BWV 903

5. Concerto for three harpsichords and strings in d minor, BWV 1063
    Allegro – Alla Siciliana – Allegro

Illustration: Köthen Castle

The two harpsichord concertos, BWV 1053 and 1058 both receive excellent performances at the hands - and digital virtuosity - of George Malcolm, one of the great harpsichordists of our time. His elaboration of the slow movement in BWV 1058 is unobtrusive yet essential, and no other rendition by any other artist will sound quite the same again!

Malcolm's digital virtuosity really shows up in his performance of the brilliant Chromatic Fantasy, BWV 903. This is perhaps Bach's most virtuosic clavier composition, requiring, like the Toccatas only more so, individual interpretation by the player, a challenge to which Malcolm responds perfectly.

Malcolm again brings his meticulously clear playing to the Italian Concerto BWV 971. This solo harpsichord concerto, published by Christoph Weigel Jr, Nuremberg 1735, was enthusiastically reviewed at the time by J.A. Scheibe, who wrote: … preeminent among works known through published prints is a clavier concerto of which the author is the famous Bach in Leipzig. Who is there who will not admit at once that this clavier concerto is to be regarded as a perfect model of a well-designed solo concerto? But at the present time we shall be able to name as yet very few or practically no concertos of such excellent qualities and such well-designed execution. It would take as great a master of music as Mr. Bach, who has almost alone taken possession of the clavier.

The 3-harpsichord concerto BWV 1063 is great fun. These same players used to perform works for 2, 3 and 4 harpsichords every year at London's Royal Festival Hall, the harpsichordists bobbing and nodding to one another, the conductor struggling to keep up with them. The instruments used in these concerts, as in the present recording, were all built by Thomas Goff; Malcolm also plays a Goff in the solo pieces.

Baroque Music Library