BACH 732

Lesser-known Harpsichord Works

Gunnar Johansen,
Sperrhake harpsichord.

1.   Prelude in a minorBass Passus
2.   Prelude & Fugue in a minor – BWV 897
3.   Fugue in A Major – BWV 949 (Weimar c1709)
4.   Fugato in e minor – BWV 962
5.   Fugue in e minor – BWV 956
6.   Fugue in a minor – BWV 958 (Weimar c1709)
7.   Prelude & Fugue in a minor – BWV 895 (Cöthen c1720)
8.   Fugue in B-flat Major – BWV 954 (from Jan Adam Reinken c1720
9.   Fantasia & Fugue in d minor – BWV 905
10.  Fugue in a minor – BWV 947 (Weimar c1709)
11.  Fugue in A Major – BWV 950 (on a Theme from Tomaso Albinoni c1709)
12.  Prelude (Fantasia) in c minor – BWV 921 (Weimar c1710
13.  Fughetta in C Major – BWV 872a (Book II, "48" Preludes & Fugues)
14.  Fugue in a minor – BWV 944 (Cöthen c1720 Later used in Organ Fugue 543)
15.  Sonata in D Major – BWV 963 (Arnstadt 1704)
16.  Fugue in B-flat Major – BWV 955 (Arnstadt 1703-7 from Joh Chr Erselius)
17.  Fantasia in g minor – BWV 920
18.  Concerto & Fuga in c minor – BWV 909 (Weimar 1703?)

Total time 77:34

Lesser-known they may be, but certainly fully worthy of a hearing and addition to any Bach collection. Gunnar Johansen plays his splendid Sperrhake harpsichord with gusto where a dramatic piece demands, and with sensitivity on the quieter preludes or fugues. He recorded Bach's complete clavier works in his own time in his own studio, making for very relaxed performances.

There is much pleasure to be had in the discovery of all these wonderful pieces, and their quality is such that they can be heard over and over again. Mostly early works, they benefit from a youthful vigor and energy.

As Artist in Residence at Wisconsin University, Gunnar Johansen made several recorded LP sets including the complete works of Busoni, and of Bach, recorded by himself using professional equipment in his own home studio where he had a harpsichord, clavichord, spinet, and a double-keyboard piano.

A very personal note (!)

The picture above shows the Bach Haus, Eisenach, as it was in the socialist days. No longer. Yes, it's been painted and spruced up, but its wonderful setting at the head of a walkway with bushes and a bust of JSB closing off the street has been totally destroyed. The road now continues straight on, with the sense of enclosure gone, and horror of horrors, this ancient house has been wedded on to a ghastly new ultra mod all-glass structure. That beautiful tree has gone too. Gone. Modernisation at its absolute worst, and at its most insensitive. You have been warned!!

Baroque Music Library