For nearly three centuries Johann Sebastian Bach’s six trio sonatas have been the touchstone of organ performance. Their sparkling transparency and ravishing elegance require not only unwavering independence between both hands and feet, but also graceful and nuanced expression from the player. Collected in the late 1720s when Bach was molding his own son, Wilhelm Friedemann, into one the greatest organists of the eighteenth century, these pieces have challenged and elevated uninterrupted generations ever since. The prize-winning author of Bach’s Feet, David Yearsley, plays the sonatas on Cornell University’s recently completed reconstruction of a Berlin organ from 1706 made by Arp Schnitger, one of Bach’s favorite builders. Framing the sonatas on this two CD set is a pair of the master’s monumental preludes and fugues, works whose brilliance, complexity, and exuberance have never been surpassed.
Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Performing artists: David Yearsley
January 1, 2015