“He has rythm in every limb”
(JOHANN MATTHIAS GESNER, BACH’S FRIEND)
Bach could make the most complicated fugue sound like a dance and he also wrote some of the most outstanding dance tunes of the Baroque. Stockholm Baroque Orchestra presents a highly personal interpretation of Bach’s music, evoking the atmosphere of Zimmerman’s coffee house where the composer and his friends would meet for a “jam session”.
STOCKHOLM BAROQUE ORCHESTRA:
Maria Lindal, violin; Lars Warnstad, violin; Mikael Marin, viola; Magdalena Mårding, cello; Jonas Dominique, double bass; Karl Nyhlin, theorbo, baroque guitar; Peter Lönnerberg, harpsichord; Kennet Bohman, oboe; Christopher Colin Nordberg, oboe; Mats Klingfors, bassoon, flute.
Stockholm Baroque Orchestra is a group of experienced musicians who have a special interest in music of the Baroque and Classical periods. The group was formed in 1998 as a result of a strong desire among the members to recreate a lively playing style rich with the creative contrasts that lie at the heart of Baroque music. The ensemble can vary in size from a chamber ensemble (The Stockholm Baroque Ensemble) to a full orchestra of up to forty musicians. Spanning nearly two hundred years, from early baroque to early romantic music, the Stockholm Baroque Orchestra’s repertoire embraces chamber music, orchestral and operatic works and oratorios. The ensemble has collaborated with several of Sweden’s most renowned choirs, including the Swedish Radio Choir, the Mikaeli Chamber Choir, the St. Jacobs Chamber Choir and Harmony of Voices. Stockholm Baroque Orchestra has toured throughout Sweden and performed in England, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Lebanon, Finland and Norway. The orchestra has appeared on television and made numerous radio broadcasts.
…How important was dancing and dance music to Johan Sebastian Bach? Several of his pupils and other contemporaries describe Bach as a fantastic improviser and musician, who could make the most
complicated fugue sound like a dance. In 1738 one of Bach’s friends wrote that “when he plays he has rhythm in his body” (“membris omnibus rythmicus”). Add to this the fact that he often started out from dance music when he was teaching and that many of his works, today regarded as outstanding within Western art music, are actually dance pieces. The answer is quite obvious - dancing and dance music were extremely important to him…
…How would it then have sounded? It is impossible to know but there is a great deal of information from the time in the form of instructions, textbooks, prefaces etc. The Austrian Muffat writes for example in one of his prefaces that the musicians shall beat time with their feet. Several musicians think that it is almost a mortal sin not to slavishly keep in time. Quantz, C.Ph.E. Bach and Hotteterre amongst others emphasize in their writings the importance of “inegalite”, that is, what we usually call today “swing”. Listening to folk music from cultures where these traditions are still alive can also give a hint as to how it may have sounded. This is particulary true of Swedish folk music. This disc is not however an attempt to present an “authentic recording” but a highly personal interpretation, where we get to meet Bach the musician sitting in a café having a jam session with his friends, rather than a serious gentleman sitting at the organ and composing solemn church music.
We hope you enjoy this disc…
(Mats Klingfors, member of Stockholm Baroque Orchestra)