Bach: 6 Sonatas For Harpsichord And Violin


Catherine Manson (violin), Ton Koopman (harpsichord) Challenge Classics CC72560 (2 CDs) ***

It is, if you think about it, a most unlikely outcome. Bach’s sonatas and partitas for solo violin, uniquely demanding on players and listeners alike, are far more popular than the composer’s less daunting violin sonatas with either harpsichord or continuo. Catherine Manson and Ton Koopman present the sonatas for violin and keyboard with the balance weighted more towards the harpsichord than is usual – the works are mostly in three-part counterpoint, with the keyboard playing two parts. The result of the rebalancing is imposing and a times a little severe, with Manson’s tone at time more pinched than I care for. Definitely one to try before you buy.