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Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

 

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750)
The Toccatas [72.09]
Toccata in D minor BWV 913
Toccata in E minor BWV 914
Toccata in G minor BWV 915
Toccata in D major BWV 912
Toccata in C minor BWV 911
Toccata in F sharp minor BWV 910
Toccata in G major BWV 916
Ursula Dütschler, harpsichard
Rec: November 2000, Maria Minor, Utrecht.
CLAVES CD 50-2011 [72.09]
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Bachís toccatas are among the most improvisatory of his keyboard works; written in stylus fantasticus, which is a very unrestrained and free way of composing, using dramatic and extravagant rhetorical gestures, combining improvisatory passages with other sections, that range from fugues to dance movements. This almost improvisatory style of composition can be heard in many of Bachís preludes, but the difference in the toccatas is the combination of several different sections into a single work.

Dütschlerís performances of the opening sections of these pieces are generally very good. She seems totally at ease with the spirit behind these semi-improvisatory sections. Witness the F-sharp minor toccata, with its runs up and down the keyboard. The harpsichord she performs on adds to the attractive sound of her playing in sections like this.

Sample 1 Track 6 0:00

She generally plays these pieces with drive and vitality, though her tempi are never overly rapid. She settles into each piece, but at times seems to lapse into a more banal interpretation. At the end of the G minor toccata, in the fugue, she seems to have lost control of the rhythm - her playing gets a bit heavy and locked into too strict a beat.

Sample 2 Track 3 4:50

The fugue in the C minor toccata is brilliantly performed. Dütschler takes this one slowly and creatively, beginning with a staccato entry of the subject, and building on this with flowing lines that merge like the tributaries that meet to form a larger river.

Sample 3 Track 5 3:13

But overall, this is an excellent recording of Bachís Tocattas, and it certainly deserves attention. While not the best harpsichord version available, Dütschlerís performance is very good, and the harpsichord she plays has a very attractive sound.

 

Kirk McElhearn


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Toccata in D minor BWV 913

Toccata in E minor BWV 914

Toccata in G minor BWV 915

Toccata in D major BWV 912

Toccata in C minor BWV 911

Toccata in F-sharp minor BWV 910

Toccata in G major BWV 916


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