J.S. Bach: Musikalisches Opfer Masaaki Suzuki

Cover J.S. Bach: Musikalisches Opfer

Album info



Label: BIS

Genre: Classical

Artist: Masaaki Suzuki

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750)

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)


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  • Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750): Musikalisches Opfer, Op. 6, BWV 1079:
  • 1Canon 1 à 2 cancrizans01:55
  • 2Canon 2 à 2 violini in unisono00:53
  • 3Canon 3 à 2 per motum contrarium00:55
  • 4Canon 4 à 2 per augmentationem, contrario motu01:44
  • 5Canon 5 à 2 per tonos05:55
  • 6Fuga canonica in epidiapente02:27
  • 7Ricercar à 306:09
  • 8Canon perpetuus super Thema Regium00:58
  • 9Ricercar à 607:23
  • 10Canon à 2 querendo invenietis01:17
  • 11Canon à 402:22
  • 12Sonata sopra il Soggetto Reale: I. Largo05:48
  • 13Sonata sopra il Soggetto Reale: II. Allegro05:55
  • 14Sonata sopra il Soggetto Reale: III. Andante03:26
  • 15Sonata sopra il Soggetto Reale: IV. Allegro03:02
  • Canon perpetuus:
  • 16Canon perpetuus02:32
  • Goldberg Variations, Op. 4, BWV 988:
  • 17Aria02:23
  • 14 Verschiedene Canones, BWV 1087:
  • 18No. 1, Canon simplex00:31
  • 19No. 2, Canon all' roverscio00:33
  • 20No. 3, Canon in motu recto e contrario00:33
  • 21No. 4, Canon in motu contrario e recto00:29
  • 22No. 5, Canon duplex à 400:33
  • 23No. 6, Canon simplex à 3 über besagtes Fundament00:35
  • 24No. 7, Canon simplex à 300:26
  • 25No. 8, Canon simplex à 3 il soggetto in alto00:34
  • 26No. 9, Canon in unisono post semifusam à 300:31
  • 27No. 10, Canon à 2 alio modo per syncopationes et per ligaturas00:44
  • 28No. 11, Canon duplex übers Fundament à 500:33
  • 29No. 12, Canon duplex über Fundamental Noten à 501:01
  • 30No. 13, Canon triplex à 600:35
  • 31No. 14, Canon à 4 per augmentationem et diminutionem00:47
  • Flute Sonata in G Major, BWV 1038:
  • 32I. Largo03:02
  • 33II. Vivace00:59
  • 34III. Adagio02:14
  • 35IV. Presto01:21
  • Total Runtime01:11:05

Info for J.S. Bach: Musikalisches Opfer

Johann Sebastian Bach’s appearance on 7th May 1747 at the court of Frederick the Great is the best documented event in the composer’s otherwise unglamorous career. During the proceedings, Frederick provided Bach with an exceptionally difficult theme on which to improvise a fugue. The King is said to have been impressed with the improvisation, but Bach himself was less so, and announced that he intended to set the theme to paper ‘in a regular fugue’. Several months later the Musical Offering appeared in print – a collection of 13 pieces in diverse genres: fugues, canons and a trio sonata, all exploiting the ‘Royal Theme’ in various intricate ways.

Bach’s published score gives no firm idea about a playing order for the pieces, and in most cases no instrument-ation is specified. Furthermore, some of the canons – the so-called ‘riddle canons’ – are very sketchily notated, with just a few notes and some enigmatic clues in Latin. The performers are thus left with an unusual degree of freedom when it comes to the interpretation of the work – a freedom which Masaaki Suzuki, with his colleagues from Bach Collegium Japan, is singularly well-placed to explore. Following the Offering on this disc is another collection of riddle canons by Bach: the ‘14 Canons on the Goldberg Ground’ which were discovered as late as 1974, in the form of a hand-written addendum to the composer’s own printed copy of the Goldberg Variations. The canons are all based on the first eight bass notes of the celebrated Aria from the Goldberg Variations, and are performed here as harpsichord solos, along with the Aria. The disc closes with another chamber work however – the Sonata in G major for flute, violin and basso continuo, BWV 1038.

Masaaki Suzuki, harpsichord
Members of Bach Collegiums Japan

Masaaki Suzuki
Since founding Bach Collegium Japan in 1990, Masaaki Suzuki has established himself as a leading authority on the works of Bach. He has remained the music director of the BCJ ever since, taking it regularly to major venues and festivals in Europe and the USA. In addition to working with renowned period ensembles, including the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Philharmonia Baroque, he conducts orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in repertoire ranging from Mendelssohn to Stravinsky. Suzuki’s impressive

discography on the BIS label, featuring Bach’s choral works as well as harpsichord and organ recitals, has brought him many critical plaudits – The Times (UK) has written: ‘it would take an iron bar not to be moved by his crispness, sobriety and spiritual vigour’. With the BCJ he is now extending the ensemble’s repertoire with recordings of Mozart’s Requiem and Mass in C minor and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis.

Born in Kobe, Masaaki Suzuki graduated from the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music and went on to study harpsichord and organ at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam under Ton Koopman and Piet Kee. Founder and professor emeritus of the early music department at the Tokyo University of the Arts, he was on the faculty at the Yale School of Music and Yale Institute of Sacred Music from 2009 until 2013, and remains affiliated as the principal guest conductor of Yale Schola Cantorum.

Booklet for J.S. Bach: Musikalisches Opfer

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