The baroque trio sonata usually calls for four instrumentalists, two of which are assigned to the bass line, and it is only at the end of the 18th century that the designations of “trio” and “quartet” start referring to the number of instruments required.
The Bach Organ Sonatas are thus trios which ask for one musician to play on two keyboards and pedals. In the six Sonatas, the counterpoint is woven first and foremost between the two upper voices. These two wonderfully supple lines, harmonically supported by a bass line which occasionally suggests the dance rhythms of the gigue or the sicilienne, engage in dialogue, exchange motives, at times inverted, and constantly interweave.
While I do not think any of the sonatas call for more than 3 notes at any one time the compositions are wonderfully rich and extraordinarily difficult to master as the parts so often move in contrary direction and often overlap. They are true masterpieces that emerge from utter simplicity of form and economy of notes.
You can down load the midi file of the performance.
If you would like to watch the video tutorial right now – here it is:
More About Jonathan Kingston’s Musical Background
Jonathan studied the organ with Professor Ian Tracey and Ian Wells of Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral, home to one of the largest pipe organs in the world. He was appointed Organ Scholar, and subsequently Sub-Organist to Bradford Cathedral before securing positions as Assistant Director and Director of Music at two leading independent schools. He is currently Associate Director of Music at the Ordinariate Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Piccadilly.
Jonathan’s Work With Regent Classic
I am pleased to have Jonathan working with us – he covers several areas from sales, demonstrations, voicing of instruments and performing. He would be very pleased to hear from any churches or individuals requiring an engaging and lively recitalist. If you would like to connect with Jonathan directly, please feel free to follow him on Twitter (@jonkingston) or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
More About the Organ Being Played In This Tutorial
Jonathan plays this piece on our private client instrument. This has 84 speaking stops. It is a 3 manual instrument but with a floating solo division. It is based on the very successful physical modelling ‘Physis’ sound technology used in all standard Viscount instruments. This particular instrument has a real oak console with Rosewood drawstops and Rosewood and Walnut keyboards. It has a internal library of over 500 alternative voice samples allowing the user to create totally individual voice pallets from classic English through Baroque and Romantic. For more information have a look at its specifications here.