‘Pachelbel and Bach’ reviewed in Luister

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Gerard Scheltens has reviewed our CD ‘Pachelbel and Bach’ for Luister magazine. His review came with a maximum of ten stars: five for the quality of performance and five for the quality of recording .

Johann Pachelbel’s famous Canon in D – at some stage violated into a super-sweet pop song by a singer whose name I hope to forget – is here embedded in a meaningful context. Pachelbel (1653–1706) was a friend of Bach’s family and profoundly influenced his music. Exactly how becomes clear through the well-thought-through selection that The Bach Players, the British ensemble of violinist Nicolette Moonen, have made from the work of both composers. ‘Christ lag in Todesbanden’ and ‘Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan’, both well-known Bach cantatas, are put up against the same titles by Pachelbel. His Canon is placed against an arrangement of canons from the Goldberg Variations; also by Pachelbel are two sacred concertos, ‘Mein Fleisch’ and ‘Christ ist erstanden’, and by Bach the cantata ‘Widerstehe doch der Sünde’. The selection and the ordering are very educational. You hear how much the young Bach was influenced by his older colleague. But ‘educational’ is not the only keyword, because these musicians are driven and inspired. The singing is expressive and the playing no less so. The combination of Sally Bruce-Payne’s alto voice with the rasping string sounds in ‘Widerstehe doch der Sünde’ is irresistible.

Luister, August 2012

[translated from the Dutch]