From the House of Master Bohm presents spirited and musicalogically authoritative performances of Georg Böhm's keyboard suites and chorale partitas by the renowned Australian Bach scholar John O'Donnell. He imbues the exuberant dance movements in Böhm’s suites with rustic energy, lilt and swing.
In the suites' slow movements O'Donnell demonstrates the uncanny ability to make his plucked instrument sing, the oft expressed ideal of centuries of the finest instrumentalists.
In achieving this ideal he is aided by the angelic resonance of his 1995 William Bright Harpsichord. And Böhm’s extravagant “stylus phantasticus” passages, features of his choral partitas, are executed by the harpsichordist with Dionysian sparkle.
The whole of O’Donnell’s performance is informed by a life of scholarship at the cutting edge of early music performance. His performance eloquently articulates how much more that there is in Böhm’s music than the mere notes on the page.
The earthy quality characteristic of many of Böhm's pieces harks back to the instrumental dances of earlier times, yet his suites of dance movements also look forward to their zenith in the keyboard suites of J S Bach. Böhm’s music comes down to us almost exclusively via manuscript copies from the Bach family’s collection, at least one piece having been copied in the house of master Böhm by a 15-year-old Johann Sebastian Bach.
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.