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The latest offering from Gardiner’s SDG label is of music by Johann Christoph Bach (1642-1703), a cousin of Johann Sebastian’s father. Recorded live at Cadogan Hall in 2009, this disc is a veritable treasure trove of arias, laments, motets and dialogues arranged by Gardiner into a most satisfying and illuminating sequence. Subtlety of gesture and effect is the key to Johann Christoph’s style, and his music can never have had such care lavished on it as evinced by the performance captured here. The singing and playing is of the highest standard (as one would expect from this source). The disc is dedicated to the memory of viola da gambist Richard Campbell, who not only contributes playing of distinction to the recording but also an excellent essay to the finely produced booklet and packaging for the CD. Not to be missed.

PHILIP REED Read the full review on Agora Classica

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