J. S. Bach: Harpsichord Music

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In his second recording for Wildboar, David Cates has constructed a strong program drawing on works from all periods of Bach’s life, and has made an unusual and astute choice of instrument in Owen Daly’s Vaudry copy. In addition he has elected to include a pair of chorales that would normally be considered fare for the organ, but which serve beautifully to dress and unite the various more familiar works included.

Owen Daly’s Vaudry has been in existence for several years, and has garnered quite a reputation as a fabulous-sounding harpsichord. The timbre is rich and nutty, with lots of character. The bass is somewhat gruff and not at all boomy like later French instruments, while the entire band has a distinctive oboe-like accent that colors all music played upon it. Mr Cates was so taken with the instrument he ordered one made, with the proviso he would have the choice of the new instrument or the one used on this recording.

I believe that listeners will applaud this courageous choice of instrument- the result is a recital of wonderful, exciting sound, very tangy and refreshing to the ear.

I look forward to the reactions of critics and CD buyers alike. Enjoy!


  • French Ouverture, BWV 831
    Ouverture — Courante — Gavottes I & II —
    Passepieds I & II — Sarabande — Bourées I & II — Gigue — Echo
  • Chorale Christum wir sollen loben schon BWV 696
  • Four Duetti BWV 802-805
  • Chorale In dulci jubilo BWV 729
  • Toccata in E minor BWV 914
  • Toccata in G major BWV 916
  • Chromatic Fantasy & Fugue in D minor BWV 903

Harpsichord tuned in temperément ordinaire A= 392 Hz

(Owen Daly, Salem, Oregon, after Vaudry, ca. 1681)
Peter Nothnagel, producer/engineer; Joseph Spencer, executive producer, graphic designer. DDD 73′ 15″ recorded May 1999.