Krebs: Keyboard Works Vol 2

Johann Ludwig Krebs (1713 – 1780)
Keyboard Works Volume 2
Steven Devine, harpsichord
Resonus Classics RES10300. 77’17

Overture ‘nach dem Franzoischen Gout’, Krebs-WV 820 (1741)
Partita in B-flat major, Krebs-WV 823 (1743)
Sonata in A minor, Krebs-WV 838 (c1763)

Steven Devine follows up his 2021 Krebs: Keyboard Works Volume 1 with the aptly titled Krebs: Keyboard Works Volume 2, again with a crustation-themed cover photo. Please see the review of Volume 1 for more background information, a crustation explanation, and a warning about the title of this 4 volume series. This second volume focuses on three multi-movement pieces, demonstrating Krebs’ diverse style over a 24-year period ranging from Baroque and Galant to Classical genres, a contrast also demonstrated by the differing styles of Bach’s sons, all of whom shared JS Bach as a teacher.

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Krebs: Clavier-Übung III

Krebs: Clavier-Übung III
Jan von Busch, organ
MDG Audiomax 706 1888-2. 78’34

Six Sonatinas Krebs-WV 801-806, Six Sonatas Krebs-WV 832-837  

This CD produces an interesting meeting of minds between the composer Johann Ludwig Krebs and the organ builder Johann Georg Stein, both born a few miles from each other (near Weimar) and at about the same time (1712/13). Both absorbed local influences in their craft, before stylistically moving into a new style. Krebs, of course, was the favourite pupil of JS Bach, leading to Bach’s comment about him being the “best crayfish (Krebs) in the brook (Bach)”. It is to Krebs that we owe the preservation of much of Bach’s organ music. His own organ compositions are often based on recognisable Bach pieces, often extended to quite extraordinary lengths and developed into the early Classical style. So it something of a relief to hear him composing in miniature form. Continue reading

Bach & Entourage: Sonatas for Violin and Basso continuo

Bach & Entourage
Johannes Pramsohler, violin, Philippe Grisvard, harpsichord
Audax ADX13703. 65’11

Sonatas for Violin and Basso continuo by Bach, Pisendel, Graun and Krebs

I have been watching violinist Johannes Pramsohler make his mark in the world of period violin playing over the past few years, and this CD shows that his growing reputation is well deserved. This well-chosen programme of relatively unknown Sonatas from the Bach circle, is a telling reminder that although his later fame came from his organ playing, Bach’s early childhood was spent learning the violin from his violinist father. As Pramsohler’s notes point out, it was only when the 10 year-old Bach, now orphaned, moved into his organ-playing elder brother’s house, that he started to focus on the organ. But he kept his father’s violin, his only inheritance, all his life. Although only one work is definitely by Bach, with two possibly Bach’s, Bach is suffused throughout the other works, by Pisendel, Graun and Krebs, representing the extraordinary flowering of musical talent in 18th century Weimar, Leipzig and Dresden.  The Graun and Krebs works are world premiere recordings, taking us into a slightly later musical period.  The CD ends with Bach’s extraordinary Fugue in g (BWV 1026).   Continue reading