Basso Ostinato - Pieter-Jan Belder
On this disc I have assembled a collection of ostinato pieces, not necessarily chaconnes or passacailles, but all kinds of pieces that feature a certain obsessive repetition, usually on a harmonic basis. All of these pieces are in fact dances.
Over a period of years, using three different instruments, Pieter-Jan Belder has recorded a number of pieces spanning the Baroque period; some will be more familiar than others. The gamut runs from Giovanni Picchi to Antonio Soler, with the longest piece attributed to J.S. Bach.
This is one of those recordings that is becoming more popular, one that resembles a concert or recital. Instead of a collection by one composer, we’re treated to variety. I don’t mind the format here because most of these pieces I do not have in my collection. The variety, of course, is fascinating in one listen.
And the collection of pieces Belder has performed here are all great pieces.
Such as? The Chaconne by J.S Bach (BWV 1004) was of special interest to me, after having enjoyed a harpsichord version by Jean Rondeau (modeled after the transcription by Brahms for one hand). This version was made by Belder himself. It’s nice to have another arrangement. I liked both.
Despite its fame, I don’t yet own a rendition of the Soler Fandango. It’s a sun-kissed piece from Spain, and Belder’s rendition doesn’t disappoint.
A bouncing, major-moded piece by Bernardo Storace was a new find for me. The ostinato is not original, but hearing the familiar with the new on top made for an especially enjoyable listen.
As commonplace as a repeated harmonic or bass figure was to baroque music, there should be no surprise that many great examples exist. Belder has collected good examples from a diverse inventory of possibilities. This is my first review of a recording featuring Belder as soloist. Much to enjoy.