Bach Sonatas in St. Martin's Church

Track price: FREE


Johann Sebastian Bach: BWV 1034 e-moll Sonate für Flöte und Basso Continuo

Track Title Preview Track Quality File size
BWV 1034 Adagio ma non tanto Original: 24 bit / 96 kHz
82 MB
CD quality: 16 bit / 44.1 kHz
25 MB
BWV 1034 Allegro Original: 24 bit / 96 kHz
100 MB
CD quality: 16 bit / 44.1 kHz
31 MB
BWV 1034 Andante Original: 24 bit / 96 kHz
110 MB
CD quality: 16 bit / 44.1 kHz
34 MB
BWV 1034 Allegro Original: 24 bit / 96 kHz
100 MB
CD quality: 16 bit / 44.1 kHz
31 MB

Johann Sebastian Bach: BWV 1035 E-dur Sonate für Flöte und Basso Continuo

Track Title Preview Track Quality File size
BWV 1035 Adagio Original: 24 bit / 96 kHz
109 MB
CD quality: 16 bit / 44.1 kHz
34 MB
BWV 1035 Allegro Original: 24 bit / 96 kHz
90 MB
CD quality: 16 bit / 44.1 kHz
28 MB
BWV 1035 Siciliano Original: 24 bit / 96 kHz
134 MB
CD quality: 16 bit / 44.1 kHz
41 MB
BWV 1035 Allegro assai Original: 24 bit / 96 kHz
156 MB
CD quality: 16 bit / 44.1 kHz
48 MB
Two Bach Sonatas (Flute, Bassoon, Harpsichord) recorded in the exceptional acoustic sanctuary of St. Martin's Church in Basel, Switzerland.

The musicians and their instruments:


Flute: Vytautas Sriubikis

Vytautas plays a wooden Otto Moennig flute, model name Orthoton, made in 1938 in Leipzig, Germany. Headjoint is made by J. R. Lafin, 14K gold.

Bassoon: Povilas Bingelis

Povilas plays a Yamaha 812. Manufactured in 2003 in Japan.

Harpsichord: María González Calvo

María plays a one keyboard Cembalo Franco Flamenco, built according to the ravalement Ruckers system in Spain. 61 keys, 226 cm x 94 cm. 2 x 8'. This harpsichord also features a beautiful lute tembre, which was used for part III, Andante, of the E-Minor Sonata. The contrast in tembre is striking, and the listener is reminded that no adjustments to microphone placement or other settings were made at any time throughout the recording session.

Snapshots taken during the recording session

FREE 24 BIT / 96 kHz sample

At one point in the session I captured this segment of flautist Vytautas Sriubikis playing his wooden Bansuri flute. This is the original 24 bit / 96 kHz full resolution file and you can download it here [38MB]. Here's an MP3 of it [2 MB].

About the recording session:

At the west end of the Minster Hill, in a square with a fountain, stands St Martin's church (consecrated 1398), the oldest parish church in Basel.

Martinsgasse Martinsgasse Blaues Haus Weisses Haus Martin's Square St. Martin's Church

In Martinsgasse, which runs parallel to the Rheinsprung on the side away from the river, are two very elegant patrician houses, the Blaues Haus (Blue House) and Weisses Haus (White House), built between 1763 and 1770 for wealthy silk-merchants. At the west end of the Minster Hill, in a square with a fountain, stands St Martin's church (consecrated 1398), the oldest parish church in Basle.

It is in this beautiful church that we recorded the Bach Sonatas for Flute and Basso Continuo. You will hear at the very end of the E-Minor Sonata, in the reverb tail, a sort of thundery drumming sound with the clatter of tambourines. This was part of Basel's warming up for their upcoming Carnival Days, a huge tradition there.

Carnival Carnival Carnival

In the protestant city of Basel, the carnival days in February or March mark the end of the fasting season. It all begins on Monday morning at four o'clock: All lights are turned off, only the big lanterns of the carnival groups illuminate the dark. The city is shaking with the sound of drums and pipes, thousands of spectators stay up late, dozens of cellars in the old city centre are turned into cosy bars. In 2009, carnival was on the 2nd to 4th of March.

The origins of Carnival

Carnival marks the end of the protestant fasting season. It takes place six weeks before easter, a week after carnival in most catholic regions. This is due to a reform of the papal calendar in the 16th century, which protestant Basel duly ignored. Other than that, all religious holidays in Basel are on the same date as everywhere else, and makes predictable recording sessions much easier!

Special thanks to Frau Hill, superintendent of St. Martin's Church in Basel.


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