Trio

Johann Sebastian Bach

Trio in C minor

BWV585

About this work

As the headnote indicates, this work is probably not by Bach, but by Johann Friedrich Fasch, a Bach contemporary. In fact, it is often called the Fasch Trio in concert performances and on recordings, even though it is still listed in many catalogs of Bach's compositions. The work likely dates to the early 1700s, when both composers were still finding their stylistic ways. It consists of two movements, an Adagio of three-and-a-half minutes' duration or so, and an Allegro, two-thirds that length. The first movement opens gently and dreamily in the upper ranges, the theme serene and contented. It exhibits quite the kind of melodic material and mood heard in many Bach organ works, but the contrapuntal writing lacks the imagination generally associated with that master's finer keyboard works. The Allegro opens at a lively but hardly breakneck pace, its mood brighter but still divulging that sense of ethereality from the opening panel. Again, contrapuntal features, while well-crafted enough, are not particularly inspired. Still, this gentle piece will have appeal for both Bach and Baroque-era enthusiasts.

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