Bach Trio Sonatas
reimagining the six organ trios for chamber ensemble
February 2 & 3

The Tempesta di Mare Chamber Players perform Bach’s six “organ” trio sonatas re-imagined for chamber ensemble in the group’s original, colorful arrangements. Concerts take place on February 2, 8:00, at the Arch Street Meeting House in Old City, and on February 3, 4:00, at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill. For tickets and information visit or 215-755-8776.

Bach’s six organ trios show the composer at his most imaginative: deep, wicked, jaunty and even hard-rocking…

Bach Trio Sonatas

reimagining the six organ trios for chamber ensemble

Bach Trio Sonatas graphic

image credit: Andy Kahl, et al.
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Click to hear us playing one of the Bach organ trios:

performed by Tempesta di Mare
Bach Festival of Philadelphia, June 2011

Bach’s six organ trios, BWV 525–530, show the composer at his most imaginative—deep, wicked, jaunty and even hard-rocking—and all within the three-movement sonata format. They are called “trios” because Bach arranged them in three voices for the organ’s two manuals plus pedals. They represent some of Bach’s very best sonata writing while at the same time ranking among his least-performed music as organ music because they’re famously difficult on keyboard.

So many of the sonatas’ individual movements are the Bach’s transcriptions of his earlier chamber music that Tempesta reimagined the full set for chamber ensemble. The orchestrations range from full ensemble to lute-and-harpsichord duet, drawing on an instrumental palette of flute, recorder, violin, viola, viola da gamba, cello, lute and harpsichord. The chamber-music approach removes technical restrictions on tempo and expression inherent in the organ solos, revealing animated musical conversations. Tempesta di Mare will also record this program for a 2014 release on Chandos Records.

With Gwyn Roberts, recorder and flute, Emlyn Ngai, violin, Karina Schmitz, violin and viola, Lisa Terry, viola da gamba and cello, Richard Stone, lute, and Adam Pearl, harpsichord.

This program is supported in part by the E. Nakamichi Foundation.

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