Almost every music lover has probably heard Erich Höbarth play at least once: active as Nikolaus Harnoncourt’s concertmaster, as first violinist of the Quatuor Mosaïques, and in many other positions of musical life, heard in numerous recordings and television broadcasts, he is an almost omnipresent figure. Höbarth unites historical performance practice with the self-assured poise of an individual artistic personality. The Viennese violinist has found here a congenial partner in the young Aapo Häkkinen from Helsinki, who, exactly like Höbarth, can already boast extensive experience as an ensemble director.
Violin and Harpsichord – these are namely the instruments that Bach himself played as ensemble director and as soloist, and that he brings together in the present sonatas as if at a chamber music summit meeting. Already in the eighteenth century, the six-sonata cycle BWV 1014–1019 numbered among his best works. Höbarth and Häkkinen captivate with wonderful ensemble playing. Aapo Häkkinen plays a – today rarely found – 16’ harpsichord, that is to say, with an additional, lower sounding register. It has been reported that Bach likewise had a 16’ instrument at his disposal in Köthen, where he composed the sonatas.