Bach's Daemons

The 'Daemons' (as in Philip Pullman's 'Golden Compass') are the instrumental obbligatos 'circling' the solo singers in J.S. Bach's church music. As musical manifestations of the 'soul', Bach uses this setting to highlight the relationship between humans, their souls, and the Divine. By using the archaic baroque musical language of figures, they comment, insist and sometimes question the text. In this intriguing programme, we draw parallels between some of these obbligato arias and Bach's sonatas for harpsichord with obbligato violin in which many of the same figures appear. Seen from this angle, these sonatas appear to be imbued with specific messages or meanings.

Julia Gooding - soprano
Penelope Spencer - violin
David Roblou - harpsichord/organ

"Violinist Penelope Spencer added to the effect, standing centre stage for her long obbligato passages, which were expressively played from memory and in dialogue with the vocalists. This made for touching moments and a sense of engagement with the audience" The Australian, Feb 2008

Listening Cards