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Past Perfect
Kate Dillingham turns back the clock to deliver three dazzling sonatas.
Review by Sarah Freiberg, excerpted from STRINGS June/July 2006:


“J.S. Bach composed three stunning Sonatas for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord (BWV 1027-1029) that have long been performed by cellists and pianists. Often rearranging his compositions for other instruments, Bach had taken BWV 1027 from a work for two flutes and continuo. So it should not be surprising that these three sonatas have become a mainstay of the cello repertoire, even if they can be a bit challenging and unwieldy to play.

“In the new Schirmer edition, cellist Kate Dillingham provides a very different type of historical version of the sonatas. While Dillingham prepared for her New York recital debut in 2003, she performed a gamba sonata for venerable cellist Bernard Greenhouse, who handed her his ancient copy of the score to study. Greenhouse, who is now 90, had performed these works for his New York debut some 60 years before. At that time, he edited his score in collaboration with his teacher, the cellist and pedagogue Diran Alexanian (1881-1954), who suggested bowing and fingerings. Greenhouse also studied the gamba sonatas with Pablo Casals as well. Realizing that other cellists might find Greenhouse’s solutions to awkward passages interesting and illuminating, Dillingham delivers his findings in the new Schirmer edition.

“An insight into the performance solutions of famous cellists, past and present, this Greenhouse-Dillingham edition of the Bach gamba sonatas should be most welcome.”

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