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J S Bach: Tranquility

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J S Bach: Tranquility
J S Bach: Tranquility


This recording from Jonathan Phillips is of pieces by J S Bach which exude a sense of stillness, calm, radiance, and tranquility.

"This recording started out as a purely private affair, a personal project, and a testimony to my own take on Bach, in which lyricism, sheer beauty of sound, a sense of live music making, and expression are essentially at the core. It had always been my intention to commit to making a permanent record. So much of what we do as musicians is so intangible, as live concert performances once given, fade from memory and ultimately rather like us, mere mortals, disappear without trace. So, I guess the motivation was to crystalise my own interpretation into a body of work which I hope people will enjoy.

It was my recording engineer David Wright, of Gemini sound who once we had recorded the first session, pitched the idea of going public to Herald records, and so having kindly agreed to add it to their catalogue, here we are with this very personal compilation of Bach keyboard music. The pieces really chose themselves. I have played most of them for a very long time (although some are quite recent additions). What they all have in common is a sense of stillness, calm, radiance, and tranquillity. All qualities which so many of us crave in our driven and hectic lives. Also, these pieces do seem to resonate and touch people whenever I have performed them, irrespective of the listeners previous exposure to music in general, and to JS Bach in particular.

There is quite a wide variety of music, from very simple preludes to a couple of very complex fugues, but I do believe based on feedback from concerts, that they are all very listenable to, and approachable, especially the transcriptions by Busoni, Siloti and the one transcription by Bach himself. There are some real gems here, and I believe they deserve to be heard by a wider public.

Finally, it was the sense of a live performance and communication we wanted to achieve in this recording, so there really was minimal intervention and editing. We did two live takes of complete performances and tried to move on, just like a concert, except when a church door slammed shut, or the piano stool squeaked a bit too loudly, or a helicopter decided to fly over the recording venue in the middle of a take!!" - Jonathan Phillips February 2022


  1. Name
  2. Prelude in F Min BWV 857
  3. Ich ruf du zir BWV 639
  4. Largo in D min from Organ Concerto BWV 596
  5. Nun Komm der Heiden Heiland BWV 659a
  6. Aria from Goldberg Variations BWV 988
  7. Prelude in C sharp minor BWV 849
  8. Fugue in C sharp minor BWV 849
  9. Prelude in B major BWV 868
  10. Prelude in F sharp minor BWV 883
  11. Prelude in B minor BWV 855a
  12. Prelude in E minor for Organ BWV 533
  13. Adagio from Organ Sonata no.4 BWV 528
  14. Andante from Italian concerto BWV 971
  15. Sarabande in A min from Suite no.2 BWV 807
  16. Sarabande in D min from Suite no.1 BWV 812
  17. Concerto for Oboe in D min BWV 974
  18. Adagio from Toccata for Organ in C BWV 564
  19. Prelude in E flat min BWV 853
  20. Fugue in D sharp min BWV 853
  21. Prelude in B flat min BWV 867
  22. Sonatina from Actus Tragicus BWV 106
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