„….Original compositions for viola as a solo instrument were quite rare before 1775. There are several reasons for this, and they go back a long way. In ensembles, the viola, as the middle part, usually played a subordinate role. In court and municipal orchestras, the posts of violists were generally poorly filled in terms of both quality and of quantity – also because violists were poorly paid. The first author to highlight the viola’s pivotal role in harmony and voice-leading was Johann Mattheson (1681-1764), who pointed out in 1713 that everything would sound dissonant without the viola. Then, in 1738, Johann Philipp Eisel (1698-1763) described the viola as the “innards of music”. Further statements can be found – for instance, Johann Samuel Petri (1738-1808), in his Manual of Practical Music-Making (1782), exclaimed: “Another mistake! The viola is so mistreated! A beautiful instrument that achieves such great effect is generally put through torture by ignorant apprentices or stupid old men.”
However, the fact that solo viola parts were generally entrusted to skillful violinists eventually led to the emergence of works written specifically for viola.
With this recording exclusively featuring world premières (with the exception of Flackton) of original compositions for viola, we are thus able to provide a multi-faceted glimpse of late 18th-century repertoire for viola and keyboard – works that are mostly forgotten today. …..“ (Excerpt from the liner Notes)
The search for truthful expression, along with the endeavour to forge a poetic narrative of sound – these are the cornerstones of violist Pauline Sachse’s ongoing artistic pursuit.
In 2013 she was appointed viola professor at the Carl Maria von Weber School of Music in Dresden. At that point she left her previous solo position at Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and resigned as guest professor from the Berlin Hanns Eisler School of Music in order to devote herself fully to her new teaching duties while maintaining her activities as solo and chamber musician.
Pauline Sachse is in high demand on the chamber music scene: she performs in recitals with artists such as Isabelle Faust, Tabea Zimmermann, Lars Vogt, Lauma Skride, Christian Tetzlaff, Anna Prohaska, Martin Helmchen, Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, Harriet Krijgh, Martin Fröst, Antje Weithaas, Benjamin Schmid, and Janine Jansen. She is regularly invited to appear at important festivals including Salzburg, Heidelberg, Spannungen (Heimbach), Moritzburg, Schwetzingen and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
Born in Hamburg, Pauline Sachse was trained as a violist at the Hanns Eisler School of Music, at the Berlin University of the Arts, and at Yale University, under the tutelage of Jesse Levine, Wilfried Strehle and – for many years – Tabea Zimmermann, whose assistant she became at the Hanns Eisler School of Music in 2007. She gained further significant insight from studies with the Alban Berg Quartet.
In ensembles such as the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Lucerne Festival Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony and the Berlin Philharmonic, she worked with renowned conductors, including Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Mariss Jansons, Simon Rattle, and Seiji Ozawa.
Pauline Sachse combines a variety of artforms in her artistic and educational approach, including classical dance ever since her youth. Today she forms her thoughts not only in sound, but also sculpts them in words and in stone. She makes sculptures, performs interdisciplinary artistic experiments, and publishes articles in her ongoing quest for truthful expression. On the podium, Pauline Sachse’s instrumental partner is the Madame Butterfly viola made by Paolo Maggini in Brescia in 1610.
It can't be easy to have been a son of the great Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach was undoubtedly very strict, and if you'd have any composition ambitions, you would have to find a way to step out of the shadow of your father. Luckily, his sons had everything going for them considering their music. Whereas the traditional Baroque music of their father slowly went out of fashion, most of Bach's sons managed to follow the new trends of the early Classicism. In other words: relatively simple, melodic music which is not too heavy on the listener, yet still very passionate.
Carl Philipp Emanuel, Bach's fifth son, became the most outstanding among his siblings. Like each of Bach's sons, he received a solid education from his father, en Carl Philipp developed into a remarkably talented keyboardist. Moreover, he became a prolific composer and of all Bach's sons, he was able to came closest to the quality of his father's work, albeit in a completely different style.