Montreal, February 3rd, 2014 – By going straight to the heart of the relationships some musicians and composers have established, we can discover how and when music finds its way to us. This is what world-renowned violist Helen Callus is offering with her latest album under the ANALEKTA label, “Fathers and Sons”. Brilliantly accompanied by celebrated harpsichordist Luc Beauséjour, the virtuoso violist brings new light to composer and undisputed master of the Baroque period, Johann Sebastian Bach's legacy.
The “spiritual bond” between “fathers and sons” persists through time and space... This is how Helen Callus sends a special nod to all artists like her, composers and performers who, out of respect and admiration, and thanks to their amazing talent, contribute to this conversation between generations. Johann Sebastian Bach's legacy is indisputable. Although few composers had the privilege of joining his inner circle, two composers, both members of families with which Bach was closely connected, “made the grade”, according to the famed Cantor: Karl Friedrich Abel (1723-1787) and Johann Tobias Krebs (1690-1762). The works gathered on this album, all adapted for the viola by Helen Callus, prove in so many ways the special relationship between Bach and each of them. They were the composer's friends, students and associates. Without hesitation, Bach used his reputation and know-how to help them with their musical career, thus fulfilling his role as their “spiritual” father. It is for virtuoso gamba player and composer Karl Friedrich Abel that Johann Sebastian Bach has most likely composed his three sonatas for Viola da gamba. Here they are, under Helen Callus's bow. Right from the start, we are won over by the captivating sound of the artist's viola. It is with that same intensity and absolute artistic sense that she offers Abel's Sonata No. 2 in E minor, WKO 150, a work that came late in his career, composed to impress the Crown Prince of Prussia (a gamba player himself in his youth). From organist and composer Johann Tobias Krebs, whom Bach never ceased to praise, Helen Callus has selected the Trio in C minor for two claviers and bass, WV 473 for her listeners. Once again, the close relationship with the Master of Leipzig's is palpable.
Krebs' name has even been proposed as the composer of some keyboard works once attributed to Bach. Hailed as “one of the world's greatest violists” (American Record Guide) and “one of the foremost violists of her generation” (Fanfare magazine), Helen Callus leads a brilliant career as a recitalist, chamber musician and concert soloist. For her, lyrical tone and technical command are one and the same. “Only really great artistry can hold a listener in thrall like that”, observed the America Record Guide. She has performed with world-class ensembles and has delighted audiences around the world. Her seven releases have been met with high critical acclaim. This time, talented artist Helen Callus invites us to an historic meeting within the “exclusive circle” of one of the most famous composers and musicians of all times.