With a COVID outbreak just two suburbs away from home and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian urging people to stay away from large gatherings if possible, I thought it prudent not to attend Bach Akademie’s concert in Sydney’s CBD, but to review it from the live stream on Melbourne Digital Concert Hall.

Bach Akademie Madeleine Easton, Anton Baba, and Neal Peres Da Costa. Photo Courtesy of Melbourne Digital Concert Hall.

Happily, St James’ Church was filled with diehard fans who braved the restrictions and the cold weather to bring plenty of energy to this crack performance of five of J.S. Bach’s six Obbligato Sonatas by Bach Akademie Australia founder and Artistic Director Madeleine Easton on violin, Anton Baba on viola da gamba and harpsichordist Neal Peres Da Costa.

I had only known these sublime pieces in duo form through a recording by violinist Ryo Terakado and harpsichordist Siebe Henstra which I rescued from a budget CD bin several years ago.

Written in Bach’s Cothen period, which produced much of his instrumental music before...