Georg Böhm was a German Baroque organist and composer, notable for his influence on the young J.S. Bach, who he probably tutored. Bach named Böhm as an agent for sale of his Keyboard Partitas Nos. 2 & 3. He lived until 1733, and is best known for his organ chorales. The keyboard compass of some of them suggest that they were conceived for the harpsichord, and several are heard on this CD. Three of the suites here are very close to the style of Bach’s French Suites: the suites in C minor, E-flat major and F minor. The last one is fairly subdued in many ways. The closing track, the Overture in D Major, is the most exuberant and exciting on the disc. The Lully influence is strong in this piece and it almost sounds like a transcription of an orchestral original. Böhm’s music comes to us mainly from manuscript copies in the collection of Bach’s family.
The harpsichord was built in New South Wales in 1995, and has a glorious tone. All of O’Donnell’s performances are backed by meticulous research. He has performed all the keyboard works of Bach in a series of 29 recitals. He has edited choral editions amounting to some 500 motets and 40 masses and is currently with the University of Melbourne.