He was born in 's-Graveland, North Holland and studied organ and harpsichord from 1947 to 1950 with Eduard Müller at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel. In 1950, he made his debut as a harpsichordist in Vienna, where he studied musicology. He was professor of harpsichord at the Academy of Music from 1952 to 1955 and at the Amsterdam Conservatory from 1954. He was also a church organist.wiki
The title of this release is thoroughly misleading. The album contains nothing like the ''Complete Flute Sonatas'' of C. P. E. Bach but only those for flute with obbligato harpsichord, of which there are but five. Eleven others for flute and continuo are omitted, along with Bach's single work for unaccompanied flute. Instead, the remaining five sonatas in the programme consist of two (BWV1020 and 1031) whose authorship has long been a matter of dispute; a trio for flute, violin and bass (H578) in which the violin part has been taken over by the right hand of the keyboard; another (H543) in which a similar adjustment has been made to Bach's two differently scored originals; and a duet for violin and harpsichord (H504) in which the violin part is taken by the flute. So, you can see that the title of the album is somewhat economical with the truth, though the accompanying essay by Barthold Kuijken clarifies the position.– Nicholas Anderson, Gramophone [5/1994]
Kuijken was born in Dilbeek, near Brussels. He was a member of the Alarius Ensemble of Brussels between 1964 and 1972 and formed La Petite Bande in 1972. Since 1971 he has taught Baroque violin at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague and the Koninklijk Muziekconservatorium in Brussels. He is noted for using the older technique of resting the violin on the shoulder without a shoulder rest, rather than held under the chin. He is a member of the Kuijken String Quartet, which he formed in 1986. In recent years, he has also performed as conductor of symphonies of the Romantic era…wiki
Founded in 1972 at the suggestion of Deutsche Harmonia Mundi and led since its inception by Dutch violinist turned conductor Sigiswald Kuijken, La Petite Bande is surely among the finest of early music orchestras with a discography ranging from Lully through Mozart. Among the group's most successful projects, however, have been recordings of Bach's sacred works, particularly the 1985 Mass in B minor and this 1987 St. John Passion. Both are superbly performed with excellent solo and choral singing and outstanding orchestral playing, but both are distinctly dissimilar in tone and effect…
If you cannot imagine what Bach's five great motets would sound like as chamber music, this disc by La Petite Bande will provide an answer: they sound fabulous. With eight singers, five string players, and four wind players plus continuo, La Petite Bande's performances sound absolutely clear – even in the densest textures, every line is ideally balanced – incredibly colorful – the combinations of voices, strings, winds, and organ seem endlessly subtle – and, best of all, unbelievably expressive. Everyone's a soloist and every line is a melody, thereby making Bach's music seem more personal and intimate than usual. Of course, part of the reason for this is that most recordings of the motets, whether a cappella or accompanied, are arguably too big and heavy. With four or more singers on a part, this kind of weightiness is virtually inevitable – but with two singers to a part, the performances can be as expressive as the music director will allow. And with music director Sigiswald Kuijken also being the first violinist, the performances are supremely expressive.
…With a bright tone, buoyant tempos, piquant intonation, effortless ensemble, and relaxed virtuosity, the 12 musicians of La Petite Bande play together with exactly the kind of elegant brilliance and elevated intelligence the music requires. Under Kuijken's hands, these works, composed by the teenage Mozart, sound fresh, witty, tender, and altogether endearing. As delightful an addition to any Mozart shelf as it would be a welcome relief from the spiritual rigors of Bach's cantatas, this disc will please just about every classical enthusiast, especially in Accent's clear, deep 2006 digital sound.
Sigiswald Kuijken has been a pioneer in performing and teaching Baroque violin technique. He and his brothers were all exposed to early instruments as youngsters. Sigiswald and Wieland intuitively taught themselves how to play the viola da gamba. Sigiswald studied violin at the conservatory in Bruges, then in Brussels with Maurice Raskin, earning his degree in 1964. After doing his own research into Baroque performance practice, Kuijken began playing Baroque works on the violin without using a chinrest or shoulder rest and, in fact, not using his chin at all to hold the instrument…
La Petite Bande has recorded a spectacular rendition of Bach’s four orchestral suites, certainly some of the most spectacular instrumental music of the Baroque repertoire. La Petite Bande director, Sigiswald Kuijken, has written a very informative essay explaining the history of these pieces. Unfortunately, more is unknown than known. Kuijken speculates that the works were conceived for string orchestra and the wind parts were added at a later date. He also notes that sections of the 4th Suite were reused in the opening chorus of the Christmas Cantata, BWV 110. Kuijken also remarks that he has rethought his approach to these works opting for small musical forces as opposed to the rather large ensemble that La Petite Bande employed in its performances and recording of about 30 years ago.
Sigiswald Kuijken wurde 1944 in der Nähe von Brüssel geboren und studierte Musik an den Hochschulen in Brügge und Brüssel; sein Studium schloss er 1964 mit dem Konzertdiplom für Violine ab. Bereits als Siebenjähriger kam er mit der Musik und den Instrumenten der Renaissance in Berührung, und gemeinsam mit seinem Bruder Wieland brachte er sich dann autodidaktisch das Gambenspiel bei. Dieser frühe und größtenteils intuitive Kontakt mit Alter Musik beeinflusste sehr stark sein barockes Violinspiel. 1969 begann Sigiswald Kuijken, die alte Technik des Violinspiels wieder einzuführen: er benutzte weder Kinnhalter noch Schulterstütze, das Instrument wurde mit dem Kinn überhaupt nicht festgehalten. Diese Technik hat seitdem viele andere Musiker beeinflusst und überzeugt. 1971-96 hat Kuijken sie am Konservatorium in Den Haag gelehrt und unterrichtet sie weiterhin (seit 1993) am Brüsseler Konservatorium. Als Mitglied des Brüsseler Alarius Ensembles (1964-1972) hat sich Kuijken intensiv mit Musik und Aufführungspraxis des 17. und 18.