The Sonata in E minor (BWV528) is the darkest of the six sonatas, not just in key colour, but in its tessitura. For our scoring we have Bach’s example to follow: the sound of the oboe d’amore is one of the most delicious of all baroque colours: we have combined it with viola (for his single movement transcription Bach used a gamba, but for all three movements together an even more nut-brown colour seems better suited), theorbo and organ, creating a sumptuous texture. The opening Adagio must rank as one of Bach’s finest, leading into a pastoral Vivace. The simple second movement is constructed largely from a pair of two-bar phrases, set over a simple bass line, very typical of early Bach, and full of wonderful suspensions for the chordal instruments to relish. The gently swinging feel to the last movement covers a surprising intricacy of individual lines.
from notes by Robert King © 1996