Edith Hines, violin † John Chappell Stowe, organ and harpsichord


Ensemble SDG, a violin and keyboard duo formed in 2009,

performs music spanning the entire Baroque period, with a

particular focus on the works of Johann Sebastian Bach.

Monday, April 17, 2017

J.S. Bach Works for Violin and Keyboard: Program Notes

We are pleased to announce that the Program Notes for our recording of J.S. Bach's known works for violin and keyboard are available through our DOWNLOADS page. You may choose either the CD Booklet format or the Document format. This is available to you free of charge.

The Program Notes include background information on Bach's relationship with violin-playing of the early eighteenth century and on many of our interpretative choices for the recording. As far as we can determine this is the first recording of these works that includes performances of both BWV 1019a and 1018a with organ, and we believe it reasonable that this could have been the original intention for these early versions. This recording is unique in that we have recorded Bach's re-arrangement of lutenist Silvius Leopold Weiss's Suite in A major on Lautenwerk with violin, a very likely performance possibility in Bach's time. What is more, our recording includes a performance of the Sonata in E minor, BWV 1023 with an organ in mean-tone temperament with sub-semitones—again a real possibility for performance during one of JSB's many trips to Dresden before 1737. Your comments and questions are welcome, but above all our performances are for your enjoyment.

We continue to investigate these issues further. Should you have deeper inquiries about the paths taken to reach our conclusions, feel free to contact me and I'm sure that I will learn a great deal from our conversation.

John Chappell Stowe

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


We are excited to officially announce that our recording of J.S. Bach's works for violin and keyboard has now been released in its entirety! Arabesque Records has released the three volumes of the recording, available for MP3 download through Arabesque Records here or through GooglePlay, Spotify, iTunes, or Amazon. So far physical CD's are not available commercially, but please contact John Chappell Stowe should you like for us to provide you with CD's.

Most recordings of Bach's violin and keyboard works include the six obbligato sonatas, BWV 1014--1019. We have included those with harpsichord, but also offer earlier versions of BWV 1018 and 1019 as violin and organ obbligato works. Edith and I believe there is sufficient evidence that Bach may have intended them as such, and we are grateful to the congregation and staff of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas for facilitating our access to the parish's very special Noack organ for the recording. Also in the collection are the beautiful Sonata in G major, BWV 1021, the fascinating Sonata in E minor, BWV 1023 (performed on the lovely Brombaugh meantone organ in Fairchild Chapel, Oberlin College) and the unique Suite in A major, BWV 1025 performed with violin and Lautenwerk.

Since liner notes for the recording are not yet available online, we will be adding a link to them on this page in a few days. In the notes we discuss our choices of texts for the music, our decisions on instrumentation, details about the instruments used, and considerable background on the composer and the music.We hope you find the notes interesting and helpful in listening to the music.

The recording is a product of years of labor, and was central to our development as a duo ensemble. Your joyful reception of the music is important to us! Speaking for myself, sharing the energy and spirit of Bach's music with you is one way of reminding the world of God's glory in a time when many people are struggling to remain joyful and faithful.

Dip into the music on Ensemble SDG's new release and, if you like, give us some feedback. We'd love to hear from you.


 John Chappell Stowe

Where Have You Been, Ensemble SDG?

We've heard this question, and apologies for not keeping you up to date on what's happening!

There is lots of news to share, but let's start with who and where we are. In May, 2015 Edith was married to Kyle Williams of Akron, Ohio. They are now happy residents of Akron and building a family! Details forthcoming.

What that means is that, for the time being, Ensemble SDG is not performing as a duo. Should that change (!) we will update you on projects and performances. WATCH FOR VOLUME 3 OF OUR BACH RECORDING, OUT SOON ON ARABESQUE RECORDS!

Thank you all for your support and your very great patience.

John Chappell Stowe