Conversed Monologue

Concerti by J. G. Graun, J.-M. Leclair & W. F. Bach
Fantasticus XL
70:08
resonus RES10166

Regular readers will know that I am a fully paid-up member of the Fantasticus fan club, so it will come as no surprise that in their latest venture – which sees the three regular members (Rie Kimura on violin, gambist Robert Smith and harpsichordist Guillermo Brachetta) take centre stage as soloist in a concerto, accompanied by a slightly enlarged group (two more violins along with viola, cello, bass and theorbo, as required for a one-per-part ensemble in each piece).

As with all their previous discs, the playing is accomplished and virtuosic, but without letting the difficulty ever take centre stage – demanding the three works may be, but each of the three stars still manage to produce ravishing sounds from their instruments.

Robert Smith is outstanding in Johann Gottlieb Graun’s Concerto in C; his gamba music seems to be drawing ever-wider attention from virtuosos on the instrument, and this captivating performance will surely only enhance both composer and performer’s reputations. Rie Kimura opts for one of the less well-known concertos by Jean-Marie Leclair (op. 10/6 in G minor) and, having previously demonstrated what a natural she is in German and Italian repertoire, she now shows that she is equally at home in the world of the French baroque. Wilhelm Friedemann Bach is surely the least heard of the junior Bachs and Guillermo Brachetta’s rendition of his Concerto in F (BR C13/Falck44) makes me wonder why; here is everything one expects from C. P. E. Bach and more besides…

This is yet another rewarding and entertaining release from Resonus; I hope there are many more to come!

Brian Clark