Fischer: Uranie

Elisabeth Joyé harpsichord & organ
Encelade ECL1402

J. S. Bach’s liking for the works of Fischer was attested to by his son C. P. E. Bach. The long-lived Fischer died aged 90 just four years before J. S. Bach. Born in Bohemia he spent most of his life in the service of the Margrave of Baden in Rastatt. This collection of suites and pieces for harpsichord, as well as preludes, fugues and ricercars for organ, shows his mastery of the various styles prevalent between the publication of his Pièces de Clavessin  in 1696 and his Musikalischer Parnassus  in 1636. The harpschord suites are very French in style, with the usual collection of dance movements; there is also an impressive passacaglia, a couple of chaconnes and a set of variations. The organ preludes and fugues are short and undeveloped but there is a more extended and satisfying chaconne played on the organ, as well as a festive Ricercar for Easter. Joyé plays on a copy of a Fleisher 1720 harpsichord by Philippe Humeau and a baroque German-style organ made by Quentin Blumenroeder, both full-bodied instruments which fit the music very well and are sympathetically recorded. She manages the contrast between the stricter and more improvised forms very well and proves an excellent advocate for Fischer’s music.

Noel O’Regan