Graupner: Concerti e Musica di Tavola

Accademia Daniel, Shalev Ad-El
67:17
cpo 777 645-2
GWV301, 302, 306, 337 & 468

I had never before come upon the suggestion that Uta Wald makes in the booklet notes that the impetus for Graupner to start writing purely instrumental music came in 1729 when the woodwind player Johann Michael Böhm fled to the court of Ludwigsburg near Stuttgart under threat of arrest for stealing – his salary had not been paid for a long time, so one might imagine he was desperate! The key point was, though, that he took all his music with him. Graupner, it seems, though technically responsible for all music at the court, had been so busy supplying music for performances in the chapel that he had more or less relied upon Böhm to take care of non-liturgical repertoire. For the present disc, Accademia Daniel have chosen solo concertos for violin, viola d’amore and bassoon, as well as a concerto that combines three bass soloists (chalumeau – a popular instrument in Darmstadt, it seems – cello and bassoon), and one of several of the composer’s Entratas “per la Musica di Tavola”, to all intents and purposes an orchestral suite, though eschewing the French overture associated with that form. All of the concertos are in the fast-slow-fast three movement form and have little in common with the Vivaldian model; in fact, the solo instrument is more just another colour on the composer’s palette. With that idea in mind, the wanton addition of a recorder to the final movement of the suite is easily forgiven. Graupner’s music takes some getting used to – what seem like normal baroque movements take some unexpected harmonic twists and turns, and his melodies frequently surprise; these players are well used to his music now, and their easy facility is reflected in some delightful performances.

Brian Clark