Janitsch: Sonate da Chiesa e da Camera

Epoca Barocca
cpo 777 910-2
da Chiesa in F & d; da Camera in D, E flat, F & g

Where previous releases of discs devoted to Janitsch’s gorgeous chamber music have concentrated on quartets that highlight winds, the emphasis here is slightly on the string family, and divides the programme equally between quartets and the less often heard trios (one of which is taken one step further by having one of the treble lines played by the harpsichordist’s right hand). While I have no problem with that, and it was always going to be a pleasure to hear the trios, in a perfect world I would have preferred the order to have avoided grouping the quartets at the beginning of the disc. The da chiesa and da camera tags are here taken to indicate a change of continuo keyboard from organ to harpsichord, but there is surely no less “churchy” indication than that of the first of the two da chiesa sonatas – “ala [sic] siciliana ma un poco largo“. Unlike his rather shapeless sinfonias and his mundane concertos, Janitsch’s chamber music has remained popular as it gives everyone in the group a chance to share the melody, and it is not often in pre-20th century music that one is asked to pull off even quintuplets and septuplets in the same bar! And for an example of just how original Janitsch could be, try Track 4… Even despite the use of the lute stop on one track, I’m happy to recommend this CD for some exceptionally fine playing.

Brian Clark