Molter: Orchestral Music & Cantatas

Camerata Bachiensis
66:02
Brilliant Classics 95273
MWV 2:25, 26; 3:7, 6:13, 7:24, 9:20

As someone who has been involved with publishing Molter’s music, I was very excited when this CD was released, and delighted when the performers offered to send me a copy for review. The programme includes two Italian cantatas (each consisting of a pair of arias framing a central recitative), a sonata à quadro, a flute concerto (played impressively Quantz-like by the oboist in the quartet!) and one of several extant D major symphonies.

When you edit and typeset music and listen back to it on Sibelius, you have a real problem in assessing the merit of “new” repertoire; there is something about the lack of human involvement that masks its real quality. I had experienced that before with Graupner’s church cantatas; somehow they really only become “musical” in performance. Camerata Bachiensis have certainly had a similar impact on my appreciation of Molter; whether in the beautifully stylish rendition of the instrumental pieces (the unison playing from the two violins is aboslutely the best I have ever heard!), the glorious rich yet perfectly in tune singing of soprano, Julia Kirchner, or just in their audible enjoyment of Molter’s not quite baroque, not quite classical music – the cantatas (with their taxing writing for voice and instruments alike) could easily be by Hasse or even his Italian models, while the ouverture (right down to the part names!) could hardly be more French. The performers (complete including the first harpsichord I’ve heard in some time who is not desperate to compete with the singer) are uniformaly excellent, and I cannot recommend this recording highly enough – even if you have not heard of Molter before (or you’ve only heard hackneyed old recordings for trumpet and clarinet concertos!), fear not – this is over and hour of pure delight!

Brian Clark