Bach: Sonatas for flute and harpsichord

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Stephen Schultz baroque flute, Jory Vinikour harpsichord
Music & Arts CD-1295
BWV1020 (attrib), 1031 (attrib), 1030, 1032

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his is another very good recording of the Bach Flute and Harpsichord Sonatas to go alongside the Naxos CD made by the Finnish duo Pauliinia Fred and Aapo Häkkinen that I reviewed in October 2017. Both CDs contain BWV 1030 in B minor and 1032 in A major, the well-authenticated sonatas whose autograph copies can be dated to 1736, and both have 1031, the accomplished and melodious sonata in E-flat that seems to be a reworking of a Dresden trio by Quantz (QV 2:35) by someone in Bach’s circle. This CD excludes some of the works for flute and simple continuo (1034 in E minor and 1035 in E Major) from the Naxos CD but adds BWV 1020 in G minor, almost invariably attributed to C. P. E. Bach.

The playing is – again – exceptional. Schultz’s tone on his Palanca copy by Martin Wenner is clean and vibrato-free, so his ornaments have all the more force. And the balance of the instruments – with the harpsichordist’s right hand never obscured or overshadowed – is excellent. The harpsichord is a 2010 copy by John Phillips of Berkley CA after an instrument by J. H. Grabner from Dresden in 1722. The give and take is seamless and the tempi never extreme. This is a good advertisement for period instrument performance in the Bay Area of California, even if it needed crowd-funding to make it possible.

David Stancliffe

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