ambitus amb 96 957
THIS BEAUTIFUL RECORDING arrived only a few days ago and it has hardly been out of my player since then. Bach’s Clavierfantasie in F sharp minor Wq. 67 and Duett for flute and violin Wq. 140 are sandwiched between three of my favourite pieces by “the Berlin Bach”, his quartets [sic] for keyboard, flute and viola Wq. 93-95. I remember long ago (yes, I know I’m still a relatively young thing!) hearing them on an LP (yes, OK!) with Christopher Hogwood at the keyboard on the amazing Decca L’oiseau lyre label and being astonished by mercurial music of which I had never heard the likes, and feeling drawn into what can only be described as Bach’s fantasy world; as the insightful booklet notes note, his “trademark” is rather a lack of form. I’ve often read that it is difficult to get over one’s first impression of a piece of music; I sincerely doubt, for sure, that anyone will ever surpass Emma Kirkby’s portrayal of Dido in the Taverner Consort recording… Yet the present performers have taken music I thought I really knew and led me even further into realms of electrifying excitement; by subtly pausing on this note or that, or having the audacity to decorate an already ornate line, they keep us guessing where the composer (and they) will take us next. The engineers have done Ensemble Klangschmelze proud with a bright, lively sound world and, all in all, this is a CD that I am sure I shall continue to savour for months and years to come. Bravo!