Rococo – Musique à Sanssouci

Dorothee Oberlinger recorders, Ensemble 1700
deutsche harmonia mundi 8-88751 34062-6
C. P. E. Bach, Baron, Finger, J. G. Graun, Handel, Janitsch, Quantz & Schultze

[dropcap]O[/doprcap]n this delightful CD recorder virtuoso Dorothée Oberlinger uses nine different recorders to play a programme of music which might have been heard at Frederick II of Prussia’s Rococo bolt-hole Sanssouci. She has unearthed some charming and yet largely unfamiliar material including a beguiling Ground by Gottfried Finger, a fine double concerto for recorder and bassoon attributed to Handel, but sounding very unhandelian, and equally fine pieces by Quantz, Graun, C. P. E. Bach and the practically unknown Johann Janitsch, Gottlied Baron and Johann Schultze. As befits a CD called Rococo, Oberlinger and her ensemble play with delicacy and elegance, but where necessary with a stunning technical facility, and throughout there is beautifully gauged ornamentation. Particular highlights are the Graun Concerto for recorder, violin, strings and continuo, the Quantz music for solo recorder and a lovely recorder sonata by C. P. E. Bach, but my favourite track is a highly imaginative C. P. E. Bach Trio for bass recorder, viola and continuo. All of the playing on this revelatory CD is simply superlative, expressive, passionate and yet tasteful, creating a palpable presence of the refined environs of Sanssouci.

D. James Ross

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