Schultzen: Recorder Sonatas & anonymous Viola da Gamba sonatas

Floral design

Barbara Heindlmeier recorder, Ensemble La Ninfea
Raumklang RK 3402

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his is the first recording of the six recorder sonatas by Schultzen which were published by Roger in Amsterdam and survive in a copy in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Although they appear in Roger’s 1737 catalogue they are known to have existed as early as 1704 and the identity of A. H. Schultzen, the composer named on the print, is somewhat mysterious. The writers of the booklet notes, which are a little confusing at this point, have concluded that he is Andreas Heinrich Schulze, an organist at Hildesheim who attended the same school as Telemann. He appears in Walther’s Musikalisches Lexicon (Leipzig 1732) where there is also a separate adjacent entry for A. Schultsen, a composer of six recorder sonatas who may or may not be the same person. The specified instrumentation is “flauto solo con cimbalo overo fagotto” but La Ninfea’s varying continuo line-up of combinations of gamba, baroque lute, theorbo, harpsichord and organ is very effective and I like the little preludes which introduce some of the movements. The lovely warm performances by Christian Heim and Marthe Perle, who share the solos in the three anonymous gamba sonatas, contrast well with Barbara Heindlmeier’s incisively played allegros and elaborately ornamented slow movements in the recorder sonatas. Readers who wish to play this attractive music themselves will be pleased to know that the very legible Roger edition of the Schultzen sonatas is available on the Petrucci web site. The gamba sonatas are from the library of Princess Louisa Frederica of Württemberg (1722-1791) and are now in the library of the University of Rostock. There doesn’t appear to be an available edition but they would be well worth publishing.

Victoria Helby