Categories
Recording

De Visée: La Musique de la Chambre du Roy [Complete]

Manuel Staropoli recorders & Baroque flute, Massimo Marchese theorbo
228:18 (4 CDs in a case)
Brilliant Classics 95595

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n this four-CD account of the complete works of Robert de Visée, the performers have taken creative though entirely justifiable liberties with the instrumentation to involve instruments such as the recorder and Baroque flute known to have been in vogue in Versailles at the time and to give the music the genuine sound of chamber music. The resulting performances are pleasing and reveal in exhaustive detail de Visée’s talents as a composer. With very little known about him as an individual, we rely on the music to characterize both the period and its composer, and this it does very well. If perhaps four CDs of this music could be regarded as ‘peak de Visée’, we should remember that it would never have been performed en masse  like this, rather whiling away Royal ennuies  interspersed with other solo, chamber and larger-scale music. Given the limitations of the music and the ensemble, the performers do a fine job alternating the instruments and bringing the music charmingly to life. Just kick off your dancing pumps, hang up your wig, channel your inner Roi Soleil  and sit back and enjoy this never less than elegant Musique de la Chambre du Roi. For more active listeners, the brief programme notes find room to list the instruments used as well as the few facts that are known about de Visée.

D. James Ross

[iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=GB&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=infocentral-21&marketplace=amazon&region=GB&placement=B07713B21F&asins=B07713B21F&linkId=db763dca2af705f7f3f866f17c7a7ac8&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true”]

[iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=DE&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=earlymusicrev-21&marketplace=amazon&region=DE&placement=B07713B21F&asins=B07713B21F&linkId=74970752fffa89accef05fe281e23e1f&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true”]

[iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=earlymusicrev-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B07713B21F&asins=B07713B21F&linkId=3952b177603e8cb4e5a696ccc6afa09f&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true”]

Banner, 234x60, ohne Claim, bestellen

This site can only survive if users click through the links and buy the products reviewed.
We receive no advertising income or any other sort of financial support.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

Categories
Recording

Bach: Sonatas for flute and harpsichord

Stephen Schultz baroque flute, Jory Vinikour harpsichord
55:18
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

[iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=GB&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=infocentral-21&marketplace=amazon&region=GB&placement=B079JPHKD4&asins=B079JPHKD4&linkId=7caa84fcef45855dea881616f1625dfd&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true”]

[iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=DE&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=earlymusicrev-21&marketplace=amazon&region=DE&placement=B079JPHKD4&asins=B079JPHKD4&linkId=5710ae7b23dd63def44e1a66b3ed5b8d&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true”]

[iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=earlymusicrev-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B079JPHKD4&asins=B079JPHKD4&linkId=1ff6e94e7bb29b73e17fc05234799bf8&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true”]

Banner, 234x60, ohne Claim, bestellen

Categories
Recording

Si par fortune

Les Joueurs de Traverse
56:37
Son an ero 09
Music by Certon, Crécquillon, Gallus, Gombert, Hofhaimer, Le Jeune, Josquin, Lemlin, Lupi, de Manchicourt, Ortiz, Passereau, Senfl, de Sermisy, Stoltzer, Susato, Verdelot & Wolff

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]ll too often people imagine that the transverse flute arrived on the scene fully formed towards the end of the 17th century in time to sweep away the recorder and poised ready to play the great flute music of the Baroque, but of course the flute’s history goes right back to the middle ages and far beyond. How lovely, then, to hear for a change Renaissance music played on a consort of appropriate flutes. Les Joueurs de Traverse range far and wide through much-loved Renaissance repertoire, and I found myself frequently singing along with a familiar chanson or madrigal. It is remarkable how different the sound of a flute consort is from a recorder consort, and the players exploit fully the enhanced dynamic range of the flute, which would lead it eventually to be preferred over the recorder. The consort has a fine sense of ensemble and achieves a lovely blended sound, while the unequal temperament produces some wonderfully pure chords. This is a beautiful package, visually and musically, and delightful to see the programme notes in French, English – and Breton.

D. James Ross

Visit the group’s website (seulement en français…) for more information: click here.

Categories
Recording

Mandolino e Violino in Italia

Anna Torge mandolin, Mayumi Hirasaki violin, Il cantino
61:34
cpo 555 050-2
Music by Arrigoni, Capponi, Hasse & Vivaldi

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his delightful collection of concertos, sonatas and trios by Vivaldi and his contemporaries Carlo Arrigoni, Abbate Ranieri Capponi and Johann Adolf Hasse features the mandolin skills of Anna Torge. With superb musicianship, her simple little instrument brings this music wonderfully to life, ably supported by violinist Mayumi Hirasaki and the small instrumental ensemble, Il cantino. The most famous Vivaldi mandolin concerto is in C major, but the present performers offer a delightful B-flat major concerto as well as a delicate trio in G minor and a sunny C major trio. It is fascinating to hear the equivalent compositions by Vivaldi’s largely unknown contemporaries, which include an atmospheric trio by Arrigoni and a charming sonata for mandolin, cello and lute by Capponi. Johann Adolf Hasse’s concerto, which concludes the CD, introduces a further level of sophistication, with a wider expressive range than the Vivaldi concerti. There is a painting of Hasse’s wife, the singer Faustina Bordoni, one of Handel’s star sopranos in London, playing the mandolin, and Hasse may well have composed his handful of mandolin works for her to play. In any event, it seems likely that her expertise allowed her husband to compose with authority for the instrument. These performances bring out the subtle side of this lovely mandolin and violin repertoire, avoiding the brash approach often heard in other recordings of Vivaldi. A warning for those who buy their CDs based on the cover picture – notwithstanding the prominent appearance of a recorder, no recorders feature on this CD!

D. James Ross

[iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=GB&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=infocentral-21&marketplace=amazon&region=GB&placement=B07BF46V79&asins=B07BF46V79&linkId=51505304f1e441368fada06f17f39276&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true”]

[iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=DE&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=earlymusicrev-21&marketplace=amazon&region=DE&placement=B07BF46V79&asins=B07BF46V79&linkId=8581dafc312d03953f8f8d252ac1b9c1&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true”]

Banner, 234x60, ohne Claim, bestellen

Categories
Recording

Jenkins: Complete four-part consort music

Fretwork
83:02 (2 CDs in a single jewel case)
Signum Records SIGCD528

[dropcap]B[/dropcap]ritain’s premiere viol consort gives wonderfully spirited and expressive accounts of Jenkins’ 17 Fantasias and two Pavans for four viols in this comprehensive and thoroughly engaging double CD set. Sometimes complete recordings such as these need to be dipped in and out of, but such is the variety Jenkins builds into his Fantasias, almost as if he anticipated them receiving complete performances, that boredom is never a danger. Compared to the other English masters of the viol consort, it strikes me that Jenkins displays two diagnostic features: his unerring sense of melodic direction which carries his music through every harmonic complexity, and his unfailing musical imagination which evokes constantly stimulating phrases from even a quite limited number of voice parts. Fretwork’s incomparable familiarity with this repertoire makes them the perfect guide through Jenkins’ rich collection of works, and just as their interpretations never flag neither does our interest. About halfway through the second CD it struck me that these are in general pretty upbeat readings of works, which could conceivably be played much more slowly, but Fretwork’s attention to detail means that we miss nothing in these charming and idiomatic performances.

D. James Ross

[iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=GB&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=infocentral-21&marketplace=amazon&region=GB&placement=B079FGMFCP&asins=B079FGMFCP&linkId=9a9f29fc3c0a2846bce1d97a93183b2a&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true”]

[iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=DE&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=earlymusicrev-21&marketplace=amazon&region=DE&placement=B079FGMFCP&asins=B079FGMFCP&linkId=6b2e3228cd0e32150948ea5a9453ddc9&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true”]

[iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=earlymusicrev-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B079FGMFCP&asins=B079FGMFCP&linkId=c7bc45f184801df53f13b2c396b2c2bb&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true”]

Banner, 234x60, ohne Claim, bestellen

Categories
Recording

Corrette: Sonatas for Harpsichord & Violin, op. 25

Michael Jarvis harpsichord, Paul Luchkow violin
73:55
Marquis 774718147523 (MAR 81475)

[dropcap]C[/dropcap]orrette was active in many musical fields – a prolific pedagogue as well as composer. Le Phénix  may still be his best-known piece either in its original form for four basses de viole  or in one of the many arrangements which circulate (I first heard it on bassoons). However, in recent years a number of his more weighty works have been recorded giving us a rather more rounded view of his output. These sonatas, for the then newly fashionable combination of duetting violin and keyboard were published in 1742, in the wake of Mondonville’s op. 3. Each has three movements fast-slowish-fast and some programmatic content: this is just an overall title for sonatas I-V but extends to the individual movements in VI – Les Voyages d’ Ulysse. The players do a lively, engaging and committed job, taking these indications as a starting point though, given that the keyboard is definitely the musically dominant instrument, it is a shame that it is not a little more forward in the aural image, though I do stress the ‘little’. The booklet notes are sound in content though do incorporate some strange hyphenation and perhaps needed a little more thought about fonts.

David Hansell

[iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=GB&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=infocentral-21&marketplace=amazon&region=GB&placement=B0731Y59CC&asins=B0731Y59CC&linkId=26e7a565041a3a3ef7e1d0c9d6e6ad20&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true”]

[iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=DE&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=earlymusicrev-21&marketplace=amazon&region=DE&placement=B0731Y59CC&asins=B0731Y59CC&linkId=29a65c12eefe77660d1ba87f06b544ce&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true”]

[iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=earlymusicrev-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B0731Y59CC&asins=B0731Y59CC&linkId=b46ff8696f5a58ecd316fb35354fc18f&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true”]

Banner, 234x60, ohne Claim, bestellen

Categories
Recording

Portraits & Caractères

Martin Gester harpsichord, Stéphanie Pfister violin
Lidi 0301314-17
74:00
Music by Corrette, Duphly & Mondonville

[dropcap]C[/dropcap]orrette can rarely have had it so good! Three of the discs in my current heap contain at least one sonata from his op. 25, this one claiming to be a first recording, though as it is duplicated on one of the others I have, I’ll leave the artists and/or their recording companies to sort that one out!

This is a very satisfying programme overall, two harpsichord/violin duos (Mondonville as well as the Corrette) being framed and separated by groups of harpsichord ‘solos’ (some of which have subsidiary violin parts) drawn from Duphly’s 2nd and 3rd books. In these Martin Gester plays with an exemplary blend of control and relaxed authority, making full but sensible use of his fine instrument (a copy of the Russell Collection’s remarkable 1769 Taskin). Once or twice I felt he was over-stretching the beat, but this is a tiny issue. More of an issue is the balance between violin and harpsichord in the duos. In general, and given that the keyboard is often the primary instrument, I feel that the violin is too forward in the aural picture and that there are also places where its material is “accompanimental” and simply should be played a little more softly. The supporting material (Eng/Fre) is sound though white print on a dark red background doesn’t make for the easiest reading.

David Hansell

[iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=GB&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=infocentral-21&marketplace=amazon&region=GB&placement=B074FGT2TY&asins=B074FGT2TY&linkId=cc4bc7aa49245dcc14411ba800a405b6&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true”]

[iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=DE&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=earlymusicrev-21&marketplace=amazon&region=DE&placement=B074FDNCN7&asins=B074FDNCN7&linkId=5a05a159c615d028130333031e0b680f&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true”]

[iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=earlymusicrev-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B074FG7L2B&asins=B074FG7L2B&linkId=d04f028edf061c87ec53f6be8fe14a11&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true”]

Banner, 234x60, ohne Claim, bestellen

Categories
Recording

Marais: Pièces de viole

La Rêveuse (Florence Bolton, Benjamin Perrot, Robin Pharo, Carsten Lohff)
64:00
Mirare MIR 386

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]here is some marvellously idiomatic playing of marvellously idiomatic music here – the voice of the French Baroque in all its pathos and nobility, though not without lighter moments. The Marais movements are from his last two publications (1717 & 1725). Two skilful arrangements of Couperin for theorbo provide contrast: the barricades have seldom sounded so mystérieuses, though in an entirely good way, I hasten to add. My one reservation concerns the instrumentation of the continuo. The exquisite delicacy of the viol does not need the competition of two plucked accompanists: just one, preferably the theorbo, would have been fine as those pieces in which this is indeed the case demonstrate. The essay is very informative and interesting, even in this slightly lumpy translation, and the general packaging quite robust.

David Hansell

[iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=GB&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=infocentral-21&marketplace=amazon&region=GB&placement=B077BL3NHG&asins=B077BL3NHG&linkId=a43be7a8889e7d99f436b94bce791a28&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true”]

[iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=DE&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=earlymusicrev-21&marketplace=amazon&region=DE&placement=B077BL3NHG&asins=B077BL3NHG&linkId=36da13c50ddb8aac7d1f0b8127820e6e&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true”]

[iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=earlymusicrev-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B077BL3NHG&asins=B077BL3NHG&linkId=484163703c3fb254f276b74088edd94a&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true”]

Banner, 234x60, ohne Claim, bestellen

Categories
Recording

French Sonatas for Harpsichord and Violin

Philippe Grisvard, Johannes Pramsohler
110:23 (2 CDs in a hardbacked booklet)
Audax Records ADX13710
Music by Balbastre, Clément, Corrette, Duphly, Guillemain, Marchand & Mondonville

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his recital gets off to a absolute flyer with Mondonville’s outstanding op. 3/1 in G minor, with both players comfortably equal to both the technical and musical challenges. And note the overall title: this is a collection of Pièces de clavecin en sonates avec accompagnement de violon. Mondonville blazed this trail with his op. 3 (published 1740, though very probably circulating in m/s before that) and his pioneering work was most assiduously developed by Louis-Gabriel Guillemain (1705-70). Three of his op. 13 sonates  receive world premiere recordings here and the notes rightly draw attention to the virtuosic writing for both instruments and the difficulty of creating a duo performance as opposed to a competition. They succeed with great flair, even though both they and their instruments are on the limit of the period’s demands. Most of these sonates  speak with an Italianate (if not fully Italian) accent, though Duphly retains his native language in both the music and his movement titles and these subtleties, too, can be heard in the playing. There’s also some thoroughly enjoyable wackiness (Luc Marchand).

The overall presentation is quite lavish, with the two CDs enclosed in the endpapers of a small (jewel-case size) hardback book and notes in five languages. It is a small irritant that these deal with the music in chronological rather than performance order but I will be forgiving as it is such a relief to read English notes from a foreign source that are idiomatic in their expression. Finally, the recording offers as good a balance of the instruments as I have ever heard in this combination. I rarely give five stars across the board, but see below!

David Hansell

[iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=GB&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=infocentral-21&marketplace=amazon&region=GB&placement=B079257SDC&asins=B079257SDC&linkId=3fd5f343ea637b47c4cea7f73be705d1&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true”]

[iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=DE&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=earlymusicrev-21&marketplace=amazon&region=DE&placement=B079257SDC&asins=B079257SDC&linkId=c41ebb294c54daab8be8d552a9d4010e&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true”]

[iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=earlymusicrev-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B079257SDC&asins=B079257SDC&linkId=029bdad0a09f190abcf71660bd863e6d&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true”]

Banner, 234x60, ohne Claim, bestellen

Categories
Recording

J. S. Bach: Sonatas for violin and harpsichord

Guido de Neve, Frank Agsteribbe
(2 CDs in a jewel case)
Et’cetera KTC 1596

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his is a very well-researched project funded by the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp with the research group on Performance Practice in Perspective.

You may or may not like the violinist’s rather rhapsodic style which involves some – to my ears – rather aggressive (and 20th-century feeling) bowing. But de Neve is playing an instrument of 1692 by Hendrik Williams of Ghent and the pair have clearly made a detailed study of the rhetorical expressiveness of 18th-century music. This leads to some pretty slow tempi in some of the slow movements, as in the opening of the A major sonata for example, as well as a breakaway Presto, so fast as to appear almost unsteady. So expect a degree of engaged commitment to making the music speak as dramatically as a Baroque painting. In the liner-notes each sonata is prefaced by a quotation from Mattheson’s Das Neu-Eröffnete Orchester of 1713 on the particular key, for example: h-moll: Kombination aus Gefühlen der Unlust und Melancholie. Bizarr – wird deshalb selten gespielt. [B minor: Combines feelings of unease and melancholy. Slightly odd and therefore rarely performed.]

They also explain with a welcome degree of clarity why, due to the uneven distribution of the Pythagorean comma across the octave in historic tunings, different keys are sharply different from one another. It is a pity then that the information in the liner notes does not make specific reference to the particular system they use.

I think that the violin is recorded slightly too close, so the harpsichord frequently feels a less than equal partner. But this performance certainly offers an alternative reading to those, for example, by Rachel Podger with which my generation has been brought up.

David Stancliffe

[iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=GB&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=infocentral-21&marketplace=amazon&region=GB&placement=B074N73YFQ&asins=B074N73YFQ&linkId=8a497e737091b58d0779356d4848a7ff&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true”]

[iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=DE&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=earlymusicrev-21&marketplace=amazon&region=DE&placement=B074N6Z8F1&asins=B074N6Z8F1&linkId=6bb6c67699a63b0370b9fc444c11ed2c&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true”]

[iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=earlymusicrev-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B074N7F5SK&asins=B074N7F5SK&linkId=6195f30c2a612c899d813d89108a71ec&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true”]

Banner, 234x60, ohne Claim, bestellen