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Per Il Flauto - Graupner / Frey, Steger, Ars Musica Zurich


Release Date: 10/13/2009 
Label:  Berlin Classics   Catalog #: 16532   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Christoph Graupner
Performer:  Sabrina FreyMarkus BernhardRodney PradaMaurice Steger
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Musica
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



GRAUPNER Concertos: in F, GWV 323; 1 in G, GWV 708. Sonatas: in b, GWV 219; in G, GWV 707. Sonata canonica in g, GWV 216. 2 Overture in F, GWV 447 1 Sabrina Frey (fl, rcr, cond); Maurice Steger Read more (rcr); 2 Rodney Prada (vdg); 2 Markus Bernhard (vne); 1,2 Ars Musica Zürich (period instruments) BERLIN 1653 (67:59)


According to not a few music history texts, the high German Baroque can be reduced to a triarchy of Bach, Telemann, and Handel, though Handel ended up switching teams and batting for the Brits. Those same texts, however, might tell a somewhat different story, one of a German Baroque tetrarchy, had fate smiled more kindly on Christoph Graupner (1683–1760), a composer who was offered the position of Kantorship at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig after Telemann turned it down. Only after Graupner’s patron, the Landgrave Ernst Ludwig of Hesse-Darmstadt, refused to release Grapuner from his contract was Johann Sebastian Bach grudgingly offered the job, a distant third choice. Volume-wise, Graupner’s output was on a par with his more famous contemporaries. Over 2,000 works survive in his catalog, compositions ranging from operas, sacred and secular cantatas, sinfonias, overtures, concertos for diverse instruments, sonatas, suites, partitas, and solo keyboard pieces.


So what happened? Lawyers are what happened. Disputes over ownership of Graupner’s manuscripts led to lengthy legal battles, during which time his music could not be published or sold. And by the time matters were settled, musical styles and tastes had moved on and Graupner had been forgotten. It’s a bit reminiscent of Dickens’s Bleak House . The legal machinations dragged on for so long that after a time, no one could even remember who had brought the case to court in the first place or what it was it about; and the little boy who was promised a new rocking horse when the case was finally settled grew up, “possessed himself of a real horse, and trotted away into the other world.”


Though there has been a recent mini upsurge of interest in Graupner’s music—this latest recording being an example—at this late date, and with so comparatively few of the composer’s works available on record or known to the concert-going public, it’s unlikely that Graupner is poised to become the next Bach, Telemann, or Handel. But not all neglect is due to underexposure. Heard on its own, Graupner’s music is ebullient and rhythmically animated in fast movements and sweetly chaste in slow movements—listen, for example to the Andante from the G-Major Sonata, GWV 707, with its pristine melody over a marching bass line—but when held up beside the music of his more famous contemporaries, it seems like Graupner was the runt of the litter who got the talent teat with the low-fat milk. Movements are short, and the instigating motivic material, which is not that pregnant to begin with, shows little potential for extension and development.


Monotony, at least in this program, is avoided by mixing works for various instruments in different combinations. Two types of flute are used, which the recording distinguishes as Blockflöte, or what we call in English a recorder, and simply flute, or what is taken to mean the more modern transverse flute. In either case, the instruments of this period would have been made of wood, metal flutes not coming into vogue much before 1810. The differences then between the recorder and the flute were not in the material they were made of but in how they were played and how they sounded. The recorder was played with the instrument held perpendicularly and blown through an aperture known as a fipple. The sound is whistle or pipe-like. The flute, or transverse flute, as its name suggests, is held horizontally from the mouthpiece or embouchure hole out to the right side of the body, and has a softer-grained bell-like sound.


Sabrina Frey switches seamlessly from one to the other, and is a masterful player on both. Joined by soloists Maurice Steger, Rodney Prada, Markus Bernhard, and by the one-to-a-part string and harpsichord Ars Musica Zürich Ensemble, Frey provides over an hour’s worth of highly entertaining music in well-gauged, topnotch performances, of which the G-Minor Sonata canonica for two recorders, viola da gamba, and continuo is claimed to be a world premiere recording. And the Berlin Classics CD, recorded in Zürich’s Neumünster Church in May 2008, captures a perfect ambiance for these works. Fairly modest music, but a more than modest effort on its behalf, this release is recommended.


FANFARE: Jerry Dubins
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for recorder, 2 violins, viola and b.c. in F major, GWV 323: Allegro by Christoph Graupner
Performer:  Sabrina Frey (Recorder), Markus Bernhard (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Musica
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1735-1737; Darmstadt, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 54 Secs. 
2.
Concerto for recorder, 2 violins, viola and b.c. in F major, GWV 323: Andante by Christoph Graupner
Performer:  Sabrina Frey (Recorder), Markus Bernhard (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Musica
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1735-1737; Darmstadt, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 14 Secs. 
3.
Sonata for flute, violin and b.c. in B minor, GWV 219: Allegro by Christoph Graupner
Performer:  Sabrina Frey (Recorder)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Musica
Period: Baroque 
Length: 1 Minutes 51 Secs. 
4.
Sonata for flute, violin and b.c. in B minor, GWV 219: Largo by Christoph Graupner
Performer:  Sabrina Frey (Recorder)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Musica
Period: Baroque 
Length: 2 Minutes 26 Secs. 
5.
Sonata for flute and b.c. in G major, GWV 707: Andante by Christoph Graupner
Performer:  Sabrina Frey (Recorder)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Musica
Period: Baroque 
Length: 2 Minutes 7 Secs. 
6.
Sonata for flute and b.c. in G major, GWV 707: Allegro by Christoph Graupner
Performer:  Sabrina Frey (Recorder)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Musica
Period: Baroque 
Length: 0 Minutes 59 Secs. 
7.
Sonata for flute and b.c. in G major, GWV 707: Adagio by Christoph Graupner
Performer:  Sabrina Frey (Recorder)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Musica
Period: Baroque 
Length: 1 Minutes 22 Secs. 
8.
Sonata for flute and b.c. in G major, GWV 707: Menuet by Christoph Graupner
Performer:  Sabrina Frey (Recorder)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Musica
Period: Baroque 
Length: 1 Minutes 6 Secs. 
9.
Sonata canonica for 2 recorders, viola da gamba and b.c. in G minor, GWV 216: Largo by Christoph Graupner
Performer:  Rodney Prada (Viola da gamba), Markus Bernhard (Violin), Sabrina Frey (Recorder),
Maurice Steger (Recorder)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Musica
Period: Baroque 
Length: 1 Minutes 5 Secs. 
10.
Sonata canonica for 2 recorders, viola da gamba and b.c. in G minor, GWV 216: (ohne Bezeichnung) by Christoph Graupner
Performer:  Maurice Steger (Recorder), Rodney Prada (Viola da gamba), Markus Bernhard (Violin),
Sabrina Frey (Recorder)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Musica
Period: Baroque 
Length: 1 Minutes 10 Secs. 
11.
Sonata canonica for 2 recorders, viola da gamba and b.c. in G minor, GWV 216: Adagio by Christoph Graupner
Performer:  Sabrina Frey (Recorder), Markus Bernhard (Violin), Rodney Prada (Viola da gamba),
Maurice Steger (Recorder)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Musica
Period: Baroque 
Length: 1 Minutes 58 Secs. 
12.
Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord in G major, GWV 708 by Christoph Graupner
Performer:  Sabrina Frey (Recorder)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Musica
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1740; Darmstadt, Germany 
Length: 6 Minutes 58 Secs. 
13.
Overture-Suite for Recorder, Strings, and Basso continuo in F major, GWV 447 by Christoph Graupner
Performer:  Sabrina Frey (Recorder), Markus Bernhard (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Musica
Period: Baroque 
Written: Darmstadt, Germany 
Length: 24 Minutes 3 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Recorder Concerto in F major, GWV 323: I. Allegro
Recorder Concerto in F major, GWV 323: II. Andante
Recorder Concerto in F major, GWV 323: III. Allegro
Flute Sonata in B minor, GWV 219: I. Allegro
Flute Sonata in B minor, GWV 219: II. Largo
Flute Sonata in B minor, GWV 219: III. Allegro
Flute Sonata in G major, GWV 707: I. Andante
Flute Sonata in G major, GWV 707: II. Allegro
Flute Sonata in G major, GWV 707: III. Adagio
Flute Sonata in G major, GWV 707: IV. Allegro
Flute Sonata in G major, GWV 707: V. Menuet
Sonata for 2 Recorders in G minor, GWV 216: I. Largo
Sonata for 2 Recorders in G minor, GWV 216: II. -
Sonata for 2 Recorders in G minor, GWV 216: III. Adagio
Sonata for 2 Recorders in G minor, GWV 216: IV. -
Sonata for 2 Recorders in G minor, GWV 216: V. Largo
Sonata for 2 Recorders in G minor, GWV 216: VI. -
Sonata for Recorder and Obbligato Harpsichord in G major, GWV 708: I. Moderato
Sonata for Recorder and Obbligato Harpsichord in G major, GWV 708: II. Adagio
Sonata for Recorder and Obbligato Harpsichord in G major, GWV 708: III. Allegro
Overture (Suite) in F major, GWV 447: I. Largo
Overture (Suite) in F major, GWV 447: II. Allegro
Overture (Suite) in F major, GWV 447: III. La Speranza: Tempo giusto
Overture (Suite) in F major, GWV 447: IV. Air en Gavotte
Overture (Suite) in F major, GWV 447: V. Menuet
Overture (Suite) in F major, GWV 447: VI. Air
Overture (Suite) in F major, GWV 447: VII. Plaisanterie

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