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Graupner: Partitas For Harpsichord Vol 5 / Geneviève Soly


Release Date: 01/17/2006 
Label:  Analekta   Catalog #: 29118   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Christoph Graupner
Performer:  Geneviève Soly
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 55 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Until recently Graupner was little more than a name in books of musical history. Even then, he often appeared only as a kind of footnote to the life of J.S. Bach, as someone who was offered, but didn’t take, the post of cantor of the Church of Saint Thomas in Leipzig before Bach was appointed. Only in relatively recent years have we been able to hear much of Graupner’s music, and to realise the considerable quality of much of it.

Twentieth century Read more musical scholarship had a little to say about Graupner from time to time, but much of his music remained unperformed – and largely unstudied – in a library in Darmstadt, where he worked from 1711 until his death. The revival in Graupner’s fortunes, the very fact that his music is being heard more often, has had much to do with the efforts of the Canadian musicologist and harpsichordist Geneviève Soly. As a soloist, and as leader of the ensemble Les Idées heureuses, she has given concerts of Graupner’s music in North America and Europe. The Canadian label Analekta has issued a series of CDs of Graupner’s music, which have included instrumental and vocal pieces. The present CD is the fifth to be devoted to Graupner’s music for solo harpsichord.

Graupner wrote some forty-one partitas for harpsichord, of which only seven have appeared in modern editions; not all of which are very easily accessible. The shortest of the partitas has four movements, the longest fourteen. Graupner’s music for the harpsichord was not composed as part of his duties and it presumably reflects his own tastes and interests, perhaps his own personality, with a directness not always to be found in other areas of his work. There is a love of the instrument and its traditions which is evident everywhere in these works; a fascinated, and highly accomplished, exploration of the instrument’s possibilities. There are brilliant virtuoso passages; there are relatively simple dances; there is music of delicacy and tenderness, there is music in which the rhythms are fierce and insistent.

Of the music played here, the Partita in A minor is essentially in the French style, with an allemande, a courante, a sarabande and two minuets which are all reflective, even melancholy and mostly on the slow side. The effect is one of great intimacy. The Partita in E major is more sophisticated, more preoccupied with complex harmonic effects. To the dances of the Partita (allemande, courante, sarabande and gigue) Soly has added two movements (a minuet and a gavotte) from another of Graupner’s collections, his Monatliche Clavir Früchte. They have a ‘galante’ quality which complements the relatively serious pieces of the original Partita. In the Partita in C major, Soly has again added movements from the Monatliche Clavir Früchte to an original Partita. There is some impressive counterpoint in the Praeludium, some delightful melodic invention in the sarabande and four variations on it and some passionate declamation in the loure. The dancing rhythms of the gavottes - which come from the Monatliche Clavir Früchte - are irresistibly infectious.

Throughout Soly is a perfect advocate for this music. She plays with respectful freedom and though scholarly is never dry or dogmatic. She obviously loves the music and gets great pleasure from it – a sense of sheer fun is never far away. Without in any way going over the top, she employs a variety of registrations, always aptly and persuasively.

This is very enthusiastically recommended to anyone who loves the harpsichord music of the first half of the eighteenth century. I dare say that those who have already discovered Soly’s Graupner will not need much encouragement to seek out this latest volume. Those who haven’t yet made the acquaintance of Graupner and his excellent interpreter will find this a good place to start. Analekta complement Soly’s vivid playing with an excellent recorded sound, catching beautifully the full range of her instrument, made in 1998 by Hubbard and Broekman and modelled on the work of one of the most important harpsichord builders of Graupner’s own times, Hieronymus Albrecht Hass.

-- Glyn Pursglove, MusicWeb International Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Partita for Harpsichord in C minor, GWV 150 by Christoph Graupner
Performer:  Geneviève Soly (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century; Germany 
2.
Partita for Harpsichord no 6 in E major, GWV 106: Allemande by Christoph Graupner
Performer:  Geneviève Soly (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
3.
Partita for Harpsichord no 6 in E major, GWV 106: Courante by Christoph Graupner
Performer:  Geneviève Soly (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
4.
Partita for Harpsichord no 6 in E major, GWV 106: Sarabande by Christoph Graupner
Performer:  Geneviève Soly (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
5.
Partita for Harpsichord in E major, GWV 119: Menuets I & II by Christoph Graupner
Performer:  Geneviève Soly (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
6.
Partita for Harpsichord in E major, GWV 119: Gavotte en Rondeau by Christoph Graupner
Performer:  Geneviève Soly (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
7.
Partita for Harpsichord no 6 in E major, GWV 106: Gigue by Christoph Graupner
Performer:  Geneviève Soly (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
8.
Partita for Harpsichord in C major, GWV 126: Praeludium by Christoph Graupner
Performer:  Geneviève Soly (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
9.
Partita for Harpsichord in C major, GWV 109 by Christoph Graupner
Performer:  Geneviève Soly (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1733; Darmstadt, Germany 
10.
Partita for Harpsichord in C major, GWV 126: Loure by Christoph Graupner
Performer:  Geneviève Soly (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
11.
Partita for Harpsichord in C major, GWV 126: Gavottes I & II by Christoph Graupner
Performer:  Geneviève Soly (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
12.
Partita for Harpsichord in C major, GWV 126: Menuets I & II by Christoph Graupner
Performer:  Geneviève Soly (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 

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