Notes and Editorial Reviews
PAN 10200 (79:51)
Sonatas: No. 3 in a; No. 4 in a.
Sonata in d.
Sonata VI in A.
Chaconne in e,
Sonata for 2 Violins,
Trio Sonata in c,
Sonata in G,
Sonatas: in c; in F; in B.
Sonata duplex in g
It would be so easy, and possibly correct but not
simply to describe this CD as another recital of early Baroque music. CordArte, a wonderful quintet made up of violinists Daniel Deuter and Margret Baumgartl, gambist Heike Johanna Lindner, chitarronist Andreas Arend, and harpsichordist Markus Märkl, attacks these pieces with considerable gusto and flair. No one could ever accuse this group of giving somnambulant performances!
The music itself is delightful, very well constructed and, in the first half of the recital, quite varied in mood and tempo. Yet after a while, for me at least, a certain amount of
set in, as if a friend had told me a string of wonderful jokes to cheer me up but then kept repeating the jokes as I went about my daily business. Could there be too much of a good thing? Perhaps so, if the material seems to be too much in the same general mood and that mood is seldom reflective to offset the jolly moments.
Just to give an idea of how good some of this music is, however, I should point out that I mistook the third band, a Sonata in A by Johann Adam Reincken, for Diedrich Buxtehude, whose harpsichord Chaconne follows. (The Buxtehude is also one of the few reflective pieces in the set, which made its position particularly fortuitous.) Taken as individual works, then, this is a set to treasure, but I would warn against continuous listening. Take a break or two, say after every four works, to give your mind a chance to absorb and reflect. In some ways the extremely long playing time of a CD, especially one such as this which is nearly a full 80 minutes, works against the absorption of short, compact, complex works such as these. With all those contrapuntal passages whirring by, and many of the same keys being used, it’s easy to have some information overload. I can’t imagine that any group of musicians, not even CordArte themselves, would sit down and whiz off 12 pieces of this complexity one after another, without pause, in a concert hall anywhere in the world, so why subject your home listening to such an event?
Of the various pieces included here, only the Buxtehude works have alternate versions currently available. Apparently, the Chaconne BuxWV 160 is usually for organ, and there are 15 versions available on that instrument but
on harpsichord as played here. Of the sonatas, there is a version of BuxWV 262 by the Caecilia-Concert (Challenge) and a great performance by Jaap ter Linden, Lars Ulrik Mortensen, and John Holloway (Naxos); a performance as exciting as this one of BuxWV 269 by Stylus Phantasticus (Alpha Productions); a good version of BuxWV 271 by the Purcell Quartet (Chandos); and a smashing performance by Reinhard Goebel’s Cologne Musica Antiqua (DGG Archiv). But these particular works by Diedrich Becker, Nikolaus Adam Strungk, Reincken, Johann Thiele, and Kaspar Förster have no currently available competition. Very, very highly recommended.
FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
Works on This Recording
Sonata no 6 by Johann Adam Reincken
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