Krufft: Sonatas For Bassoon And Fortepiano / Wouter Verschuren, Kathryn Cok
Nicholas von Krufft
Number of Discs:
1 Hours 2 Mins.
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Notes and Editorial Reviews
Bassoon Sonatas: in F; in Bb,
Wouter Verschuren (bn); Kathryn Cok (fp) (period instruments)
CHALLENGE 72313 (61:32)
The name of Nikolaus von Krufft (1779–1818) might have been better known had he lived past the age of 39. As it happened, it simply wasn’t to be. He apparently succumbed to exhaustion while burning the candle at both ends. By day Krufft was a civil servant, and by night a composer. His musical legacy is small, and includes sonatas for violin, bassoon, and horn, plus
a set of 24 preludes and fugues for piano after Sebastian Bach. Krufft’s Lieder are his most significant accomplishments, comprising his most influential body of work, which exerted a large influence on Franz Schubert.
The sonatas recorded here date from 1807 and 1818, respectively, and are certainly among the most difficult works from the era, surpassing the technical demands made on the soloist by Mozart in his Bassoon Concerto. Krufft places the instruments on equal footing, challenging not only the bassoonist but also the fortepianist with leaps of more than two-and-one-half octaves and dazzlingly brilliant runs. Both sonatas, though written in the early years of Romanticism, and clearly Classical in tone, owe more to the ghosts of Haydn and Mozart than to the youthful and muscular works of Beethoven.
The performances turned in here are about as good as one could want with virtuosic, elegant, and seamless playing from both participants. The light tone of Wouter Verschuren’s 1810 Cuvillier bassoon is nicely matched by the sparkling character of Gerard Tuinman’s 2007 copy of an 1805 Walther and Sohn fortepiano played by Kathryn Cok; and the recorded sound faithfully reproduces the unique tonal qualities of each of the instruments.
For the most part, the appeal of this compact disc will probably be limited, but those who are bitten by the bug certainly won’t be disappointed.
FANFARE: Michael Carter
Works on This Recording
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Surprise of the year! August 9, 2013
By Anthony G. (SANTA FE, NM) See All My Reviews
"You will seldom hear music, and music played like this, at any time. Kruft is a major discovery on par with the other greats of his century. This recording is a gem. It is not just exotic. It is exceptional If you do not purchase this cd, the loss will be your own."