Notes and Editorial Reviews
BACH AND SONS • Jacques-Antoine Bresch (fl); Benjamin-Joseph Steens (clvd) • EVIL PENGUIN 011 (63:38)
J. C. F. BACH Sonata in C. C. P. E. BACH Fantasia in C, Wq 61/6. Sonata in C, Wq 87. J. S. BACH Flute Sonatas: in g, BWV 1020; in E?, BVW 1031. Prelude, Fugue, and Allegro, BWV 998 W. F. BACH Keyboard Sonata No. 6 in a
"On paper, the combination of Baroque flute (traverso) and clavichord would seem to be a match made in heaven. Jacques-Antoine Bresch possesses the sort of soft-edged sound and gentle manner that in theory should partner well with the clavichord. The balance on this CD, however, favors the flute, with the clavichord decidedly in the background. At the high point of phrases, when
Bresch discreetly pushes the volume, the clavichord is almost inaudible. Benjamin-Joseph Steens plays an instrument “in the Saxon style” by Joris Potvlieghe; it has a rather lighter and more transparent sound than the Hubert copy above. Steens is a proficient keyboardist; his renditions of the Emanuel Bach pieces are the most persuasive on the program, largely because these are unadulterated clavichord music. The two Sebastian Bach flute sonatas are substantial pieces, even though their authenticity has long been in doubt. Finally, the one item by Friedemann Bach reminds us of the unique voice of this unjustly neglected composer.
The recorded sound on this CD is utterly natural and ungimmicky, and therein lies the problem. The clavichord has been recorded much more intelligently than on the Passacaille CD, at the distance you might expect to encounter in a small concert hall, but this puts it at a disadvantage in the ensemble numbers. The bass register is the most conspicuous casualty—mightn’t the addition of a gamba to the bass line have been a simple solution? Recommended with reservations."
FANFARE: Christopher Brodersen
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