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Gustav Leonhardt: Clavichord Recital


Release Date: 07/23/2008 
Label:  Philips   Catalog #: 422349   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian BachCarl Philipp Emmanuel BachWilhelm Friedemann BachAugust Gottfried Ritter
Performer:  Gustav Leonhardt
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

Special Order: This CD requires additional production time and ships within 2-3 business days.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Here is another of Gustav Leonhardt's mixed programmes but this one, unlike the earlier European grand tour ((CD) 426 352-2PH, 4/90), is confined to German repertory and is played not on the harpsichord but on the clavichord. The earliest music is by Christian Ritter, who was born in the mid seventeenth century and who was based mainly in Halle where he was employed as an organist. His Suite in F sharp minor is an appealing work somewhat in the manner of Froberger; the opening Allemande is beautifully written and well sustained and the poignant Sarabande an affecting piece built on a descending octave pattern which gives it the character of a lament.

The remaining pieces are drawn from the Bach family bran tub with clairvoyant
Read more skill. Johann Sebastian Bach is represented by the Fantasia and Fugue in A minor, BWV904 and by the French Suite in C minor, BWV813. The Fantasia and Fugue is one of Bach's most highly developed works of its kind, apart from the 48; Leonhardt has already given us a fine performance of it on the harpsichord in an earlier J. S. Bach recital (Philips (CD) 416 141-2PH, 5/86), as indeed has Andreas Staier in a more recent Bach recital (Deutsche Harmonia Mundi/BMG (CD) RD77039, 10/89). Perhaps the fugue, a double one, fares better on a clavichord than the fantasia which loses some of its toccata-like splendour. Even so, Leonhardt held my attention with clearly articulated phrases and rhetorical gestures. The French Suite comes over well with notably lively responses from Leonhardt in the Courante, graceful shaping of the Air and Menuet, and a pleasingly reflective Sarabande.

Bach's eldest son, Wilhelm Friedemann is represented by three of his 12 Polonaises, F12; they were almost certainly composed for the clavichord and are a fine testament to Friedemann's expressive keyboard style. Leonhardt's choice includes two of the most profoundly affecting of the Polonaises, in E minor and F minor and his performance, improvisatory in character and deeply felt, does them justice. Leonhardt ends his recital with three Sonatas by Friedemann's younger brother, Carl Philipp Emanuel. Two of them, in G minor and D minor come from a set of six (Wq51) dating from the early 1760s when Emanuel was employed by Frederick the Great. The other in B minor/F sharp minor, comes from another set of six (Wq63) probably dating from the early to mid 1750s. Leonhardt interprets the music with passion, insight and a virtuoso technique involving the listener with all the skill of an accomplished raconteur. Fine recording.

-- Nicholas Anderson, Gramophone [8/1990]
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Works on This Recording

1. French Suite no 2 in C minor, BWV 813 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gustav Leonhardt (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1724; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 05/1988 
Venue:  Amsterdam 
2. Fantasia and Fugue in A minor, BWV 904 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Gustav Leonhardt (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1725; Leipzig, Germany 
3. Sonata for Keyboard in G major, Wq 51 no 6/H 62 by Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach
Performer:  Gustav Leonhardt (Harpsichord)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1750; Berlin, Germany 
4. Sonata for Keyboard in D minor, Wq 51 no 4/H 128 by Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach
Performer:  Gustav Leonhardt (Harpsichord)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1758; Berlin, Germany 
5. Polonaises (12) for Harpsichord, F 12: no 5 in E flat major by Wilhelm Friedemann Bach
Performer:  Gustav Leonhardt (Harpsichord)
Period: Classical 
Written: circa 1765; Germany 
6. Suite for Harpsichord in F sharp minor by August Gottfried Ritter
Performer:  Gustav Leonhardt (Harpsichord)
Period: Romantic 
7. Polonaises (12) for Harpsichord, F 12: no 8 in E minor by Wilhelm Friedemann Bach
Performer:  Gustav Leonhardt (Harpsichord)
Period: Classical 
Written: circa 1765; Germany 
8. Polonaises (12) for Harpsichord, F 12: no 10 in F minor by Wilhelm Friedemann Bach
Performer:  Gustav Leonhardt (Harpsichord)
Period: Classical 
Written: circa 1765; Germany 
9. Sonatas (6) for Keyboard, Wq 63: no 4 in B minor H 73 by Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach
Performer:  Gustav Leonhardt (Harpsichord)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1753; Berlin, Germany 

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