Notes and Editorial Reviews
ROYAL RECORDER CONCERTOS: MUSIC FROM THE COURT OF KING FREDERIK IV
Bolette Roed (rcr); Arte dei Suonatori (period instruments)
DACAPO 6.220630 (SACD: 75:34)
Ouverture in F for recorder, strings, and basso continuo. Concerto in F for recorder, strings, and basso continuo.
Concerto a quattro in B? for recorder, strings, and basso continuo.
J. G. GRAUN
class="ARIAL12b">Double Concerto in C for recorder, violin, strings, and basso continuo.
The Princess’s Suite.
Sonata in c for recorder and basso continuo:
In her introduction to this SACD, soloist Bolette Roed writes, “Have you ever wondered which music was played on the recorder in Copenhagen at the time when Bach reigned in Leipzig, Telemann in Hamburg, Handel in London, Vivaldi in Venice and Couperin in Paris?” Actually, I haven’t ever wondered that, but now that she brings it up…! The composers represented on this disc (with the possible exception of Anonymous) were not Danes, although their music appears to have been played in Denmark during the reign of Frederik IV, which began in 1699 and ended with his death in 1730. Johann Adolf Scheibe actually lived in Denmark, although he didn’t arrive there until a decade after Frederik IV’s death. Reading the booklet that comes with this release, we learn that the Danish did not have a national Baroque style, but looked, at different times, to France, Italy, and Germany to shape their tastes. The German influence is strongest in the works offered here, with Italy taking a close second, and France third. In fact, if I had listened to this music blind, I would have guessed that Handel or Telemann composed at least some of the movements, if not the entire works.
Diehard Baroque collectors will recognize these names, except perhaps for Johann Christian Schickhardt, who is represented by a single sonata movement as a bonus track. (Dacapo invites you to go to their website and download the rest of the sonata.) Everything is a success here, although some things are more successful than others. I was especially taken by the Vivaldi-like slow movement of Christoph Graupner’s Concerto in F, which has the recorder singing peacefully over an accompaniment of plucked strings. At 1:55, it’s a dainty little thing. Another highlight is the closing “Folie d’Espagne” from
The Princess’s Suite
, so named because it was assembled from the music collection of Princess Charlotte Amalie, who was Frederik IV’s daughter. In this movement, the famous “La Folia” theme makes an appearance and is subjected to quirky variations. The Suite’s assembly was carried out with taste by Henrik Bøggild, and arranged for orchestra by Maciej Prochaska. The tiny movement by Schickhardt brings the disc to a gentle and wistful close—just perfect. Little on this SACD will quickly impress itself on your memory, but still, this is an excellent disc for late-night listening, as record reviewers of the not-too-distant past used to advise their readers, perhaps euphemistically.
Arte dei Suonatori is a Polish ensemble. Their contribution features lively rhythms and light textures—all the better not to bury Bolette Roed’s instrument. As for Roed, her temperament is a little reticent, but she has excellent control over her difficult instrument, and makes many a pleasant and intriguing sound. I’m not sure how “royal” these concertos truly are, but if you give them your attention, the performers will make you feel like a king.
FANFARE: Raymond Tuttle
Works on This Recording
Concerto for Recorder in F major, GWV 323 by Christoph Graupner
Bolette Roed (Recorder)
Arte Dei Suonatori
Written: 1735-1737; Darmstadt, Germany
Venue: Mirror Chamber of the Castle Museum in P
Length: 8 Minutes 20 Secs.
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