How winning these chamber works are when played so stylishly and when the authentic textures are so transparent.
I will start this month with some instrumental music by C. P. E. Bach, expertly presented by members of Les Adieux and the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi's Baroque Esprit label. First comes a set of 12 Little Pieces for two flutes, two violins and continuo, H600, and how winning they are when played so stylishly and when the authentic textures (varying in instrumentation from piece to piece) are so transparent. The following Hamburg Sonata for flute and continuo in G, H564, needs to be approached separately, for there is an awkward pitch change as it opens. A charming three-movementRead more Duo for flute and violin (1-1598) follows, then there are two somewhat more substantial Trio Sonatas, H567 and H571 - the highlight of the programme. Both have touchingly melancholic Adagios to offset their sprightly Allegro outer movements. The collection ends most appropriately with the miniature cantata Phyllis and Thirsis (Rosmarie Hofmann and the excellent Nigel Rogers, respectively), as this features obbligatos for a pair of flutes. This division of the two vocal roles here is more convincing than in Bach's original scheme, where the soprano was expected to take both parts, more particularly as Nigel Rogers is here at his freshest and most appealing. A most rewarding programme, immaculately recorded.
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