Fans of Angela Hewitt will be delighted to find her in chamber mode, accompanying Andrea Oliva (described as ‘one of the best flutists of his generation, a shining star in the world of the flute’ by Sir James Galway) in a programme of J S Bach’s flute sonatas (including one by his most famous and talented son, CPE). Of unfailingly remarkable quality, all these works exploit the full potential of an instrument which was only just coming into its own when they were written. Oliva’s lyricism and agility coupled with Hewitt’s musicianship—not to mention her lifelong rapport with Bach’s music—make this an album to treasure.
This CD presents Wilhelm Friedemann’s works for flute, either as solo sonata or in trio combination: music of great beauty, melodic charm and invention and instrumental brilliance. Although the output of Johann Sebastian’s eldest son is comparatively small, the significance of his style, as a logical and truthful successor of his father, is great. His style, based on the Baroque principles, is free, adventurous and forward‐looking, the “Empfindsame Stil”. It serves as a bridge between the Baroque and the Classical Period. Played by the best Dutch Early Music specialists on period instruments. Contains detailed notes on the music and instrument specification.
This unusual release, recorded in 1975, attempts to shed light on the numerous problems concerning the nature and indeed authorship of the flute sonatas by, or not by, Bach. The artistry of these musicians is, as we might expect, compelling, but in their attempt to segregate authentic Bach from what are often supposed to be spurious flute sonatas they have, in common parlance, 'come a cropper'. (CRD CRDIOI4-15, 8/75). N.A..
The title of this release is thoroughly misleading. The album contains nothing like the ''Complete Flute Sonatas'' of C. P. E. Bach but only those for flute with obbligato harpsichord, of which there are but five. Eleven others for flute and continuo are omitted, along with Bach's single work for unaccompanied flute. Instead, the remaining five sonatas in the programme consist of two (BWV1020 and 1031) whose authorship has long been a matter of dispute; a trio for flute, violin and bass (H578) in which the violin part has been taken over by the right hand of the keyboard; another (H543) in which a similar adjustment has been made to Bach's two differently scored originals; and a duet for violin and harpsichord (H504) in which the violin part is taken by the flute. So, you can see that the title of the album is somewhat economical with the truth, though the accompanying essay by Barthold Kuijken clarifies the position.– Nicholas Anderson, Gramophone [5/1994]
One of the more puzzling remarks about the music of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach came from Mozart, who said that anyone who listened closely would realize his debt to the German composer. That seemed unlikely, given that Mozart only rarely availed himself of the Sturm und Drang ("storm and stress") style of C.P.E.'s keyboard music. But listen to this release by flutist Emmanuel Pahud and you'll get an idea of what Mozart was talking about. It's not just that the flute concertos are basically galant in style, not Sturm und Drang. It's a certain nervous energy that makes the flute bloom rapidly out of squarish themes and keeps you guessing as to what's coming next.
Rarely do we feel the presence of Bach so vividly on a recording as we do here with this set of Trio Sonata arrangements, performed by violins, viola da gamba, and harpsichord. What a perfect combination, thanks to Richard Boothby's settings and to the wonderfully synergistic interaction among these very experienced early music players–violinists Catherine Mackintosh (in her best recorded performance in a while) and Catherine Weiss, gambist Boothby, and harpsichordist Robert Woolley.
Christopher Wrench commands a broad solo repertoire including the complete organ works of Bach, whilst also working as a liturgical musician, pedagogue & chamber player. He teaches organ at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University & directs the music programme at St Mary’s Anglican Church, Kangaroo Point in Brisbane. In 2008 he was awarded the Lord Mayor’s Australia Day Cultural Award for his outstanding contribution to the musical life of Brisbane.