A consummate artist whose approach to the cello was directed toward breathing life into the music, Paul Tortelier earned the respect and affection of countless colleagues. An enduring friendship with Pablo Casals found him playing, in the words of a French critic, Apollo to Casals' Jupiter. Like Casals, Tortelier emphasized using but one finger at a time on the string to allow free vibration. Fantasy and emotional freedom marked his performances and attracted numerous young players.
Have you ever wondered what or who is the missing link between the Passions of J.S. Bach and the more ‘enlightened’ oratorios of Josef Haydn and his contemporaries? For that matter how did things come to change so quickly? I have recently reviewed some cantatas by Gottfried Homilius (1714-1785) on Carus 83.183 and he is certainly a link. But really it is C.P.E. Bach, that great reactionary and under-estimated genius, who is ‘yer man’.
This recording is a result of several years of reconstruction work and then a full performance which took place on Palm Sunday in 2003 after about 220 years of neglect.
The Flute Concertos of C.P.E. Bach are among the most dramatic and engrossing of this important composer's works. This Bach was a major influence on Haydn and Mozart, but the music is worth hearing in its own right, and the Concerto in A Minor, which opens this set, is one of the masterpieces of its era. Gallois and the Toronto Camerata use modern instruments, but their performances are permeated by the sensibility of Bach's era. They are clear and forceful, responding beautifully to the pre-romantic elements in the music, and Gallois even adds appropriate embellishments to his playing. The Concerto in D Minor may not be the composer's own arrangement for flute, but it sounds convincing enough. This is certainly the best set of C.P.E. Bach's Flute Concertos since the long-deleted Rampal set for CBS, and the performances are markedly superior to those on a recent Black Box CD.-Leslie Gerber