Overshadowed by his father, Johann Sebastian, and his brothers Carl Philipp Emanuel and Johann Christian, the music of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach provides a bridge between the high art of the first and expressive tendencies of Sturm und Drang. His Harpsichord Concertos, as performed here by Maude Gratton [of the Ricercar Consort] and Il Convito, offer a very successful synthesis of these two trends.
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.
Thoroughly trained by his father Johann Sebastian, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach became renowned as a virtuoso harpsichordist and organist. His surviving organ music includes the seven choral preludes and ten fugues on this disc, which range from relatively simple settings to elaborate displays of counterpoint. Born in Rio de Janeiro and based in the USA, Julia Brown, who has made several acclaimed recordings of keyboard music by Buxtehude and Scheidemann for Naxos, has been praised as ‘a first-class artist and superb technician … an exceptionally sensitive stylist’.
…In short: an all around enjoyable and highly recommended CD!