27 April 2017

Reviewed Music for Two Flutes. Bach: Trio Sonata in G, BWV 1039, Handel: Sonata op. 2 no. 5, Haydn: London Trio Hob. IV No. 1 , works of Mozart, Drouet, Köhler. Preston’s Pocket: Stephen Preston & Linda Beznosiuk (baroque & classical flutes), Jane Coe (baroque cello), Robert Woolley (Jacob Kirckman two-manual harpsichord, fortepiano by Adlam Burnett 1974 after Mattaeus Heilmann c. 1785, Broadwood pianoforte 1823). Amon Ra CD-SAR 11 (1983) .

The Bach trio-sonata is an alternative version of the Sonata for Keyboard and Viola da Gamba BWV 1027, with flute 1 taking the harpsichord’s right hand and flute 2 the part of the gamba. It is lovely (and played with great liveliness by Preston’s Pocket). Not only do the two flutes lend it a lovely pastoral atmosphere, but the very homogeneity of timbres made me realize how heterogeneous, and even ill-suited, the harpsichord and gamba really were. I thought this CD was going to be a quick listen-quick forget, but in fact it sent me on a new comparative-listening spree of the gamba sonatas. One version solves that problem of timbral heterogeneity: the recording of Anner Bylsma and Bob van Asperen on Sony, because van Asperen substitutes positive organ to harpsichord. It sounds great! Stay tune, then…

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