<< -- 2 -- David Ponsford RARITY IN PERFORMANCE
In the Concertos by W. F. Bach and J. L. Krebs one can clearly hear the
advent of more galant works, juxtaposed with conventional Baroque figuration.
W. F. Bach's Concerto was written in Dresden between 1733 and 1746; its
first movement is clearly in sonata-form, whereas the third harks back to
the traditional concerto-ritornello form with 'solo' and 'tutti'
parts being assigned to the two harpsichords [listen
-- track 8, 0:00-0:59]. Krebs, said to be one of J. S. Bach's favourite
pupils, often used his teacher's works as models, but in this Concerto the
new easy-going galant style may be heard in the second movement [listen -- track 10, 4:25-5:25], marking Krebs's own compositional
Egarr's and Ayrton's playing serves these interesting works very well.
Both players come from an English background, but both have learnt very
considerably from Dutch masters such as Gustav Leonhardt. In fact, the Dutch
character is in danger of becoming rather mannered on this disc. Articulations
are very varied, but some staccato touch is rather over-short in
places so that occasional passages (sometimes with split notes here) have
a purely percussive character without much pitch being apparent. This is
most obvious on upbeat quaver figures, and is not served by such a close
microphone position. At times it feels as if the listener's head is right
inside the instruments. I also detected someone walking across the room
in between movements (the tea lady?). However, the playing is lively and
full of spirit, and this disc is to be recommended. I find it curious, though,
that the chosen instruments were a matched pair of Ruckers (1638) copies
by Joel Katman. They do sound fine enough harpsichords within themselves,
but if a maker strives to emulate the sound-world of 1638 the question is
whether this is appropriate for music composed a century later. Would not
harpsichords of 1738 provenance be more appropriate?
Copyright © 10 December 2000
David Ponsford, Gloucestershire, UK
CD INFORMATION - GLOBE GLO 5179
PURCHASE THIS DISC FROM CROTCHET
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