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
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.
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.
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.