Johann Bernhard Bach (1676-1749) is a somewhat ill-known member of the family, but known by his first cousin once removed, Johann Sebastian. A disciple of Pachelbel, he was in the service of the court of Eisenach and left us only instrumental music. His four Ouvertures for orchestra constitute the obvious link between French music of the Grand Siècle and the compositions that Johann Sebastian would write in Weimar and Cöthen. A missing link to be (re) discovered.
The first thing one notices about this disc is the attractive sound, rounded yet detailed; the second is that the playing of the orchestra is stylish; last but not least, the soloist's first entry tells us that he, too, is a fine player. Rainer Kussmaul's name was unknown to me, but a note on the jewel-case says that he is about to become leader of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. He produces a lovely sound on what sounds like an excellent instrument, and phrases gracefully: altogether this is most enjoyable Haydn playing.
At just 13 years old, Norwegian boy soprano Aksel Rykkvin releases his debut recording of challenging soprano arias by Bach, Handel and Mozart with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and conductor Nigel Short. A classically trained singer since the age of eight, Aksel has so far enjoyed a short but stratospheric career, lauded by critics and audiences alike for his astonishing talent, combining skilful virtuosity and a rare innate musicality with a beautifully resonant voice, unusually rich and mature.