This is an interesting performance of Bach's Italian Concerto and French Overture by the Russian-born German harpsichordist and pianist, Felix Gottlieb, made on the "Lindholm" harpsichord, recorded in 1984 in the USSR
Nikolai Borisovich Obukhov (Nicolas Obouhow) (1892–1954) was a modernist and mystic Russian composer, active mainly in France. An avant-garde figure who took as his point of departure the late music of Scriabin, he fled Russia along with his family after the Bolshevik Revolution, settling in Paris. His music is notable for its religious mysticism, its unusual notation, its use of an idiosyncratic 12-tone chromatic language, and its pioneering use of electronic musical instruments in the era of their earliest development.
Johann Gottlieb Graun and his slightly younger brother Carl Heinrich Graun both worked in the Berlin-based court of Frederick the Great, whose musical cabinet also included Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. Superficially, the music of the Grauns can seem similar enough that in terms of attribution, their works are often confused, particularly when "Graun" is the only name provided on a given manuscript. Curiously, at least concerning the track listing, Accent does not try to identify which of the four concerti on their Graun: Concerti belong to Johann Gottlieb and which to Carl Heinrich. When one gets a little deeper into the notes, the truth is known – the first concerto, in A major for viola da gamba is by Johann Gottlieb, and the other three are the work of Carl Heinrich. A general rule of thumb regarding this pair is that both are early Classical period composers, with Johann Gottlieb taking a route more akin to Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach in his use of expressive effects, and Carl Heinrich pursuing a more conspicuously galant route in the manner of Johann Christian Bach. Given the dark and stony sobriety of the E minor flute concerto here attributed to Carl Heinrich, this rule does not apply in necessarily every case.
This debut album from Gottlieb is one of the great hidden gems of jazz fusion. It is intricate and funky, bright and colorful all at the same time. All the instrumenalists are virtuosos, and if you happen to be a drummer, you'll be in awe of the mastery of Danny Gottlieb, who hails from the early incarnation of the Pat Metheny Group and Mahavishnu.