VM021 Released February, 2020
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‘The Graun sonatas are a fine example of the aesthetics between Bach and the generations that follow him; Inscribed in classicism, they oscillate between the decorative style and the gallant style, giving the flute an often joyful and refined writing, melodically varied, and the harpsichordist an attractive dimension that allows him to express himself with warmth, even if sometimes he must resolve to the role of enhancement of the flute. Hearing does not create monotony, because the two partners listen to each other, and the beauty of their respective instruments benefits dialogue. [T]his lounge music, at the same time graceful, catchy and elegant, is listened to with a certain delight.’
-Crescendo Magazine, Jean Lacroix
‘[T]hese are delightful pieces, showing a great deal of invention, and nicely transitioning the late Baroque into early Classical styles. Nearly all in three movements, the formula is generally a slow, stately opening movement, ending with an improvisatory passage followed by two faster movements, the finale often a 3-time dance-like movement. Amorim and Jalôto match their melodic lines well, taking over from each other in the frequent exchanges of ideas, as well as enjoying the moments when the two parts align more in a duet. There are beautiful moments of more Bachian counterpoint in the additional slow movement of No. 56, whilst delicate trilling features in the sprightly Allegretto of No. 110. The players give the gentle slow movements graceful poise, and inject welcome energy into the faster movements, such as No. 56’s Allegro. There are no fireworks here, but plenty of subtle delicacy and invention, making for a highly enjoyable listen.’
-Classical Notes, Nick Boston
‘Music at the court of Frederick the Great usually conjures up images of JJ Quantz and CPE Bach – or even Frederick himself. That image is now under challenge due to this recording of music by the brothers Graun, who occupied key positions during Frederick’s rule. […] Contrasted as they are in their approaches, these two composers’ works are rarely performed these days. It is time for them to be restored to a more popular status.’
-The Whole Note, Michael Schwartz
‘The two cds bring us six sonatas for flute and harpsichord by Carl Heinrich and Johann Gottlieb Graun writing in the mid eighteenth century. […] the pieces come across as worthy[.]’
-Lark Reviews, Dr Brian Hick
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Recorded at Mosteiro de São Pedro de Cete, Paredes, Portugal, 12 to 15 September 2016.
Recording, editing and mastering by Joseph Chesshyre.
Design by Alex McCartney.
Author: Antoine Pesne (1683 – 1757).
Title: Self-portrait with his daughters Henriette Royard and Marie de Rège at the easel (1754) | Berlin, Staatliche Museen, Gemäldegalerie.
Copyright: bpk, Gemäldegalerie, SMB, Jörg P. Anders.
Traverso by Rudolf Tutz, Innsbruck, 1997. After J. H. Rottenburgh, ca. 1740; boxwood with one silver key. Original kept at Musée des Instruments de Musique (MIM), Brussels.
Harpsichord by Klinkhamer & Partners, Amsterdam, 2003. Double-manual harpsichord after J. J. Couchet (1680) with F. Blanchet (1758) and P. Taskin (1781). Original kept at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), Boston.
Harpsichord Tuning by Joseph Chesshyre; 415 Hz, modified Vallotti.