CPE Bach: Flute Sonatas Wq 86, 87, 124, 129 & 132; 12 Little Pieces, Wq 82

Our rating 
2.0 out of 5 star rating 2.0

COMPOSERS: CPE Bach
LABELS: ASV Gaudeamus
WORKS: Flute Sonatas Wq 86, 87, 124, 129 & 132; 12 Little Pieces, Wq 82
PERFORMER: Nancy Hadden, Elizabeth Walker (flute), Lucy Carolan (harpsichord/clavichord), Erin Headley (viola da gamba)
CATALOGUE NO: CD GAU 161
These five sonatas by CPE Bach span almost 30 years of his life, and give intriguing insight into his chamber music development. For the most part, however, it is difficult to detect any sparkle in the playing of flautist Nancy Hadden and keyboard player Lucy Carolan. CPE Bach’s jovial question-and-answer melodies get lost amidst sluggish phrasing and limited dynamic contrast. Fortunately, the disc is redeemed by the set of duos and trios that make up the 12 Little Pieces: there’s momentum in the dances and a spacious quality to the more reflective movements. But if you want to be inspired by the sonatas, try flautist Barthold Kuijken on the Sony Vivarte label.

Advertisement

CPO continues to add to the meagre amount of Franz Xaver Richter (1709-89) works on CD with this latest release of three chamber sonatas. The impressive range of articulation from Karl Kaiser on a period-instrument flute and Sabine Bauer on fortepiano suits the mannered style associated with the Mannheim School of which Richter was a member. Balance is fine in the Sonata in A, where the mellow tones of fortepiano compete with flute, but Bauer is more bullish on harpsichord, enjoying excessive ornamentation and seemingly determined to steal the limelight. Kate Sherriff