Haydn, Mozart, Boyce, Festing, Finger, Suck, Weippert, etc

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Boyce,etc,Festing,Finger,Haydn,Mozart,Suck,Weippert
LABELS: Karuna
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Chamber Music from Georgian England
WORKS: Works
PERFORMER: Concertante
CATALOGUE NO: 105 (distr. www.karunarecords.com)
This engagingly eclectic recital ranges from a trio sonata by the Moravian Georg Finger, active at the court of James II, to a brace of pieces by the ultra-obscure Dutchman JM Weippert, a contemporary of Beethoven. En route the programme takes in a clutch of works by now-forgotten 18th-century British composers, Scottish and Irish folk music, a symphony by Boyce and one work each by Haydn and Mozart – all music that might have been aired in the salons and pleasure gardens of Georgian England. Predictably, the best items here come courtesy of the most famous names: the dreamy Adagio of an early Mozart Violin Sonata hints at future glories, the Haydn Harpsichord Concertino is typically compact and shapely, while Boyce’s Seventh Symphony, with its catchy final gigue, has a very English melodic freshness and candour. Elsewhere there is a fair amount of amiable note-spinning, but also plenty of charm and polished craftsmanship: in the jolly, Handelian Recorder Concerto by William Babell, for instance, or the Torelli-influenced recorder sonata by Finger, with its spirited final fugue. Occasionally I found the continuo-playing a touch over-emphatic. But this apart, Concertante in its various formations perform with style, verve and a crucial sense of enjoyment. An hour of innocuous pleasure for anyone who fancies venturing into the 18th-century byways. Richard Wigmore