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CPE Bach: Flute Concertos (Rune Most)

Rune Most (flute); Danish Sinfonietta; Randers Chamber Orchestra/David Riddell (Bridge)

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

CPE Bach
Flute Concertos: in D minor, Wq. 22; in A minor, Wq. 166; in G, Wq. 169
Rune Most (flute); Danish Sinfonietta; Randers Chamber Orchestra/David Riddell
Bridge BRIDGE 9565   73:30 mins

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Although Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was employed for 28 years at the court of flautist Frederick the Great, the King assigned other composers with the task of supplying him with copious amounts of music for his beloved instrument. In fact, of the three concertos featured here, only the D minor was originally conceived for the flute, whereas the A minor is much better-known in the version for cello, and the G major actually began life as a work for organ. But such is the skill and imagination with which CPE Bach adapts the solo material for a wind instrument that you never feel that you are being served up anything like an inferior transcription.

The three concertos bear all the characteristic hallmarks of CPE Bach’s style, exploiting extremes of expression and dynamics and moving unpredictably from moments of lyricism and pathos to those of pulsating rhythmic dynamism. Danish flautist Rune Most responds quixotically to the sudden changes of mood, delivering brilliantly articulated scales and arpeggio patterns in the fizzy outer movements of the D minor and G major Concertos and bringing grace and a lilting tenderness to the central Andante of the A minor. Tempos for the most part are well judged, with the Danish Sinfonietta under David Riddell providing sturdy if occasionally rather bass-heavy support.

In short, these are perfectly acceptable performances. However, if you prefer your CPE Bach to sound even more febrile, I’d opt for the high-octane rollercoaster interpretations of Emmanuel Pahud with Trevor Pinnock and the Kammerakademie Potsdam on Warner Classics.

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Erik Levi