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Leipzig 1723

Capricornus Consort Basel/Stefan Temmingh (recorder) (Accent)

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

Leipzig 1723
JS Bach: Concerto for Harpsichord & Two Recorders, BWV 1057; JF Fasch: Sonata for 2 Violins, Viola & Continuo in D minor, FaWV N:d3; Recorder Concerto in F; Graupner: Recorder Concerto in F, GWV 323; Telemann: Recorder Concerto in C, TWV 51:C1; Quartet in G, TWV 43:G4
Capricornus Consort Basel/Stefan Temmingh (recorder)
Accent ACC24375   66:15 mins


Stefan Temmingh and Capricornus Consort Basel have hit upon an entertaining programme, featuring the four front-runners for the position of music director and cantor at Leipzig. Bach’s predecessor, Johann Kuhnau had died in 1722 aged 62 (not 66 as stated in an otherwise interesting note) and the search was on for his replacement. Telemann was offered it but turned it down when Hamburg increased his salary. Kuhnau’s pupil, Johann Friedrich Fasch, was considered and in December 1722 Christoph Graupner and JS Bach applied. Graupner was chosen but failed to obtain release from his post at Darmstadt. Meanwhile, Bach’s two audition cantatas had been well received, and when Prince Leopold released him from Cöthen Bach was formally elected.

An accomplished recorder player, Temmingh enlivens the music with astonishing virtuosity, as in the ‘Tempo di Minue’ of Telemann’s C major Concerto. He is also generous with his ornaments, which remain comfortably within the bounds of stylistic propriety. The Telemann Quartet is really a concerto in all but name, rather than a quadro. The sonata and concerto by Fasch come off well, the concluding movement of the last-mentioned initially bringing to mind the third movement of Bach’s Brandenburg No. 6. Graupner’s Concerto is a delightful piece which deserves to be heard more frequently. All is dominated, though happily not eclipsed by Bach’s reworking of Brandenburg No. 4 for two recorders, harpsichord and strings. The third movement fugue fares especially well, setting the seal on a splendid achievement.


Nicholas Anderson