COMPOSERS: Gc Bach,JC Bach & Jb Bach,Je Bach,WF Bach
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: in the Name of Bach
WORKS: Siehe, wie fein und lieblich ist es; Sammlung auserlesener Fabeln (excerpts)
PERFORMER: Catherine Bott (soprano); Florilegium
CATALOGUE NO: CCS 9096 DDD
Georg Christoph Bach’s ‘Siehe, wie fein und lieblich ist es’ (‘Behold how fine and lovely it is’) makes a singularly appropriate introduction to this concert. Moreover, Florilegium’s fiery performance triumphantly reveals the music’s ingenious design and expressive flamboyance, highlighting both the work’s touching homage to brotherly love and its jubilant celebration of the Bach family’s astonishing musical fertility. In Johann Ernst’s F major violin and harpsichord sonata, the bright, vivid recording pleasingly underlines the musicians’ verve and crystal clarity; though softer lighting would suitably have enhanced the atmosphere in Wilhelm Friedemann’s Adagio and Fugue.
Four songs from Johann Ernst Bach’s ‘Sammlung auserlesener Fabeln’ form the centrepiece of the programme. Here, Catherine Bott’s sensitively accompanied, beautifully pure-toned soprano and stylish characterisation, combine to produce enchanting accounts of these witty musical genre pictures. It is a shame that the booklet offers no translations. Wilhelm Friedemann’s exquisitely light E minor Duetto for two flutes clears the palate before the more substantial fare of his brother Johann Christian’s G major Quartet, whose unusual scoring effectively contrasts the rich, mellow tones of two cellos with sparkling virtuosity from violin and fortepiano, often suggesting larger forces. Two dances by Johann Bernhard Bach complete this delightful anthology. Fine and lovely indeed. Nicholas Rast