WORKS: Brandenburg Concerto No. 5; Trio Sonata in G, BWV 1038; Partita in A minor, BWV 1013; Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B minor, BWV 1067
PERFORMER: Emmanuel Pahud (flute); Berlin Baroque Soloists
CATALOGUE NO: CDC 5 57111 2
A shock indeed. Emmanuel Pahud, one of today’s most dazzling interpreters of the 20th-century flute repertoire – the man who’s produced definitive accounts of Prokofiev’s Sonata, Messiaen’s Le merle noir and Dutilleux’s Sonatine – has decided to embrace Bach. But rather than heading straight for the Sonatas, Pahud has chosen to show off his triathlon-like skills: as punchy orchestral player, sensitive chamber performer and soloist with a persuasive personality.
So far, Pahud has displayed a strong, multi-textured tone, but here he adopts a Baroque purity to ignite subtleties of dynamics and dialogue which bring this Bach so alive. Harpsichordist Christine Schornsheim directs the Berlin Baroque Soloists in a crisp, jubilant Brandenburg No. 5, her Allegro cadenza forming a thrilling highlight. Violinist Rainer Kussmaul keeps a tighter rein in the B minor Suite – its resulting elegance suits the piece’s smaller, more delicate movements. It’s a relief to hear the often over-rushed Badinerie sounding poised yet impassioned.
For some, Pahud’s solo Partita might seem a little heavy, but his style is raw and truthful. However, as can be heard in the Trio Sonata, BWV 1038, it can be buoyant and light, for Pahud is a lover of variety, and he consistently pulls it off to dramatic effect. Kate Sherriff