Bach, MŸthel

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Bach,Máthel
LABELS: Harmonia Mundi
WORKS: Keyboard Concerto in D minor, BWV 1052; Triple Concerto in A minor, BWV 1044
PERFORMER: Raphael Alpermann (harpsichord), Christine Schornsheim, Zvi Meniker (fortepiano), Christoph Huntgeburth (flute), Georg Kallweit (violin); Berlin Academy of Ancient Music
This programme of two concertos by Bach and a third by Johann Gottfried Müthel is rewarding on several counts. Müthel was Bach’s last pupil, studying with him for a few months only, before Bach’s death in July 1750. Perhaps we can detect fleeting glimpses of his influence on the 22-year-old Müthel in this B flat Keyboard Concerto but, for the most part, the style is markedly individual, inclining more towards the sensitive, temperamental idiom of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach than to that of his father. In short, the piece is full of those contrasts, tensions and paradoxes that so often characterise transitional art. Fortepiano rather than harpsichord has been chosen for the solo instrument and, in Christine Schornsheim, the Berlin Academy of Ancient Music has chosen very well indeed. Her fluent technique and her lively and intuitive responses to Müthel’s quirky ways, his unexpected excursions into ‘recitativo’ and his bravura gestures enliven the music at every turn. I have enjoyed Schornsheim’s playing in two earlier discs with Berlin Barock-Compagney, but nowhere more than here. The two Bach concertos also come over lucidly and vivaciously with strong contributions from harpsichordist Raphael Alpermann (BWV 1052), Zvi Meniker (fortepiano), Christoph Huntgeburth and Georg Kallweit (BWV 1044). A fine issue all round. Nicholas Anderson