Kirnberger, MŸthel, Nichelmann

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Kirnberger,Máthel,Nichelmann
LABELS: Capriccio
WORKS: Keyboard Concerto in C minor
PERFORMER: Christine Schornsheim (harpsichord); Berliner Barock-Compagney
I very much enjoyed an earlier disc of music by Bach’s sons, played by harpsichordist Christine Schornsheim and the Berlin Barock-Compagney. Their new release is of comparable merit, though further off the beaten track. What Kirnberger, Müthel and Nichelmann had in common was their music teacher, JS Bach. Kirnberger has a further significance in that he preserved, copied, annotated and transmitted Bach’s music. Müthel, Bach’s last pupil, was perhaps a more interesting composer and certainly a more original one. Fortepiano rather than harpsichord has been chosen for his Concerto, properly reflecting developments in keyboard instrument building. Nichelmann sang as a boy under Bach at Leipzig during the early 1730s, later becoming one of Frederick the Great’s court harpsichordists at Berlin. Though from time to time each of these three composers hints at the style, or perhaps more correctly the discipline, of their uniquely erudite master, their music nevertheless speaks with a personal voice. Certainly, in choosing the keyboard concerto as a medium they were following a trend set by Bach. This music is stylistically transitional, neither wholly Baroque nor Classical, and containing all the interest, contrast, paradox and expressive tension that so often characterises art on a cusp. These are rewarding concertos, vital in their outer movements, full of galant sensibility in the personal expression of slow ones. A splendid release. Nicholas Anderson