Time for a review of classical CDs that were outstanding in 2014 . My lists for the previous years: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, (2011 – “Almost”), 2010, (2010 – “Almost”), 2009, (2009 – “Almost”), 2008, (2008 - "Almost") 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004.
# 6 - New Release
W.F.Bach, Harpsichord Concertos & Sinfonias, Il Convito, Maude Gratton (harpsichord, director), Mirare
Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, Harpsichord Concertos & Sinfonias
Il Convito / Maude Gratton (harpsichord, director)
In accounts that one may have read, “Bad Willy F.B” is depicted as a capricious, frittering man, unsuccessfully trying to escape his father’s shadow. It’s bound to be inaccurate to some degree, but there’ll be truth to it, too. Just look at his excellent portrait by Friedrich Georg Weitsch (on Wikipedia), which shows a flamboyantly rakish W.F., wearing a hat with such a coy attitude, you can see the feather in that cap, although it’s not even depicted. Now compare that to Thomas Gainsborough’s portrait of the youngest Bach son, Johann Christian, which is equally excellent and couldn’t be more different, with the serious, collected, confident young man shown. It makes the stories of W.F. as a socially maladroit, wildly talented virtuoso and reluctant pioneer of free-lance musicianship quite believable. Well, the point is I’ll plop this one into the player many, many more times, because maladroit or not, the early and late compositions on this disc alike light my fire for Johann Sebastian’s boy. The liner notes are very enjoyable and well translated from French into English and German.
# 6 – Reissue
G.F.Handel, Saul, soloists, Concerto Köln, René Jacobs, Harmonia Mundi
George Frederic Handel, Saul
R.Joshua, E.Bell, L.Zazzo, J.Ovenden, G.Saks
Concerto Köln / René Jacobs