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Albinoni, Bertouch & Mozart

Georg von Bertouch Trio Sonatas

:Sonata No.8 in G major. From the Music-Book of Jacob Mestmacher : March No.106 / Aria No.248 with variations. Sonata No.15 in F minor.
From the Music-Book of Jacob Mestmacher
: Paspie de la Compertanje No.75. Sonata No.11 in F major. From the Music-Book of Jacob Mestmacher : Menuetto No.13 / Gavotte Alternativement No.53. Sonata No.21 in B flat minor. Sonata No. 17 in E flat major. Sonata No.12 in D minor. From the Music-Book of Jacob Mestmacher : Allegro et Trio No.166. Sonata No.14 in G minor.

Bergen Barokk


Toccata Classics TOCC0006 [66 mins]



These recent releases make for piquant comparisons.

Toccata Classics' Bertouch is everything a CD of baroque chamber music should be, if so only for the 'ordinary listener' who seeks entertainment plus a little novelty and education on the way.

A Norwegian based in Oslo, Georg von Bertouch (1668-1743) will be a new name to most readers and collectors; Scandinavian music of the 17th & 18th Centuries is little known, especially that from outside Copenhagen and Stockholm, so this release characterises the enterprising Toccata Classics policy.

Well played and recorded in Bergen (2001 & 2003). Presentation clear and with all the information you could want, it is a wholly delightful collection of trio sonatas ringing the changes on violins, flute and recorder (both the latter nicely contrasted in the last sonata), interspersed with smaller pieces. The alternative instrumentations are documented as having been authorised by writers of the time. Charming and fresh, with 'an innocent, spontaneous and infectious appeal', we are fairly told.

Mozart Cello Sonatas
Sonatas for Keyboard and Violin (transcribed for cello by Kniazev)
Nos.18 in G K301, 24 in F K376 & 27 in F K379 .

Alexandre Kniazev
(cello) Edouard Oganessian (Piano)

Toccata Classics TOCC0002

Not so the rather blatant special pleading for Mozart's sonatas for piano and violin, here played on cello and grand piano - "Mozart wrote 34 sonatas for violin - - not even one for cello - - the cello brings out the rich proto-Romantic sonorities implicit in the music...

This might interest cellists who feel starved of repertoire, but the recording in Moscow (1997) is hampered by distorted balance in favour of the 'soloist' Alexander Kniasev. The accompaniment by Edouard Oganessian (more organist than pianist according to his CV) is routine. Stick with your favourites (MusicWeb recommends Perlman/Barenboim) or try Cooper/Podger if you don't know theirs?

Albinoni 6 Sonate da chiesa,Op. 4 & 12 Trattenimenti armonici per camera,Op. 6

Locatelli Trio (Elizabeth Wallfisch vln, Paul Nicholson hpd,Richard Tunnicliffe vc)

Hyperion Dyad CDD 22048 (159 minutes)

Hyperion offers you 18 short Albinoni trio sonatas (72 tracks !) for half the price of their original release. They were composed for the domestic market, not too difficult; the church sonatas ("pseudo-Op 4") 'eminently rational - chromaticism is strictly rationed', Trattenimenti armonici per camera (Op. 6) 'recreational not functional'.

Really violin sonatas, the only variety is in the alternation of harpsichord and organ for continuo, and that is not enough. Only the most determined enthusiasts will get through the two CDs, but they may serve for baroque background listening.

Peter Grahame Woolf