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Daniel Gottlob Türk Keyboard sonatas

Michael Tsalka

Grand Piano GP 627-628 & 629-30

Tsalka's releases of solo keyboard music by Türk are especially exciting to me, having regularly been plied with Türk's advice on interpretation when learning to play clavichord with Paul Simmonds, who has recorded extensively and regularly quoted Türk in his classes.

But this was a first opportunity to have heard the whole of his Easy Keyboard Sonatas of 1783. Not so easy, especially as to be heard in exemplary interpretations, flexible and with subtle nuances, by Michael Tsalka on four interesting and fully described historic instruments. He is preparing a critical edition of all Türk's sonatas for Artaria.

Reviewing releases by major distributors is always a lottery with only a proportion of those listed provided for review. I have belatedly acquired a copy of Tsalka's previous volume [GrandPiano 627-28] - equally desirable, with authoritative essays about the importance of his famous Klavierschule (1789): Instructions in Playing the Clavier for Teachers and Students, the actual music to follow on screen, and another essay about the original instruments Tsalka has used, each of them featured in both the sets.

Hearing each of the instruments for 10-15 minutes one after the other makes for a delightful listening experience, with the ear constantly attentive to the remarkable range of keyboard sound in the times before Steinway practically took over today's concert halls.

I hope Michael Tsalka might follow up with a DVD on these instruments?

Meanwhile, do enjoy seeing him on YouTube [R] playing a modern clavichord, con molto espressione, in the slow movement of Daniel Gottlob Türk's Sonata in C.

Peter Grahame Woolf

Marais & Forqueray

Trio Sonnerie Linn CKD 434

& Michael Tsalka Grand Piano GP 627-628 & 629-30

Several marvellous discs of rare 18C. music.

Sonnerie offers trios and gamba solos by Marais, including the monumental La Gamme (900 bars played continuously on an ascending harmonic scale), coupled with Forqueray fils' suite No 1 for gamba.

Nothing you're likely to know; all of it riveting, original music presented with scholarship and given enduring vitality by Sonnerie.

Peter Grahame Woolf