> Piracy: Baroque Music Stolen for the Recorder [PLS]: Classical CD Reviews- Jun2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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PIRACY: Baroque Music Stolen for the Recorder
J S BACH. Trio Sonata in G, BWV 530; Inventions Nos 4, 8 and 13; Chorale, Wach Auf; Allemande from French Suite No 2; Sonata in E Minor
PURCELL: A New Ground; Ah! How Sweet it is to Love; Music For a While.
SCHMELZER: Sonata Cu Cu.
E FINCH: Solo called the Cuckoo.
GEMINIANI: Lady Ann Bothwel’s Lament.
Genevieve Lacey, recorder.
Linda Kent, harpsichord and chamber organ.
ABC - ANTIPODES SERIES - 472 226-2 [59’34"]

The "Piracy" of the title is a reference to the fact that these are pieces for recorder (with keyboard accompaniment) appropriated from other instruments. The disc does not say directly who has been responsible for the arrangements, though these are, I suspect, fairly straightforward ones. In principle this is reasonable enough as many transcriptions for recorder, and indeed for every other instrument under the sun, have always been made and two from the baroque era appear on this disc. However, whether intending purchasers wish to hear a whole CD of them – luckily, maybe, this runs for just a touch under an hour – is a matter for each and everyone of them to judge for themselves.

Much of the music here is by J S Bach and a large part of that is taken from keyboard originals of one kind or another. As the CD insert points out, the sound of a recorder is not dissimilar to that of a baroque chamber organ, so it was perhaps natural to adapt a trio sonata and the celebrated chorale prelude on Wach Auf. Bach is also raided for a movement from one of the French Suites, three of the lively Inventions and the short Violin Sonata in E Minor.

In contrast, the Purcell transcriptions come from stage or vocal works (though A New Ground is known in both instrumental and vocal versions). These are all very enjoyable and excellently played but in all, or virtually all, cases the original is preferable and in these days of great accessibility, is available in at least one CD version. However, Schmelzer’s Cu Cu Sonata, originally for violin, is much less well known, as is the rather later English example by Edward Finch(!) Both are sonatas, in several brief, continuous sections, and both show off Miss Lacey’s very considerable virtuosity. Even more so does Folies (La Follia), variations on a grand bass, by the French composer Marin Marais with additions by Corelli. Geminiani’s setting, originally violin, of a Scots air attributed to Mary Queen of Scots’ music master Rizzio, is haunting indeed. I found these last four tracks more interesting than the rest.

Genevieve Lacey is Australian, who has studied both in Australia and in Europe, and is clearly a player to be reckoned with. She does attempt to provide variety by playing on various different types of recorder, among them voice flute, descant and treble. Linda Kent is American born but a long-time Australian resident. She accompanies on chamber-organ (in more than half the 18 tracks) and on single and double manual harpsichords. Good recording and presentation; a cautious welcome, then, for this release with the suggestion that it is most sensibly listened to a few tracks at a time. Antipodes, by the way, is a division of ABC Classics.

Philip L Scowcroft


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