One of the most grown-up review sites around

2020
54,928 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

BUY NOW 

Crotchet   AmazonUK   AmazonUS

Georg Anton [Jirí Antonín] BENDA (1722 - 1795)
Clavier Sonatas
Sonata No. 1 in B flat major (1757)
Sonata No. 2 in G major (1757)
Sonata No. 3 in D minor (1757)
Sonata No. 4 in F major (1757)
Sonata No. 5 in G minor (1757)
Sonata No. 6 in D major (1757)
Antonio Piricone (piano)
Recorded at the Royal Academy, Aarhus, 4 August 2002
CLASSICO CLASSCD 488 [65.52]


One of the musicians who formed part of the great diaspora of Bohemian talent in the eighteenth century Benda’s family moved to Prussia where he pursued a distinguished career as Kapellmeister. There he wrote widely for the stage, church and more intimate locations, producing music such as this 1757 set of Clavier Sonatas. Despite some stylistic dissimilarity the geographical and musical journey Benda took allied him to such contemporaries or near contemporaries as Graun, Hasse, Fasch and Schulz. Even so his aesthetic here represents a personalised and individual one and these Berlin-published sonatas stand on the cusp between the baroque and the classical.

All six sonatas adhere to the expected three-movement sonata principle and Antonio Piricone’s is their first complete recording on the piano (harpsichord recordings have, of course, preceded him in the full set of six). His articulation is frequently princely, pianistic obviously but with an appreciation of appropriate harpsichord sonority, though one that stresses the lyricism at the heart of these works (his apologia in the booklet deals wittily with the idea of playing Benda on the piano). He catches precisely that stately edge in the opening movement of the G major and finds the right weight of articulation in the right hand in the affecting Andante assai. Alive to Benda’s grace as well as his lyricism, to the courtly phrase as much as to the more interior one, he is especially fine in the F major. Here in the opening Allegretto tempo, phrasing, hand weight and distribution are splendidly judged. In a sonata as quirkily unbalanced as the G minor – relatively long first movement, concisely affecting Andante and quick fire Menuetto finale – Piricone characterises each movement with genuine acumen. Sensing some probing uncertainties in the Lento of the D major, the sixth of the set, we encounter in this performance intimations of stylistic and expressive things to come – a really imaginatively played and understatedly prescient little movement, topped and tailed by the newly asserted confident externality of the surrounding Allegros.

Non-prescriptive ears will welcome Benda on the piano especially when it has been done as persuasively as here. The warm acoustic blurs nothing – those witty hand exchanges in the Allegro finale of the D minor for example are full of attractive clarity. The notes are pertinent and straightforwardly honest and in Piricone Benda has a most worthy and sensitive champion.

Jonathan Woolf

 


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews


all Bridge reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

April2022


Chopin Bruce Liu


Ingeneri Volume 2


Mondonville - Titon et L'Aurore


Telemann - French Cantatas 1

 

March 2022


Brahms Symphony 4
MacMillan Larghetto for Orchestra


Bruch Violin Concertos


Debussy Preludes Book 2


Jan-Peter de GRAAFF
Cello Concertos

La Nuit étoilé
Berlioz. Holmes

 


Return to Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.