MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

alternatively AmazonUK   AmazonUS



Johann Caspar Ferdinand FISCHER (1656-1746)
Le Journal du Printemps op. 1
Suite No. 2 in a minor [09:32]
Suite No. 1 in C [09:54]
Suite No. 7 in g minor [07:36]
Suite No. 3 in B flat [08:16]
Suite No. 4 in d minor [11:31]
Suite No. 6 in F [11:02]
Suite No. 8 in C [13:11]
L'Orfeo Barockorchester/Michi Gaigg
rec. 24-26 October 2005, Studio, SWR, Stuttgart, Germany. DDD
CPO 7771502 [77:39]


German music in the late 17th and early 18th century was dominated by the Italian and the French styles. Most composers aimed at a blend of the two, producing what was called the 'mixed taste', usually under the common French term 'goût réuni'. Some German composers were so strongly attracted to the French style that they aimed at copying it in their own works. They were called 'Lullists', after Jean-Baptiste Lully, the Italian-born composer who dominated music in France in the second half of the 17th century. Some of them even went to Paris to study with Lully, like Johann Sigismund Kusser (1660-1727), who published six suites in French style in 1682. Another composer who had been in Paris was Georg Bleyer (1647-after 1694). It is probably through him that Fischer became acquainted with the French style as Bleyer was a member of the court chapel in Schlackenwerth (Ostrov) in Bohemia, where Fischer, born in Schönfeld (Krásno), spent his youth.

Fischer worked the largest part of his long life in the service of elector Ludwig Wilhelm of Baden in Rastatt. He was appointed 'Kapellmeister' somewhere between 1791 and 1793. He composed instrumental pieces, sacred music and works for keyboard. His first printed music was a collection of eight suites for orchestra, published under the title 'Le Journal du Printemps' in Augsburg in 1695. These are written in purely French style, but there is no proof Fischer had ever been in Paris. It is interesting, though, that - apart from Cavalli's opera 'Serse' - these suites are the only music by a non-French composer represented in the 'Collection Philidor', a collection of scores which were popular at the French court and regularly performed there. This suggests that either Fischer had been in Paris after all or that there was some kind of contact between the composer and the French court. It is also an indication that Fischer's music was indeed considered 'French'. Although many suites 'in French style' were composed in Germany in the decades around 1700, most of them wouldn't be recognized as French by a French audience. Fischer's suites were an exception.

All suites begin with an overture, which is followed by a series of dances. Most suites also contain a passacaille or chaconne, ground-basses which French composers frequently included in their works. Pieces which often appeared in the French 'tragédie-lyrique' are also represented, like an 'Entrée' (Suites 4 and 8), a 'plainte' (Suite 2), a 'marche' (Suite 1) or an 'air' for a group of characters (here the 'Air des Combattans' in Suite 1). The scoring in five parts reflects the French taste too: the orchestra is divided in 'dessus', 'haute-contre', 'taille', 'quinte' and 'basse'. As these suites were published in Augsburg, Fischer had to adapt his works in some respect to the possibilities of most German court orchestras. For instance, the 'haute-contre' part is higher than in Lully's music, which makes it possible for them to be played by a violin rather than a viola. The performance on this disc also reflects German habits in that the pitch is a=415' rather than the lower French pitch (a=392'). As was common in France, oboes are playing colla parte with the strings. Occasionally two recorders are used, and in Suites 1 and 8 two trumpets are added which also play colla parte - something never practised in France. In this recording two 'basses de violon' are included in the bass section. These were the common string basses in French orchestras, but I wonder how many court orchestras in Germany would have had access to such instruments.

Fischer's collection of suites is quite often referred to in books and programme notes, but not very often played or recorded. To my knowledge this is the first next-to-complete recording of these suites; Suite No. 5 had to be left out because of a lack of space on the disc. And fortunately they get the best possible performances. L'Orfeo Barockorchester is a very fine ensemble, which - as the list of recordings in the booklet shows - has a preference for neglected repertoire. But even if there was competition in this music they need not fear, as they give a splendid account of Fischer's suites. The playing is vivid and colourful, powerful when needed (for instance in Suite 1) and introverted and tender when required (Suite 2: plainte; Suite 6: sarabande). In some movements percussion is added, which strengthens their rhythmic pulse, and which is fully in line with the performance practice in Paris in Lully's time.

I have greatly enjoyed this recording, both because of the quality of the music and the level of performance. I hope it will be possible to record the remaining suite at some time. I recommend this disc which shows the influence of the French style outside France in a most impressive way.

Johan van Veen


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos 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

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing




Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Return to Review 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.