This disc forms part of Phoenix Edition’s C.P.E. Bach Edition.
Originally recorded in 1982, the sound quality is good, with
a clear flute sound and an effective balance between flute and
accompanying instruments. The acoustic of the recording venue
is ideal for this repertoire, lending a gentle and warm reverb
to the sound.
The sonatas are arranged here chronologically, making for an
interesting overview of C.P.E.’s compositional style. The first
sonata, the G major WQ134 was composed in 1735, and like most
of the works on the disc has a three movement slow-fast-fast
form. The main themes have a distinctive character, featuring
dotted rhythms, triplets and a sense of well-honed melodic simplicity.
The E minor sonata has some distinctive baroque features in
its compositional style, and one can detect the influence of
J.S. Bach. The opening adagio radiates poise and lyricism, while
the elegant Menuet with Variations is played at a relatively
fast pace, but with a good sense of style.
The second G major sonata, WQ127 was one of three on this disc
which are likely to have been written either for Quantz or for
his patron, Frederick the Great. The first movement possesses
a gentle singing style, and the performance is highly convincing.
The mood becomes lighter as the work progresses, and the final
dance movement has a lilting feel. The D major sonata, WQ 129
is generally brighter, with sparkling melodies and flowing triplet
motifs in the final movement. The minor-key WQ128 is the longest
of the six on this disc and makes lovely use of dynamics and
beautifully crafted phrases. The opening Andante is expressively
played with rich tone and sombre concentration. The second movement
contrasts well, with fast moving finger movement executed with
evenness and clear articulation. The finale is an elegant dance-style
movement with variations all played with charm.
The final work in this collection is the well known Hamburger
Sonata, composed much later than the other works here, in
1786. The difference is immediately obvious, and there is a
much stronger sense of the Classical style than the Baroque.
The Sonata has just two movements, and the opening Allegretto
is played with an enjoyable sense of lightness and some well-conceived
ornamentation in the harpsichord part. Eckart Haupt brings out
the simplicity of the line very well, and allows the music space
to breathe. The second movement is unhurried, and somewhat slower
than I am used to, with a tempo variation bringing out the character
of the different sections. There is a strong sense of personality
that comes through in this interpretation, which makes for a
wholly convincing performance.
Overall, the playing on this disc is consistently of a high
standard, and delivers uncomplicated interpretations of well
written music. Haupt’s flute sound is rich and clear, and free
from imposing vibrato. The playing is expressive and well phrased,
and the continuo is solid and reliable throughout, with elegance
and poise well to the fore.