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Johann Jakob FROBERGER (1616-1667)
Froberger’s Traces
Johannes Maria Bogner (clavichord)
rec. Kartause Mauerbach, Sacristan’s Cell, Austria, 2016
FRA BERNARDO FB1703213 [53:40]

This is the second recording of the music of Johann Jakob Froberger that I have listened to recently, the other being by Anne Marie Dragosits on Divox (CDX-71602), with both suffering from extra-musical noises. Yes, I accept that the clavichord is a difficult instrument to record, but here it sounds as if a microphone has been placed right under Johannes Maria Bogner’s nose with almost every breath audible, and in this case I do often find it obtrusive.

Johann Jacob Froberger was a German baroque composer and one of the greatest harpsichord virtuosos of his day, and was seen as being a major figure in the development of music, especially of the Partita, or Suite for harpsichord with its many dance like movements. Most recording artists perform his music on the harpsichord, indeed all my other recordings utilise the much better-known instrument, and whilst the resulting sound is pleasing, the question of why use a clavichord, an instrument more suited to the upper class parlours of the day, still baffles me. I prefer the sound of the harpsichord, especially in “Auff die Ma˙erin”, as here in this recording it sounds as if Johannes Maria Bogner is leaning over the instrument plucking individual strings by hand, which is something you don’t get in other recordings. The instrument sounds more suited to the faster and louder pieces such as the Canzona VI ex a, and the Fantasia ex g sopra Sol, La, Re, as it is in these pieces the quality of the instrument and the performance shines through.

So a “Limited Edition” recording that is both intriguing and infuriating, I like the playing of Johannes Maria Bogner, as well as the notes that he co-wrote, I just feel he has been let down by the often too close recording, it sounds at times as if he had a heavy cold, and I feel that the clavichord is less suited to this music than the usual harpsichord, and feel that this recording will not challenge my preference for recordings presented on that instrument.

Stuart Sillitoe

1 Toccata II ex d [3:44]
2 Cappriccio III ex d  [4:01]
3 Partite “Auff die Ma˙erin”  [11:04]
4 Toccata VI ex a  [3:39]
5 Tombeau, fait ŕ Paris sur la mort de Monsieur Blancheroche [6:44]
6 Ricercar I ex c [5:22]
7Toccata I ex a  [4:06]
8 Canzona VI ex a [2:58]
Suite XXX ex a
9 Plainte, faite a Londres pour passer la Melancholie [4:03]
10 Gigue [1:25]
11 Courante [1:26]
12 Sarabande [1:57]
13 Fantasia ex g sopra Sol, La, Re.   [3:19]



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