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Sonata
Tomaso Giovanni ALBINONI (1671-1750/1751)
Sonata in A minor from 12 Trattenimenti armonici op.6 no.6 (c.1711) [10:44]
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Sonata in C major, BWV 1033 (c.1731) [8:59]
George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759)
“Fitzwilliam Sonata” in D minor, HWV 367a, (c.1725) [8:28]
Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764)
Suite for flute and guitar (Arranged by Adam Pounds, b.1954) (?) [7:32]
Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788)
Flute Sonata in D major, H561 (1747) [8:58]
Dinah Pounds (flute)
Adam Pounds (guitar continuo)
rec. St Philip’s Church Cambridge, 17 October 2020 & April 2013 (Rameau)
CAMBRIDGE RECORDINGS CAMREC008 [47:00]

The album showcases the talents of flautist Dinah Pounds. She is accompanied by her husband Adam, the composer and guitarist. The guitar acts as the continuo; it provides the bass line and chordal progressions for the music. It is important to recall that continuo was written out not in full but in shorthand. Subject to interpretation by the performers, it can be played on the organ, harpsichord, lute, cello, bassoon, and so on; the instruments are interchangeable. On this disc, the guitar acts as a perfect companion to the flute.

Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni was an Italian violinist and composer. He wrote a vast amount of music, including dozens of operas, concertos and symphonies, and countless sonatas for a variety of instrumental combinations. Interestingly, Bach used several of Albinoni’s themes in his own compositions. The liner notes do not say what A minor sonata this is. In fact, it is the sixth from 12 Trattenimenti armonici op. 6 dated around 1711. It would appear to have originally been composed for violin and basso continuo. This delightful work is presented in four contrasting movements.

The next number is by Bach. It has been suggested that the Sonata in C major BWV 1033 may be a joint effort between Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach and his father. Certainly, the earliest manuscript is in Carl’s hand. It is usually dated to around 1731. This splendid Sonata defies historical analysis.

Handel’s Fitzwilliam Sonatas were so called because the musicologist Thurston Dart found the surviving manuscripts in the Fitzwilliam Library in Cambridge. The present work’s full title is Sonata in D minor HWV 367a in seven movements. The liner notes say that the third, Furioso, has been omitted due to the unsuitability of the continuo for guitar, as have been the last two movements, Andante and Tempo di Minuet, which would seem to have been added by an editor. The sonata played here features all the charm one expects from Handel.

Jean-Philippe Rameau was a French composer and theorist best known for his operas. In his younger years, he composed some instrumental music. The present Suite is an arrangement of several his pieces by Adam Pounds: Prelude, Gavotte I and II, Contredanse, and Passepied I and II, all written around 1745. The booklet notes do not give the original sources of these movements but the Suite is appealing and well-balanced.

The final work in this CD is Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s Flute Sonata in D major. It is commonly numbered H.561, and was probably composed in Berlin in 1747. It is vibrant and admirably suited to the present instrumental combination. Look out for some enchanting modulations as the Sonata proceeds.

The liner notes are light on detail. Dates of composition, where known or surmised, are not given; in Albinoni’s case there is more than one A minor sonata. It is difficult to read the track listing, printed on top of a black and white picture. The CD is also a bit short but the price of 7 reflects that. (One can order from Adam Pound’s webpage.)

I enjoyed this music. The present arrangement is a happy combination of flute and guitar that makes for pleasant and enjoyable listening. The playing is excellent, and the repertoire is well chosen. There is nothing to challenge the listener. just sheer enjoyment. What more can we ask for?

John France
 
 



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