A German Bouquet = SCHOP: Nobleman; MUFFAT: Sonata in D; KRIEGER: Sonata No. 2 in D; BUXTEHUDE: Sonata No. 5 in C; BACH: Fugue in g, BVW 1026; Sonata in e, BWV 1023; PISENDEL: Sonata in D – Trio Settecento with Rachel Barton Pine, v. – Cedille 90000 114, 78:30 **** [Distr. by Naxos]:
Rachel Barton Pine has really taken to this period stuff, and that kind of makes me sad. She indicated in one of her program notes that her Handel sonatas album a few years back was sort of a first stage in her evolution towards pure period practice, but I really enjoyed that album and am not as sure I would have liked the “purer” version. Anyway, I must say that her expertise on the baroque violin surpasses much of what we hear these days, and her musicality is such that a listener’s interest never flags.
The composers above, representing a flavorful and flowery period of the baroque, and as a compliment to the recent Italian album by these same forces, are some of the finest of that era, especially when the idea of trio sonatas, violin sonatas, and spectacularly difficult violin writing come into play. Barton Pine and forces don’t hesitate to explore and exploit all of the varied quirks of the repertory, using different bows and instruments when necessary, like the cello alternating with viola da gamba, and the harpsichord with postiv organ. The notes reflect on the need to change articulations and dynamics when mixing it up like this, and no wonder—none of the instruments possess such a sound as to dominate the stage, and any subtle inflection of aural difference can make a work seem completely congruent or on edge with the composer’s intentions according to style, something that the performers have to try and detect.
The virtuosity and spirit are stunning here, going from one set of interesting musical challenges to the next, and carrying us along for the ride in a spate of emotional bliss. For those who think all Baroque music sounds alike, listen carefully to this disc, as it will prove quite the eye-opener. Barton Pine and associates have done it again, and further trips to England and France are promised. Enthusiastically recommended!
— Steven Ritter