JOHANN JAKOB WALTHER: Suite No. 9 in C Minor; Suite No. 8 in E major; Aria No. 14 in G Minor; Suite No. 20 in C Minor; Serenata; Passacaglia No. 7 in D Minor – Les Plaisirs du Parnasse/ David Plantier, direction and violin – Zig-Zag

by | Oct 8, 2008 | Classical CD Reviews | 0 comments

JOHANN JAKOB WALTHER: Suite No. 9 in C Minor; Suite No. 8 in E major; Aria No. 14 in G Minor; Suite No. 20 in C Minor; Serenata; Passacaglia No. 7 in D Minor – Les Plaisirs du Parnasse/ David Plantier, direction and violin – Zig-Zag ZZT 060902, 73:29 **** [Distr. By Allegro]:

Walther was of course a great virtuoso on the violin. His Little Garden of the Lyre (1688) proved one of the most challenging and exquisite collections exploring all facets of violin playing (28 pieces) ever written. Both seasoned professionals and decent amateurs could find music in this collection to play, and the most advanced of them constitute the most advanced playing that was to be found in the era, with double-stopping, arpeggios, high positions, and difficult bowing techniques. At the same time they are also gorgeously inventive, and contain some wondrously beautiful pieces.

He was critical of the scordatura technique, whereby instrumentalists change the nature of tuning by adjusting the tightness of the strings, and consequently of its greatest exponent, Heinrich Biber (of Rosary Sonatas fame). Walther felt that the natural cycle of fifths was enough to present any composer with sufficient variety in tonal nuance.

This selection employs a cello, theorbo, and clavecin/organ as continuo. The playing is lushly rendered, colorful, and masterly. We are given a variety of suites in differing keys, with the consequence that the greatest possible contrast is afforded by this judicious selection. Sound is close and comforting without any sort of too-near distortion, with the right amount of sound around the instruments. A fine baroque filler in all ways.

— Steven Ritter

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