JOHANN MELCHIOR MOLTER: Overture in C; Trumpet Concerto in D; Sonata grossa in g; Violin Concerto in F; Sinfonia in A; Concerto in F – Hans-Martin Rux, natural trumpet/ Martin Jopp, violin/ Main-Barockorchester Frankfurt – Aeolus multichannel SACD 10037, 78:00 [Distr. by Albany] *****:
Johann Molter (1696-1765) was born only eleven years after Bach, yet for that he is still consider somewhat of a “bridge” figure, moving from the death-throes of the late Baroque to the early years of the classical period. Like Bach, he attended the Eisenach Gymnasium and undoubtedly was also heir to the same sort of rigorous musical instruction the older master had. But Molter was more widely traveled and more in touch with the current Italian trends as well – not only imitating them, as Bach so often did, but incorporating them into his music in a far more advanced manner, and was a master at the Vivaldian style.
But he was also equally adept at the French style of Telemann as well, and displayed an amazing ability to move among styles with fluidity and considerable ease.
This SACD gives us examples of each of these varied styles and shows what a master Molter is. Each of these works, no matter if you prefer high baroque or low classical, Italian or French or German, is almost ruthlessly engaging, and you will not be able to move from your listing seat. The Main-Barockorchester Frankfurt is a superb period ensemble, as good as I have ever heard, and they deliver the goods here in spades. The SACD sound is truly spectacular, and its hard to imagine anything not recommendable able this excellent effort. By the way, I first came across Molter on an Ondine Classics album of his three clarinet concertos, along with the Mozart for another publication. Apparently fellow reviewer Laurence Vittes agrees with me.
— Steven Ritter