Johann Gottfried Müthel: Concertos and Chamber Music

Johann Gottfried Müthel: Concertos and Chamber Music

by Musica Alta Ripa
     
 
Originally recorded in 1988 and 1992 by German audiophile historical-performance label MDG, this double-CD set contains music by a composer that will still be unfamiliar even to most fans of music from the middle of the eighteenth century. Johann Gottfried Müthel was one of J.S. Bach's last students, working with the master in the year of his death, 1750. Bach might

Overview

Originally recorded in 1988 and 1992 by German audiophile historical-performance label MDG, this double-CD set contains music by a composer that will still be unfamiliar even to most fans of music from the middle of the eighteenth century. Johann Gottfried Müthel was one of J.S. Bach's last students, working with the master in the year of his death, 1750. Bach might have rolled over in his grave had he gotten vibrations of Müthel's attitudes toward composing: Müthel was a proto-Romantic who believed in composing only when he was in the "appropriate frame of mind." And he stuck to that position, producing an irregular oeuvre that mostly focused on the keyboard and chamber genres represented here. Müthel traveled around northern Germany in search of a suitable position and soaked up various influences that show up in the music here: the simplicity of Polish dance music he probably inherited from Telemann, the virtuoso flute writing from Quantz and the Italian school, and above all the spirit of free expression from C.P.E. Bach. The music does not reflect the younger Bach's empfindsamer Stil as such; Müthel was perhaps a kindred spirit rather than a follower (and it would be interesting to trace the creative interchange). Müthel's spirit of freedom shows itself in odd movement shapes rather than in emotionalism. Consider the nearly 19-minute opening movement of the "Concerto in B flat major for harpsichord and strings" (CD 2, track 1), where the basic allegro material is interrupted by instrumental recitatives and even more unusual arioso passages. The "Concerto in D minor for harpsichord, two bassoons, and strings" (CD 2, tracks 6-8) is even odder than it sounds, adding the bassoons only in the central movement. On the first disc, the extremely flashy "Sonata in D major for flute and harpsichord" is juxtaposed with the naïve "Polonaises," which sound like forerunners to Mozart's "German Dances." The music is not profound, but it's distinctive enough to stick in the heads of nonspecialists, and MDG's sound and the playing of the Hannover group Musica Alta Ripa (that name means Hannover, via a series of German-Latin verbal devices) are up to the label's sterling standards. MDG generally puts its resources into sound engineering rather than design, but this time the buyer is favored with an image of a painting of Müthel, making him look like an illustration for an edition of Goethe's Sorrows of Young Werther. Anyone who has enjoyed the music of C.P.E. Bach, and has marveled at its seeming isolation from other musical trends, will find this a worthwhile collection addition.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/16/2008
Label:
Mdg
UPC:
0760623045207
catalogNumber:
3090452

Tracks

  1. Polonaise for transverse flute, 2 violins, cello & harpsichord in G major  - Johann Gottfried Müthel
  2. Duet for 2 harpsichords in C major: Moderato  - Johann Gottfried Müthel  - Gregor Hollmann  - Bernward Lohr
  3. Duet for 2 harpsichords in C major: Un poco adagio  - Johann Gottfried Müthel  - Gregor Hollmann  - Bernward Lohr
  4. Duet for 2 harpsichords in C major: Allegro  - Johann Gottfried Müthel  - Gregor Hollmann  - Bernward Lohr
  5. Sonata for transverse flute & harpsichord in D major: Adagio  - Johann Gottfried Müthel  - Karl Kaiser  - Bernward Lohr
  6. Sonata for transverse flute & harpsichord in D major: Allegro ma non troppo  - Johann Gottfried Müthel  - Karl Kaiser  - Bernward Lohr
  7. Sonata for transverse flute & harpsichord in D major: Cantabile  - Johann Gottfried Müthel  - Karl Kaiser  - Bernward Lohr
  8. Polonaise for 2 violins & cello in F major  - Johann Gottfried Müthel  - Guido Larisch
  9. Polonaise for 2 violins & cello in B flat major  - Johann Gottfried Müthel  - Guido Larisch
  10. Harpsichord Sonata in F major: Allegro  - Johann Gottfried Müthel  - Gregor Hollmann
  11. Harpsichord Sonata in F major: Largo e staccato  - Johann Gottfried Müthel  - Gregor Hollmann
  12. Harpsichord Sonata in F major: Presto  - Johann Gottfried Müthel  - Gregor Hollmann
  13. Concerto for harpsichord & strings in B flat major: Allegro (Recitativo: adagio - poco adagio. Allegro  - Johann Gottfried Müthel
  14. Concerto for harpsichord & strings in B flat major: Allegro  - Johann Gottfried Müthel
  15. Concerto for 2 bassoons, strings & continuo in E flat major: Moderato  - Johann Gottfried Müthel
  16. Concerto for 2 bassoons, strings & continuo in E flat major: Adagio  - Johann Gottfried Müthel
  17. Concerto for 2 bassoons, strings & continuo in E flat major: Allegro  - Johann Gottfried Müthel
  18. Concerto for harpsichord, 2 bassoons, strings & continuo in D minor: Moderato  - Johann Gottfried Müthel
  19. Concerto for harpsichord, 2 bassoons, strings & continuo in D minor: Adagio  - Johann Gottfried Müthel
  20. Concerto for harpsichord, 2 bassoons, strings & continuo in D minor: Allegro di molto  - Johann Gottfried Müthel

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