Walther & Westhoff, Vol. 1

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
Johann Jakob Walther and Johann Paul Westhoff were Dresden court violinists and composers of the late seventeenth century. Their music for solo violin falls into a tradition at whose apex stand the sonatas and partitas for solo violin of J.S. Bach. Bach may or may not have known these specific works, but the "Suites for solo violin" of Westhoff, especially, seem clear predecessors to the Bach partitas with their triple stops, implied polyphony which is not quite on Bach's level, of course, and free, individualistic treatment of dance movements. Hear the Gigue from the "Suite I in A minor," track 5, with its chromatic ground-bass-like melody line, inverted halfway through ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
Johann Jakob Walther and Johann Paul Westhoff were Dresden court violinists and composers of the late seventeenth century. Their music for solo violin falls into a tradition at whose apex stand the sonatas and partitas for solo violin of J.S. Bach. Bach may or may not have known these specific works, but the "Suites for solo violin" of Westhoff, especially, seem clear predecessors to the Bach partitas with their triple stops, implied polyphony which is not quite on Bach's level, of course, and free, individualistic treatment of dance movements. Hear the Gigue from the "Suite I in A minor," track 5, with its chromatic ground-bass-like melody line, inverted halfway through -- there is nothing precisely similar in Bach's pieces, but the simultaneously intellectual and flashy treatment of the common jig is comparable and quite arresting. The Walther sonatas are a bit more distant from Bach, cast in large single movements made up of little affective chunks; they look backward to the roots of the independent violin sonata whose history is nicely sketched in the booklet rather than forward to the unified conceptions of the Italian sonata. But they are full of intriguing violin effects, and the large "Imitazione del Cuccu" that closes the disc is an unusually expansive, lazily evocative example of its bird-call genre. The Walther sonatas are beautifully accompanied by the trio of Paula Chateauneuf on theorbo, Richard Tunnicliffe on bass viol, and Timothy Roberts on harpsichord. The question mark is the playing of violinist Pavlo Beznosiuk, who has made several fine recordings of music of this period. Here his playing is well to the quiet, introspective side, which is an odd choice for virtuoso violin music. At times, in some of the quirkier little Westhoff dance movements, it works; at other times you want him to turn up the voltage a bit. Still, the pairing of these two composers is an instructive one the works of the two alternate on the disc that helps illuminate Bach's world and uncovers music that's attractive in its own right.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/2/2005
  • Label: Etcetera
  • EAN: 8711801100302
  • Catalog Number: 1224

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Sonata No. 8 for violin & basso continuo in C major - Johann Jakob Walther & Pavlo Beznosiuk (8:13)
  2. 2–5 Suite (Partita) for solo violin No. 1 in A minor - Pavlo Beznosiuk & Johann Paul von Westhoff (8:52)
  3. 3 Sonata No. 9 for violin & basso continuo in D major - Johann Jakob Walther & Pavlo Beznosiuk (7:38)
  4. 4 Sonata No. 6 for violin & basso continuo in B flat major - Johann Jakob Walther & Pavlo Beznosiuk (6:05)
  5. 8–11 Suite (Partita) for solo violin No. 6 in D major - Pavlo Beznosiuk & Johann Paul von Westhoff (8:06)
  6. 9 Aria for violin & basso continuo in E minor - Johann Jakob Walther & Pavlo Beznosiuk (5:44)
  7. 10 Sonata No. 7 for violin & basso continuo in A major - Johann Jakob Walther & Pavlo Beznosiuk (8:10)
  8. 14–17 Suite (Partita) for solo violin No. 4 in C major - Pavlo Beznosiuk & Johann Paul von Westhoff (8:04)
  9. 15 Imitatione del Cuccu, for violin & bass continuo in G major - Johann Jakob Walther & Pavlo Beznosiuk (8:01)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Pavlo Beznosiuk Primary Artist
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