BBC Music Magazine: Chamber Choice of the Month February 2012
The Father, the Son and the Godfather is a snapshot from a time when art music escaped from the courts and churches. Domestic music-making in the company of close friends became a treasured extension of social interaction, and the resulting boom in ‘market opportunities’ offered composers a tremendous freedom in their choices of genres and styles, as demonstrated by this colourful programme. &&&It features three composers whose music could not be more different, taking into account that all works were composed during the span of only two generations by authors who knew each other better than just well: J.S. Bach (the father), C.P.E. Bach (the son) and Georg Philipp Telemann (CPE’s godfather). We thus get Johann Sebastian’s rigorous, intellectually demanding Sonata in B minor, ample examples of the elegant and tender Empfindsamer Stil of his son C.P.E., and in two Trio Sonatas a taste of Telemann’s ‘world music’, in which the composer mixes elements of folk music from Poland with French and Italian styles of art music. This is the first recording of Paradiso Musicale, an ensemble featuring the acclaimed recorder player Dan Laurin and made up of an unusual combination of instruments: recorder, viola, cello and harpsichord. The members all have experiences from a number of musical genres, including avant-garde styles, and with musicians such as John McLaughlin, Prince and Frank Zappa as inspiration, their ultimate goal is to achieve the feeling of a jam session when performing. As can be heard on this disc – for instance in the final track, a Telemann Allegro – the result is exhilarating.