Archive for April, 2008

roman: flute sonatas and a swedish mass

April 13, 2008

In her new two-CD set Johann Helmich Roman’s flute sonatas (Caprice 2007; CAP 22060), flutist Maria Bania provides a well-written short biography of this “father of Swedish music”. Stockholm-born Roman (1694-1758), a talented violinist, was in London between 1716 and 1721 and played in Handel’s orchestras (the King’s Theatre and later the Royal Academy). Thus he participated at at least seven of Handel’s operas; “operas at the highest European level and with the most eminent singers of his time.” Unsurprisingly, “it was a reluctant Roman who returned to a Stockholm that had neither opera house nor public concerts.”

I have sympathy for the man. (more…)


bach on the piano

April 3, 2008

After years away from the studio, Murray Perahia has issued a new CD with three of Bach’s partitas. The official Perahia website, maintained by Sony, provides audio samples of the new recording. As reviews are being written, we will in all likelihood once again have to endure the silly arguments for and against playing Bach on this, that or the other instrument.

To be sure, Perahia himself has an open-mindedness about the issue that many other pianists (and sadly enough many harpsichord lovers) seem to lack. In this interview, for example, he is quoted as saying “I think the pursuit of authenticity is fine. There’s nothing against it, but it’s not the only way.” (more…)