Janet See / Davitt Moroney

Bach: Flute Sonatas, Vol.1

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The first volume of J.S. Bach's flute sonatas from Classical Express presents two undoubted masterpieces and two fine but less challenging works. The Sonata in E minor, BWV 1034, and Sonata in E major, BWV 1035, open the program with vivacity and appealing color, but neither of these pieces is especially advanced in technique or musical thought. Of greater interest are the Sonata in A major, BWV 1032, and the Sonata in B minor, BWV 1030, in which Bach's technical and expressive demands are of the highest order. The flute and harpsichord are evenly matched, and their interplay is elaborate. Janet See plays a wooden transverse flute, which produces a warm, round timbre in the lowest register, yet it becomes penetrating in the upper range. Sounding remarkably close to the recorder, the instrument is nonetheless agile and more varied in tone, and See controls it well, particularly in the long lines of the slow movements. Harpsichordist Davitt Moroney provides the continuo in the first two sonatas, yet the lack of a fully written part makes his playing, proficient though it is, seem routine. His work in the A major and B minor sonatas is easier to appreciate, since the contrapuntal accompaniment allows for satisfying displays of his dexterity and precision.

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