Barthold Kuijken / Robert Kohnen / Wieland Kuijken

French and Italian Flute Music of the 18th Century

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AllMusic Review by

Germany's Accent label has released a series of twin-CD sets featuring the Baroque flute recordings made by Barthold Kuijken, sometimes (as here) accompanied by his cello-playing brother Wieland. The originals date back to the late '70s, when Kuijken was one of the Dutch specialists who brought historical performance out of the too-precious phase, and they still sound good. This release pairs a 1979 set of French flute sonatas from the middle eighteenth century with a 1991 group of Italian works of the same period. The two discs, both recorded in Belgian churches, don't have exactly the same ambiance, but the pairing is an intelligent one, making this a good pick from among the various Kuijken discs available. Much of the music was originally written for recorder or violin, but arrangement for the flute would have been perfectly normal at the time, and Kuijken conveys a terrific sense of the new instrument's powers, improvising dense, rippling waves of ornamentation in the slow movements and leaping nimbly through the arpeggiation of the allegros. Disc 2 presents, mostly, the Italian music that inspired Frenchmen like Blavet and Jean-Marie Leclair who introduced the sonata to France, opening with virtuoso violin works by Corelli, Geminiani, and Veracini that sound in Kuijken's hands as though they were the products of a touring flutist. Disc 1 contains music by several composers, such as Jean-Pierre Guignon, who remain little heard. These recordings are still early music classics, suited equally to scholarly listening and casual enjoyment of their sprightly, frilly sounds.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Deuxième Concert for the traverse flute & continuo
1
2:03
2
1:48
3
1:16
4
3:02
5
2:48
6
1:55
Sonata for flute & continuo in D minor, "La Vibray", Op. 2/2
7
2:48
8
1:59
9
1:33
10
2:23
11
2:53
Sonata for flute & continuo in A major, Op. 1/8
12
2:31
13
1:23
14
2:32
15
1:40
Sonata for flute & harpishord in G minor, Op. 91/2
16
2:31
17
3:14
18
2:25
Sonata for violin (or flute) & continuo in G major, Op. 9/7
19
3:51
20
2:55
21
2:40
22
2:42

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Sonata for violin & continuo in E minor, Op. 5/8
1
4:45
2
1:52
3
3:11
4
1:50
Trio Sonata for violin, violone (or 2 violins) & continuo No. 10 (aka "No. 4") in E major, Op. 1/10
5
1:44
6
2:17
7
1:12
8
2:28
9
0:49
Sonata for violin & continuo in E minor, Op. 1/6
10
4:13
11
4:53
12
5:09
13
3:00
Sonata for flute & continuo in C major, Op. 2/1
14
3:11
15
2:16
16
2:06
Sonata per camera, for violin, cello & continuo No. 6 in A minor (Trattenimenti No. 6), Op. 6/6, (T. 6/6)
17
2:25
18
3:22
19
1:41
20
2:09
Sonata for musette & continuo in G minor ("Il Pastor fido" No. 6, inauthentic, by Nicolas Chédeville), Op. 13/6, RV 58
21
1:20
22
1:45
23
1:22
24
2:24
Sonata for flute & continuo in G major, Op. 3/6
25
3:20
26
2:30
27
3:15
28
4:36
blue highlight denotes track pick