Anna Paradiso

J.H. Roman: The 12 Keyboard Sonatas, Nos. 1-7

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Baroque composer Johan Helmich Roman is one of the most significant figures in Swedish music, even regarded by some as the father of Swedish music, though his works are rarely performed or recorded in his homeland. Yet his music is being revived almost single-handedly by harpsichordist Anna Paradiso, if this exceptional SACD from BIS is any evidence of her efforts on his behalf. Roman's keyboard sonatas, sometimes called suites, are similar in some aspects to the keyboard sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti and Antonio Soler, though they are cast in multi-section forms that anticipate the Classical sonata. However, in terms of the music, the content is unpredictable and the style is dramatically arresting, influenced as it was by Neapolitan music, and Roman's sudden changes in melodic shapes and harmonies are wholly Baroque in their quirkiness. Paradiso uses a fair amount of rubato to bring out these unusual features, and she invests a great deal of personality into these pieces, particularly in her free use of embellishment and improvisation. This album presents seven of the twelve keyboard sonatas, which Paradiso plays on two harpsichords and one clavichord, to bring out their varied characteristics and moods. With the success of this recording, one hopes the remaining sonatas will be released in short order by Paradiso and BIS.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Sonata 1 in E flat major, BeRI 225
1 2:35
2 0:29
3 0:33
4 4:07
Sonata 2 in D major, BeRI 226
5 3:45
6 1:15
7 4:31
8 1:16
9 1:05
Sonata 3 in G major, BeRI 227
10 3:12
11 2:17
12 1:05
13 1:25
14 2:07
Sonata 4 in D major, BeRI 228
15 2:34
16 2:30
17 2:10
18 3:37
19 1:07
20 1:16
21 2:34
Sonata 5 in G minor, BeRI 229
22 1:08
23 2:29
24 1:45
25 4:03
26 2:58
Sonata 6 in B flat major, BeRI 230
27 3:15
28 1:46
29 1:32
Sonata 7 in F major, BeRI 231
30 3:16
31 2:08
32 1:42
blue highlight denotes track pick