Anna Paradiso

J.H. Roman: The 12 Keyboard Sonatas, Nos. 8-12

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J.H. Roman: The 12 Keyboard Sonatas, Nos. 8-12 Review

by Blair Sanderson

One of the most important Swedish composers in the Baroque era was Johan Helmich Roman, though today his works are quite obscure, even in his native country. Yet his music is undergoing a small revival, thanks to Anna Paradiso, who has been recording his keyboard sonatas and chamber music on the BIS label. This hybrid SACD is a continuation of her project to record the 12 sonatas, this time offering the last five of the series in performances employing three different instruments. To show the variety of colors and moods in Roman's music, Paradiso plays modern reproductions of a Neapolitan harpsichord (Sonatas Nos. 7 and 12), a French harpsichord (Sonata No. 9), and a clavichord (Sonatas 10 and 11), each offering distinctive sonorities. Newcomers to Roman's sonatas may well note some similarities to the harpsichord music of Domenico Scarlatti and Antonio Soler, though his sonatas were composed in multiple sections that anticipate the varied movements of the sonata form in the Classical period. However, Roman's chief influences were the keyboard works of George Frederick Handel and Neapolitan vocal music, so his style is quite ornate and quirky in its sudden changes of rhythm and melodic patterns. To this, Paradiso adds her own personal touches of rubato and embellishment, very much in the style of the time. Rounding out the album is the Sonata No. 2 in C major by Johan Joachim Agrell, a north German composer and Roman's younger contemporary. BIS' recording is clean and crisp, and every note is audible in the multichannel recording.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Sonata VIII in A major BeRI 232
1 Anna Paradiso 06:55 Amazon
2 Anna Paradiso 04:00 Amazon
3 Anna Paradiso 03:09 Amazon
4 Anna Paradiso 00:32 Amazon
Sonata IX in D minor BeRI 233
5 Anna Paradiso 02:04 Amazon
6 Anna Paradiso 01:06 Amazon
7 Anna Paradiso 02:13 Amazon
8 Anna Paradiso 02:13 Amazon
Sonata X in B minor BeRI 234
9 Anna Paradiso 02:46 Amazon
10 Anna Paradiso 02:40 Amazon
11 Anna Paradiso 00:31 Amazon
12 Anna Paradiso 02:10 Amazon
13 Anna Paradiso 02:11 Amazon
Sonata XI in F minor BeRI 235
14 Anna Paradiso 01:29 Amazon
15 Anna Paradiso 03:11 Amazon
16 Anna Paradiso 01:51 Amazon
17 Anna Paradiso 03:14 Amazon
Sonata XII in E minor BeRI 236
18 Anna Paradiso 03:06 Amazon
19 Anna Paradiso 00:58 Amazon
20 Anna Paradiso 03:32 Amazon
Sonata in C major BeRI 215
21 Anna Paradiso 03:33 Amazon
22 Anna Paradiso 02:29 Amazon
23 Anna Paradiso 05:45 Amazon
Sonata II in C major
24 Anna Paradiso 03:20 Amazon
25 Anna Paradiso 04:13 Amazon
26 Anna Paradiso 01:42 Amazon
27 Anna Paradiso 02:28 Amazon
28 Anna Paradiso 02:57 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick