Dutch-born composer Johannes Schenck is another in a long line of Baroque composers whose works are only now being discovered and given their first modern performances. Thanks to the intrepid investigative work of harpsichordist Pieter Dirksen -- a member of the ensemble La Suave Melodia heard here -- a set of 12 trio sonatas of Schenck's Opus 3 that were thought to be lost have been unearthed. The works, which are each in a different key, show a mature composer's total command of form, character of different keys, and abilities of each instrument for which he is composing. Apart from the tremendous service of simply rediscovering these works, La Suave Melodia goes one step further and provides listeners with an immaculate, deeply satisfying performance of the 12 trio sonatas. The recorded sound is wonderfully clean and simple and the balance between the instruments allows the violin to easily carry the melody throughout while still letting listeners enjoy the intricate harmonies and rhythmically varied accompanimental patterns in the rest of the ensemble. Intonation, articulation, and ornamentation match flawlessly from the first note of the CD to the last. Fans of early music have found a treasure not only in the works of Johannes Schenck, but in the sensitive, informed performances of La Suave Melodia.
AllMusic Review by Mike D. Brownell
|Il Giardino armonico, sonatas (12) for 2 violins, viola da gamba & continuo, Op. 3|