6 Sonatas for Flute and Obligatto Harpsichord by C. H. Graun (1704-1759) and J. G. Graun (1703-1771) from unpublished manuscripts at the Staatsbibliothek Preuβischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin
Although today we quickly associate the names of Quantz or Emmanuel Bach with the musical environment of the court of Frederick the Great of Prussia and with the Berlin Enlightenment, the first name that should occur to us when evoking the soundscape of Frederick's long reign should be Graun. The works by the Graun brothers are clearly orientated towards the future as the overall balanced shape, symmetry of proportion, translucent textures and slow harmonic rhythm are all definitely gallant. The capriciousness of the melodies, the ornamental refinement, the delicate craft of dynamics and articulations, and the global whimsical quality of the discourse are all characteristic of the Empfindsamkeit.
Each of these sonatas is a discernible musical metaphor to the more graceful, indulgent and voluptuous side of the Frederickian Golden Age – that dreamlike quality occasionally forgotten in the shadows of the strong rationality and intellectuality of Prussian Enlightenment but nonetheless appreciated as its most natural and desirable compliment — and clearly evident in the Rocaille interiors of the Potsdam palaces. With this humble excursion into the vast corpus of Graun’s chamber music, may we also encourage a full rediscovery of these two extraordinary composers.
Sonata [per il] Flauto Traverso et Clavicembalo in D, WenG 29 – C. H. Graun:
2. Poco Allegro
Sonata [per il] Flauto Traverso et Clavicembalo in G, WenG 56 – C. H. Graun:
Sonata [per il] Flauto Traverso e Cembalo in F, WenG 110 – Graun:
8. Adagio non troppo
10. Allegro non molto
Sonata per il Flauto Traverso e Cembalo in D, WenG 36 – Graun
2. Allegro non molto
Sonata per il Cembalo obligato [e] Flauto Traverso in C, WenG 97 – C. H. Graun:
7. Allegro e Vivace
Sonata per il Flauto Traverso è Cembalo in F, WenG 116 – J. G. Graun:
9. Allegro ma non tanto
Joana Amorim, Traverso
Fernando Miguel Jalôto, Harpsichord
Recording, editing and mastering by Joseph Chesshyre.
Design by Alex McCartney.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Veterum Musica
Copyright (c) – Veterum Musica
Recorded at – Mosteiro de São Pedro de Cete, Paredes, Portugal, 12th to 15th of September 2016
Image Title, Author and Credits — Antoine Pesne (1683-1757) Self-portrait with his daughters Henriette Royard and Marie de Rège at the easel (1754); Berlin, Staatliche Museen, Gemäldegalerie; Copyright: bpk / Gemäldegalerie, SMB / Jörg P. Anders