We are delighted to inform our audience that we have successfully completed our crowdfunding campaign towards our new recording ‘Music for a King – Chamber works from the court of Frederick the Great’. Thank you all for your generous support, we couldn’t have done it without you.
This will be one of our most exciting CD releases on Channel Classics as so much of this music has not been heard since it was composed and performed at King Frederick the Great’s Court in the mid/late 18th century.
This will be our 30th CD with Channel Classics of music from the Court of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. The programme was inspired by James Gaines’s novel “An Evening in the Palace of Reason” and showcases some remarkably virtuosic works by composers including CPE Bach, Quantz, Benda, Muthel, Graun and will open with JS Bach’s Ricercar a 3, based on a theme supposedly presented to the great master by King Frederick when they met in 1747 at Potsdam.
Feared as a battle-hardened general, and well known to be an atheist and philosopher, the King was also a passionate flautist and when not out extending the State of Prussia, would lead regular concert performances at court with some remarkable characters in his employ. Perhaps the most famous was the court harpsichordist Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach who also composed many sonatas and concertos for the flute-playing King. Johann Sebastian set out in 1747 to visit CPE, his favourite son, in Potsdam and it was this visit that inspired the King to offer a near impossible “royal theme” for the great Bach to extemporise on, and as a result Bach’s great work entitled Musical Offering BWV 1079 was born. Other exceptional musicians under the employ of Frederick who we will present on this recording include the violin virtuoso Franz Benda, the second court harpsichordist Carl Friedrich Fasch, opera composer Carl Heinrich Graun, his older brother, chamber musician and violin virtuoso Johann Gottlieb Graun, keyboard composer Johann Muthel and Johann Joachim Quantz, private flute instructor to the King and most highly paid of all the court musicians.
This new programme will be launched at our Wigmore Hall concert on 6 March 2019 when we will present this recorded programme live for our audience. This project involves the core players in Florilegium (similar to our recent release of Telemann’s Essercizii Musici) and presents in addition to the Musical Offering 3 part fugue that Bach composed for the King otherwise unknown works in different combinations and settings, many of which only exist in facsimile in the composers’ hand.
We have recently completed the recording St Michael’s Church in Highgate for this recording (7thto 9thNovember), where we recorded our Telemann Concerto and Cantata CD with Clare Wilkinson two years ago.
Johann Sebastian Bach Ricercar a 3
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach Duett in G major for solo violin and flute H598
Franz Benda Sonata for violin and continuo in E major
Carl Friedrich Christian Fasch Andantino and Variations for solo harpsichord
Carl Heinrich Graun Sonata for cello and continuo in C major
Johann Gottlieb Graun Quintet in A minor
Johann Gottfried Muthel Sonata for flute and continuo in D major
Johann Joachim Quantz Trio Sonata in E minor
Ashley Solomon flute
Bojan Cicic violin
Jennifer Morsches cello
Reiko Ichise viola da gamba
Julian Perkins harpsichord
Terence Charlston harpsichord (JS Bach Ricercar a 3)
Thank you to all our generous supporters for helping us to realise this next ambitious project.
We are very excited for the release at our Wigmore Hall concert on 6 March 2019 and do hope as many of you as possible will join us for the concert.