Colin Clarke

In Sara Levy’s Salon

8:00, 14th December 2017

Music by Quantz, CPE Bach, JS Bach, WF Bach and Forkel
The Raritan Players/Rebecca Cypess (harpsichord/fortepiano)
Acis APL00367 – CD

Sara Levy (1761-1854) studied harpsichord with WF Bach; her salon was based in Berlin, into which she poured her interest in the Bach family tradition. Levy’s scores were appropriated by the Nazis and thence travelled to the Soviet Union before eventually being relocated back home.

All works here hail from Levy’s collection. A gallant flute quartet by Quantz opens the disc beautifully, while an arrangement of JS Bach’s trio sonata BWV526 for fortepiano and harpsichord is as ravishing as it is fascinating. A pity the WF Bach piece (the central movement from his G major concerto) is so brief as it contains much expressive weight. JS Bach’s Flute Sonata BWV1031 is here heard for violin, flute and fortepiano continuo in a stylish account before a selection of Forkel’s charming variations on God Save the King. The intriguing CPE Bach quartet that closes the disc has the keyboard (fortepiano) emancipated from its continuo function. A fascinating concept, brilliantly realised.

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