Chamber Music of the Margravine
In Italy they called him “Il divino Sassone” – the divine Saxon – even though Johann Adolph Hasse was actually born in Hamburg. At the latest since his appointment as Court Kapellmeister in Dresden, Hasse was renowned as one of the most illustrious opera composers in Europe; Wilhelmine of Bayreuth also commissioned two Hasse operas to be performed as part of the opening festivities of the Margravial Opera House in 1748.
No wonder, then, that people wanted to play the master’s compositions as house music. For this purpose, many European publishing houses (sometimes more, sometimes less legally) brought out the small number of chamber music works bestowed upon the world by the “divino Sassone”, including his Op. 1, the XII Sonate à Flauto traversiere solo è Basso – finely articulated house music for small ensembles by one of the very greats of the Baroque era! Johann Sebastian Bach’s youngest son Johann Christian – who has gone down in history as the “London Bach” and music-making partner of the eight-year-old Mozart – was defenceless when in 1780 his Six Sonates pour le Clavecin ou Piano Forte, avec Accompagnement d’un Violon ou Flute Op. 16 were published in Berlin – fortunate for posterity, since it was only thus that these filigree works could be preserved for it.
Together with the cellist Verena Spies and the harpsichordist Bernward Lohr, the traverse flute virtuoso Brian Berryman has at last excavated these chamber music jewels from the pens of Hasse and Bach and shows in typical Baroque manner that a flute sonata loses none of its charm and sonic beauty also on the violoncello.