THE PUREST BEAUTY! …
This was our reaction to the first play-through of one of the Johann Mattheson Adagios (from an almost illegible score from the archives of the Royal Library in Copenhagen). After having recorded 51 unique movements, we have become acquainted with a wealth of characters: the jovial, the choleric, the amorous, the sorrowful and the depressed, to name but a few.
In the manner of an "Opera Seria" the sonatas begin happily and innocently, moving towards sorrow and disaster in the sonatas on the second CD. The music dies in the 11th sonata! It is, however, brought to life again in the 12th sonata with the musical inspiration from one of the greatest musicians of the time, the Italian Arcangelo CoreIli.
The view of Mattheson as a great musician is shared by his Hamburg compatriot Johannes Brahms. As a young man Brahms (in 1847) found a Mattheson treatise on keyboard playing in a Hamburg bookstall, and at Christmas 1855 he was given a copy of Mattheson's book "Der vollkommene Kapellmeister", as a present from his friend, the violinist Joseph Joachim. Brahms had been looking for this book and studied it thoroughly.
This recording of "The usable Virtuoso" ("Der brauchbare Virtuoso") is the first recording ever of this outstanding music performed on the baroque violin with basso continuo.