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Album at a Glance

Tonal and ConsonantChamber MusicPeriod Instruments
Record Label - ATMA Classique: "What inspires us is simply our passion for recording sound, and for sharing, both through the traditional medium of the disc and through cyberspace, our acoustic images of imagined worlds."
Release date: 2013-04-30


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Johann Gottlieb Janitsch: Sonate da Camera, Vol. 3 / Notturna, Palameta


This is the third release in a series of recordings from ATMA Classique highlighting the chamber sonatas of German composer Johann Gottlieb Janitsch (1708-1763). As in previous issues, the excellent performances are by the Montreal-based Notturna ensemble, a group who dedicates itself to the performance of early music, especially for winds - so, these Janitsch quartets are right in their wheelhouse.

Composer Janitsch held various positions at the court of the Kingdom of Prussia, ultimately coming to serve in the personal orchestra of Frederick the Great, where he was also regularly commissioned to compose music for court ceremonies. Janitsch wrote a considerable number of chamber sonatas for continuo with various combinations of solo players performing on flute, oboe, oboe d'amore, violin and viola. The works on this album are all quartets for three solo instruments and basso continuo, drawn from the forty-one such surviving compositions. It isn't certain when they were written, but stylistically, they are in a pre-classical or gallant style, colorfully scored, harmonically adventurous and contrapuntally, really quite masterful. The sample provided is the final movement of Sonata da camera in D major "Echo", Op. 5 no. 1 for traverso (flute), oboe, viola da gamba and continuo. You can hear the effects that makes clear why the composer appended the designation "Echo" to this sonata.

Unfortunately, very little of Janitsch's music has survived. Most of his manuscripts were willed to the Berlin Singakademie, which was ransacked during the Second World War and the majority is now lost. It is thought that additional Janitsch manuscripts have recently been discovered in the Ukraine. Let's hope so, and also that they will soon be recorded; we probing listeners should absolutely look out for more from this fine composer.