AHO: Nineteen Preludes (1965-68) Three Small Piano Pieces
(195171). Two Easy Piano Pieces for Children (1983). Sonata for Piano
(1993). Sonata for Piano (1980).
PLEYEL: String Quartet in E (1792). String Quartet in B (1792). Sstring
Quartet in D (1792).
C.P.E. BACH: Six String Sumphonies
BIS surely is doing their part to represent distinguished Finnish composer Kalevi Aho. This site already has enthusiastically mentioned their disk of organ music (REVIEW )his concerto and other works featuring the oboe (REVIEW), and the remarkable choral Symphony No. 12 (REVIEW). All of these are SACD issues in magnificent audio. Now we have another intriguing issue in their series, a disk of all of his piano music mo, These are mostly miniatures (even the three sonatas are rather brief). The earliest music in this collection is the group of precludes which date from 1965-68 and each is a delight. The two major works, the two sonatas, are showpieces for the performer and one would expect they will take their deserved place in recitals. Young Finnish pianist Sonia Fräki plays this intriguing music with total virtuosity and beautiful tone, in a recording that displays the best in recorded piano sound.
Austrian-born French composer Ignaz Joseph Pleyel (1769-1831) was a major figure on the musical scene as a composer, publisher and piano manufacturer (Chopin played his instruments). He was a student of Haydn, and his music was highly praised by his contemporaries, Mozart in particular. Pleyel wrote many symphonies, concertos and chamber music. This fine ARS SACD offers three of his string quartzes, each a gem displaying Pleyel's mastery of the idiom. Excellent performances well recorded with instruments in front, little sound from rear speakers. As playing time is well less than an hour, it is unfortunate moore of Playel's music wasn't included.
Johann Sebastian Bach had 20 children, but only ten reached adulthood, and of these surely the most gifted was C. P. E. (1714-1788). The six brief symphonies on this disk (none are longer than 12 minutes) show the composer at his best, bright rhythmns and bold key changes, written for a virtuoso orchestra. Delightful to listen to, and the Ostrobothian orchestra, playing on period instruments, makes a strong case for them. Super clear audio, but little use is made of rear speakers, making one wonder why is this issued on SACD?
R.E.B. (April 2015)