"MUSIC BY BACH'S STUDENTS" Goldberg, Kirnberger, Abel, Krebs and Müthel
Wilbert Hazelzet, traverso/Jacques Ogg, harpsichord/Jaapter Linden, violoncello
GLOSSA GCD 920802 (F) (DDD) TT: 59:10

Much attention has always been given to Johann Sebastian Bach's large family of 20 children. On the other hand, the plethora of Bach students (numbering about 80) has gone virtually unnoticed. All that is changed by this Glossa CD containing music by five of his pupils: Johann Phillipp Kirnberger (1721-1783), Johann Gottlieb Goldberg (1727-1756),Carl Fridrich Abel (1723-1787), Johann Ludwig Krebs (1713-1780),and Johann Gottfried Müthel (1728-1788).

As one might expect, some are clone-like copies of their famous teacher. One in this category is Johann Goldberg who, unfortunately, is best-known for a work he didn't compose -- the famous Goldberg Variations. His Trio Sonata in C Major, BWV 1037 (assigned a Bach catalog number because for many years it was considered one of the master's compositions), is textbook Bach complete with an impressive triple fugue and all kinds of complex imitation.

By contrast, Müthel is the maverick. Virtuosic outbursts and daring harmonic shifts transform his Sonata in D Major for traverso and basso continuo into a challenge for both performer and listener. The three other composers lie somewhere in-between -- pleasant but predictable. Flutist Wilbert Hazelzet, harpsichordist Jacques Ogg and cellist Jaapter Linden provide each piece with appropriate musical and technical bravura. Resonant recorded sound is another plus.

K.S. (Feb. 2000)