Johann Gottlieb Graun Chamber Works – Music in Transition

The title for this release is a little deceptive. True, it’s a collection of chamber music from Frederick the Great’s court. But it’s not all by Johann Gottlieb Graun.

Rather, it’s a collection of music from Graun and his colleagues at court: Johann Gottlieb Janitsch, Franz Benda, and brother Carl Heinrich Graun. And that, I think, makes for a much more interesting program.

Collectively these composers were transitioning from the Baroque to the Classical era. The melodic lines, generally free of ornamentation look towards Haydn and Mozart. The use of basso continuo carries on the traditions of Bach and Handel.

It’s an interesting sampling of chamber music, made more so by the performances. Sisters Augusta and Georgina McKay Lodge (violin and viola respectively) lead the ensemble. Both have extensive experience in early music.

Their playing, along with their fellow musicians, nicely captures that feeling of transition. The ensemble has a clear, clean sound foreshadowing the Classical Era. David Schulenberg (harpsichord) and Eva Lymenstull (cello) provide a solid basso continuo, with Schulenberg ornamenting and improvising in a late Baroque style — as I imagine performers of the day might.

This is chamber music that captures a moment in time. A moment poised between two style periods. And it’s a moment effectively realized by these fine musicians.

Johann Gottlieb Graun: Chamber Music from the Court of Frederick the Great
Augusta McKay Lodge, violin; Georgina McKay Lodge, viola; Eva Lymenstull, cello; David Schulenberg, harpsichord
Brilliant Classics 96289

More Recent Posts

  • This Saturday: WTJU live broadcasts from the Community Chalkboard rededication

    Earlier this year, The Bridge PAI became the owner and caretaker of the Community Chalkboard on Charlottesville’s downtown mall. All this week, The Bridge is celebrating a rededication of the community chalkboard with art and performances of all kinds. This Saturday, September 18th, WTJU will air two live music performances from the Community Chalkboard. At […]

  • Tune in and donate to WTJU’s Jazz Marathon, Oct 4 – 10

    WTJU Jazz connects you to our community and transcendent music. We need your support to keep WTJU going! WTJU is different. We’re a free public service dedicated to sharing the transcendent experience of jazz & blues – while counting on listeners like you to provide the funding to make it possible. Every note of every song […]

  • Listen to this show with legendary underground artist Lydia Lunch

    The legendary Lydia Lunch joined WTJU host Erin O on September 14 for a special edition of Ye Olde Tuesday Afternoon Rocke Show. Listen up: wtju · Lydia Lunch on WTJU’s “Ye Olde Tuesday Afternoon Rocke Show” You don’t want to miss this interview with punk performance provocateur as you ready for Wednesday’s free show at Champion Brewing […]

  • Christopher Gunning Symphony 5 and String Quartet 1 an interesting pairing

    Tags: , , ,

    Signum Classics continues their survey of Christopher Gunning’s music with a mix. This release features an orchestral and a chamber work. But there is a connection. Both works show Gunning’s growth as a composer. And they show his willingness to challenge himself. Gunning composed his fifth symphony as his sister’s health declined. She was to […]

  • New Jazz & Blues News – 9/14/2021

    New Jazz & Blues News – 9/14/2021 New Jazz Releases: Bill Banfield’s Jazzurban 2 – ..Hey, holla when you hear me.. (Jazz Urbane): “The Jazz Urbane Is A Contemporary Recording/Performing Collective Which Embraces And Is Infused With Great R&B Song Writing, Melodies, Band Grooves And Style. Not Really A “New Movement”, Just A New Configuration […]