Kleinknecht Trio Sonatas Epitomize Style Galant
Jacob Friedrich Kleinknecht was a transverse flute virtuoso and a practical one. He also picked up the violin to make himself more employable, and it worked. He joined Princess Wihelmine’s court at Bayreuth.
Wilhelmine was an amateur composer herself. Kleinknecht thrived. He was hired in 1748 as assistant Kapellmeister. Three years later, he was the court composer and eventually was made Kapellmeister.
This release collects six of his trio sonatas for two flutes. All received their world premiere recordings with this release.
Kleinknecht wrote in the style galant that bridged the Baroque and Classical eras. His melodies are simple and straightforward. Ornamentation is kept to a minimum.
What makes these works interesting is his handling of the solo instruments. Kleinknecht fully explores the potential of the transverse flute. And he does so deceptively. The music sounds simple and easy to play, but to do it well requires a good deal of skill.
He’s also adept at writing for two instruments with the same sound. There’s a lot of contrast between the two flutes. And even when they’re playing together, it’s often in harmony rather than unison.
The Ensemble La Contonnade performs with warmth and sensitivity. Their relaxed interpretations seem spot on. This was music for an evening’s entertainment. And entertain it does.
But it was also written for a patron who knew her stuff. And that means these works had to have some substance to them. Which they do.
Jacob Friedrich Kleinknecht: Trio Sonatas for Two Flutes and Basso Continuo
Ensemble La Cantonnade