Muthel: The 5 Keyboard Concertos
Johann Forkel, the biographer of J.S. Bach, numbered Müthel among the most remarkable of Bach’s pupils. Another of the great chroniclers of 18th century music, Charles Burney, described Müthel's works as 'so full of novelty, taste, grace, and contrivance, that I should not hesitate to rank them among the greatest productions of the present age.’ Nevertheless, today Johann Gottfried Müthel (1728-88) is very far from being a household name – or indeed known at all. One reason for this may be that shortly after his encounter with Bach and an ensuing study tour during which he met other greats of German music – Hasse, C.P.E. Bach and Telemann – Müthel disappeared from the musical centre stage. In 1753 he moved to Riga, the capital of what was then the Province of Livonia, a part of the Russian Empire. There he worked as Kapellmeister at one of the aristocratic households of the city, before becoming organist of St Peter’s Church, a position he probably held until his death. In Müthel's five concertos for keyboard and strings we nevertheless meet a composer very much of his time: the ‘era between eras’ between the Baroque and Viennese Classicism. Although based on the pattern of J.S. Bach's keyboard concertos they are distinctly individual, displaying sophisticated rhythms and harmonic playfulness. Through the alternation of orchestral effects and chamber-music character Müthel achieves an unusual degree of variety, and also includes operatic ingredients, such as the recitativic episodes in the opening movement of Concerto No.5 or the dramatic Adagio middle movement of Concerto No.4. Presenting them on this set of two CDs, the young Polish harpsichordist Marcin ?wi?tkiewicz is also making his début on BIS. He is supported by his compatriots in the acclaimed period band Arte dei Suonatori, who clearly relish the often intricate and always eventful orchestral parts.
Catalog Number: BIS-2179
Composer: Johann Gottfried Müthel
Orchestra/Ensemble: Arte Dei Suonatori
Performer: Marcin Swiatkiewicz