Eckard Sonatas Op. 1/3, 1/4 & 2/1 & Minuet d'Exaudet
with 6 Variations
Zig Zag Territoires ZZT
9806 01. 55'12"
Johann Gottfried Eckard (1735-1809) may have been the first composer
to indicate nuances of colour in his keyboard music, pieces explicitly designed
to be equally suitable for harpsichord, clavichord and the new fortepiano,
which he introduced in France, having settled in Paris as a gifted young
man, talented alike in painting and in keyboard playing, and undecided which
to make his future profession. CPE Bach's keyboard method was a decisive
influence, together with the melodic Italianate style celebrated in France
around the 1760s when Eckard's Op. 2 sonatas were written. Mozart and his
sister played to Eckard in 1763, & the slow movement of Mozart's piano
concerto KV40 is based upon Eckard's andantino included here (Sonata
Op 1/4). He was a prolific composer and outstanding virtuoso performer, but
most of his music disappeared during the French Revolution.
The instrument on this CD is a modern copy by Christopher Clarke of a Legerer
fortepiano belonging to the Finchcocks collection in Kent. Its light Stein
action favours delicate articulation, demonstrated in these sympathetic
performances. The programme reflects the range of Eckard's surviving keyboard
music, and its unquestionable suitability for the clavichord as well as
fortepiano (less so perhaps for harpsichord). Schoonderwoerd ornaments the
repeats and demonstrates the fortepiano's stops.
This production was thoroughly researched by the pianist and there is detailed
information about composer and instrument. As with all Zig Zag releases,
the booklets are illustrated and have charming original paintings by Anne
Peultier, which give considerable pleasure.
Peter Grahame Woolf