Classical Editor: Rob Barnett                               Music Webmaster Len Mullenger:

Carolus Antonius FODOR
Sonatas Op. 2 nrs. 1 & 2
Carolus Emanuel FODOR

Air du Tonnelier
Johann Wilhelm WILMS



Grande Marche Funebre

Arthur Schoonderwoerd (fortepiano)
NM Classics 92103 [56.21]
NM Classics

Here is a fascinating collection of 18th & 19th Century Dutch music played by a leading exponent of the fortepiano, music which might sound trivial on a Steinway, but it flourishes on a suitably chosen instrument, here a Viennese 5-octave grand piano by Poletti & Tuinman after a model by Anton Walter (1795) - there are few suitable Dutch instruments surviving.

It is a little hard to sort out the Fodors! Charles (1759-c.99) was prominent in Paris and his variations on the Air du Tonnelier originated from a Gossec opera and were reprinted repeatedly. His younger brother Antoine (1768-1846) fled from the French Revolution and had his sonatas published in Amsterdam, where he settled permanently. They are extremely attractive and a sheer delight in these flexible performances, with capricious features probably deriving from C P E Bach and melodic development from the French. Arthur Schoonderwoerd plays his unique instrument affectionately and it has some lovely tones. (Some passages in the bass sound very like a bassoon!)

Wilms (1772-1847) published his Rondo-Polonaise in 1809 and it became very popular, and Messemaekers (b.1824) sent his impressive Grande Marche Funebre in memory of Prince Alexander to his father, King Willem II, in 1848.

This music is lifted onto an altogether higher plane by the performances of Schoonderwoerd on his carefully chosen instrument. The illustrated documentation is comprehensive and include essays on Cultural life in Amsterdam around 1800 and The fortepiano, a new symbol of prosperity for the high society as well as discussion of performance practice of the period. A recommended purchase for profit and pleasure. Don't pass it by because of its apparent obscurity.

Peter Grahame Woolf

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