Upon a Ground – Tabea Debus, recorder.

Upon a Ground
Tabea Debus, recorder.
ClassicClips CLCL 124.   77’ 32”

Finger: A Division on a ground by Mr. Finger; Dornel: Première Suite; Taeggio: Vestiva i colli; Bellinzani: Sonata No. 12 Op 3/12; Barre: Chaconne der Sonata L’Inconnue; Blavet: Sonata Secunda; Anonymous: Durham Ground; Pandolfi Mealli: Sonata Quarta “La Castella”; Barsanti: Sonata V in F; Purcell: A New Ground in e. 

The Hülsta Woodwinds competition (in Münster, Westphalia) awards two first prizes, and Tabea Debus won one of them in 2011.  This CD is one of the elements of her prize.  And it certainly shows that the competition judges were on to a good thing.  Tabea Debus’s playing is an absolute delight.  She plays with a beautiful sense of musical line and phrasing, wearing her obvious virtuosity lightly, and producing results that are first and foremost musical.

Another excellent feature of this recording is the imaginative interpretations of the accompanying continuo instrumental players, Lea Rahel Bader (cello), Johannes Lang (harpsichord), Kohei Ota (theorboe & baroque guitar) and Jan Croonenbroeck (organ). Taeggio’s 1620 diminutions on Palestrina’s Vestiva i colli are preceded by the original piece played on a very attractive little chamber organ (by Johannes Rohlf, based on Näser, 1734).  Bellinzani’s Sonata opens with a delightfully Handelian Largo with wide leaps for the solo line.  After an Allegro (also with leaps and with a lovely dialogue between recorder and organ) and a harpsichord solo (to give the soloist a rest), it ends with a lively Folia.

Although the Pandolfi Mealli La Castella Sonata is performed in pure meantone, the other pieces are either in fifth-comma meantone or the so called ‘Bach’ tuning proposed by Robert Hill.  And, as if to prove that recorder players do have a life, when you take the CD out of its case, you are greeted on the inside of the rear cover by a photograph of Miss Debus apparently leaping over a fence.  See http://www.classic-clips.de/clcl124.html.

First published in Early Music Review, April 2014.

3 thoughts on “Upon a Ground – Tabea Debus, recorder.

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