Conversed Monologue

Conversed Monologue
Fantasticus XI
Resonus RES10166. 70’08

Graun: Concerto for Viola da Gamba in C; Leclair: Concerto for Violin in G minor; WF Bach: Concerto for Harpsichord in F major.

I have been impressed with previous CDs by Fantasticus (see here) and am equally impressed by their latest project, now expanded from their usual trio into a small baroque orchestra with the name of Fantasticus XL. All three members of the original Fantasticus take solo roles in the featured concertos – and what fascinating pieces they are. One of the joys of this recording is that all three pieces are little-known, but well worth discovering.

When the CD starts, it is difficult to appreciate that this is the start of a viola da gamba Concerto, such is the bravado and élan of Graun’s opening phrase. But Robert Smith’s viola da gamba certainly makes its presence felt when it enters in dialogue with the supporting players. Rie Kimura gives a stunning performance of Leclair’s violin concerto, adapting to the delicate Italian-influence style with aplomb. Guillermo Brachetta returns us to Germany and WF Bach, an often overlooked member of the family, and usually outshone by his younger brother CPE. This harpsichord concerto starts gently in a rather Rococo manner, before the solo instrument enters with a filigree of ornamental passagework.

Although I hope that Fantasticus continuo in their trio format, this is an excellent extension to that work. An inspiring CD.

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