Bachs Mentoren

Bachs Mentoren (Bach’s Mentors)
Peter Waldner

Tastenfreuden 4. 75’16

This recording was self-pubished by Peter Waldner in 2012 as part of his Tastenfreuden series but has only just been sent to me for review. It includes music by the North German composers Buxtehude, Reincken and Bõhm, noted as Bach’s “mentors”, played on harpsichord, octave spinet and muselar. The word “mentor” might a little wide of the mark, as there is no evidence any of these three musicians actually taught the young Bach, although he was certainly strongly influenced by them in his early years.

The instruments used are a two manual harpsichord with a petit ravalement after Johannes Ruckers, 1624, an early 17th century octave spinet after Samuel Biderman, both made by Matthias Griewisch of Bammental, and a muselar after Andreas Ruckers the Younger, 1644, by Herbert Kuen, Götzens, 1983. the harpsichord is used for four of the pieces, the muselar for two, and the octave spinet for one.

Three of the four Buxtehude pieces have the title of Partite diverse, and are based respectively on La Capricciosa, More palatino, and Rofilis. The other piece from Buxtehude is the Suite in C (BuxWV 226). Reincken is represented by his Ballet – Partite diverse, played on the muselar while Bõhm’s six-movement Overture in D and a Capriccio completes the programme.

The programme is well chosen and well played, the move from instrument to instrument being relatively smooth aurally. Unfortunately the detailed CD notes are entirely in German, which must reduces the CD’s international interest and marketability. The booklet contains severals photos (with one on the cover, above) and an essay on the famous 1674 Voorhout painting of Buxtehude and Reincken, Musizierende Gesellschaft (in the Museum fur Hamburgische Geschichte).