Accademia Daniel: Graupner – Concerti e Musica di tavola

review graupner x1 cong

There’s nothing more to say about this album other than it’s a delight. It’s not an album that’s intellectually challenging and the music doesn’t seem to operate on a deep level, it is just pleasurable. It’s music for festivities and pleasure, and 300 years or so after it was written, it’s as pleasurable now as it was then.
Graupner (1683–1760) was a German harpsichordist and composer of high Baroque music who operated at the same time as Johann Sebastian Bach, Georg Philipp Telemann and George Frideric Handel.
He was a prolific and talented composer: Wikipedia reports that when he was appointed as cantor in Leipzig (Telemann had been the first choice), his patron in Darmstadt refused to let him leave his old position and paid up his back-dated salary (lack of pay was the reason for the job move). Graupner stayed in Darmstadt, and one Johann Sebastian Bach became the cantor in Leipzig, staying for 27 years.
After he died, Graupner was forgotten, partly because he had few pupils to champion him but also because his manuscripts fell victim to a legal battle between his heirs and the rulers of Hesse-Darmstadt, though this means that today his entire musical output is preserved and attempts are being made to give him the standing he deserves.
The music is pleasurable and it’s played well, with a crisp and fresh sound. Jolly baroque music for festivals; where can you go wrong?

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