As if you weren’t excited enough by this album due to the quality of the first J.S. Bach Flute Sonatas album from Joshua Smith and Jory Vinikour, there is already a rave review of the new album a week before its release!
By Daniel Hathaway & Mike Telin
Joshua Smith’s second Bach CD, Flute Sonatas with Continuo, Musical Offering Trio Sonata, adds two new friends to the previous pairing of Smith and harpsichordist Jory Vinikour. Cellist Ann Marie Morgan and violinist Allison Guest Edberg met at the Aspen Festival in 1981, then encountered Jory Vinikour at Peabody the following year. When the second set of Bach flute sonatas required two more players, Vinikour was quick to suggest Morgan and Edberg. The second disc, a splendid extension of the first (which was devoted to Bach’s three sonatas with obbligato continuo and the Partita for solo flute) is obviously the result of musicians bonding — clearly revealed in the music making, but photographically represented by the collage of fingers that forms the background for the CD label and the inside of its jewel case…
… The playing is uniformly and predictably flawless. Joshua Smith, a player with the strength and endurance of a marathon runner, makes easy work out of Bach’s long spun lines — and creates fine, overarching phrases out of impossibly short motives (as in the Adagio of the e minor Sonata). He makes expressive swells and shapes notes without affectation, and his articulations are always clear even in what is obviously a resonant church. His colleagues support and coordinate with him impressively, and in cases where he’s not the star of the moment (the Andante of the e minor Sonata), he lays back and lets the cello and continuo have their moment in the light…
… Having followed the recording process from beginning to end and having written two articles about it, it was fun and satisfying to have the end product in hand and then in our ears. Put it on, listen to it, read the intelligently written notes and have a very intellectually stimulating experience from an academic point of view, or just stick it on during dinner parties and create a perfect ambiance for an enjoyable evening with friends — just as Joshua Smith and friends seem to have been thoroughly enjoying what they were doing. This disc lives perfectly in both worlds.
The album is in stores Tuesday, October 26.