Notes & Reviews:
Georg Christoph Wagenseil (1715-1777) is for Viennese musical life the pivotal point between the late Baroque and Viennese Classicism. His work, attributed to the pre-classical period, consists for the most part of keyboard music; after the harpsichord, the organ occupies second place in Wagenseil's works, and often the composer allows a choice of instrument. The four organ concertos brought together on this CD were concertos for "connoisseurs and music lovers", which were printed by Walsh in London (the collection "Six Concertos for the harpsichord or the organ"). The accompaniment for "Two violins and a bass," as it is called in the subtitle of the first London edition of 1765, indicates the kind of basso continuo the musicians of the Piccolo Concerto Wien provide: cello, violin, lute, bassoon and harpsichord make up the colorful foundation over which Elisabeth Ullmann sets up her dialogue with the two violins. The concertos themselves are a good mixture of French, Italian and German styles, including the, at that time, avant-garde forms of the "empfindsamer" and "galant" styles.
The playing of the soloist is technically correct, balanced, not mannered and for just this reason wins us over: Ullmann does not try, through creative antics, to squeeze increased significance out of Wagenseil's pleasing works ... The accompaniment of the Piccolo Concerto Wien fits the discreet approach of the soloist's playing, and pays attention to its phrasing, tone and musical contact with the organ.