Superb sonatas, a bridge between CPE Bach and Haydn
Quite simply these are superb sonatas and my harpsichord find of 2015. Binder (1723-1789) was the court musician in Dresden and held the same position as CPE Bach in Berlin. His sonatas op 1 (published 1759) are inventive, original, bold, surprising, and expressively powerful. They show the influence of style galant, empfindsamerStil, Sturm und Drang and the classical style. To my ears they are a bridge between CPE Bach and middle period Haydn, particularly the latter, and at times even prefigure Beethoven. Each sonata starts with a long complex movement between 7-11 minutes long. There is not a dull moment from first note to last and as soon as the set finished I played them through again.
The playing of Paulina Tkaczyk is superb. She displays just the right form of rhetorical Affekt these sonatas need. The harpsichord also deserves a special mention. It is a copy made by Keith Hill of an instrument by Pascal Taskin dating from 1769. It is a big bold instrument with a strong firm bass, and this is appropriate because Binder's sonatas explore the full range of the instrument. The acoustics are very fine and the instrument is not recorded too closely so there is plenty of air around the notes. This is a superb release and I thoroughly recommend it. I hope more of Binder's music will soon become available.
[Stephen Churley, 19 August 2015 - Customer Review]