This recording features the nearly forgotten composer Jacob Kirkman (1746–1812), a nephew of the famous London harpsichord maker of the same name. His delightful lessons and sonatas are representative of the musical taste in post-Handelian London. Medea Bindewald plays a 1756 double manual harpsichord by the composer’s uncle Jacob Kirckman and a 1795 square piano by Broadwood & Son, both from the Finchcocks Collection in Kent, England. The variety of different sounds presented on this CD is enhanced by including Kirkman’s works written in the unique and nowadays much-neglected genre of keyboard repertoire with a violin accompaniment, played here by Nicolette Moonen. This is one of the very last recordings made at Finchcocks Musical Museum before its closure.
Jacob Kirkman: (1746–1812)
Lesson I in B flat major, op. 3
Sonata II in F major, op. 8
Lesson VI in E minor, op. 3
Sonata III in A major, op. 8
Sonata I in B flat major, op. 8
Sonata IV in C major, op. 14
Recording & production
Recording producer: Moritz Bergfeld
Editing and mastering: Nora Brandenburg
Recorded at Finchcocks Musical Museum, Goudhurst, Kent, 5 to 7 October 2015
In the digipack is a 28-page booklet with notes by Medea Bindewald on Jacob Kirkman’s life and on the music played, in English and German; also with photographs of Finchcocks Musical Museum and the musicians.
Performers should take the recording under review here as a model of how [the music of J.C. Bach] should be performed. …
Medea Bindewald’s playing … fully explores the dramatic features of this piece. She treats the tempo with some freedom, sometimes slowing down a little to increase the tension. Here and elsewhere her playing is outstanding, and in the best rhetorical tradition. … Nicolette Moonen plays the violin part in two of the Op. 8 sonatas just right: she carefully doses dynamics, but is not afraid to add some bold strokes to the Sonata in A.
This is a highly interesting and compelling disc, which sheds light on an unjustly neglected composer and shows how to do justice to music of this period, using the historically correct instruments.
Johan van Veen, Musica Dei donum, 1 April 2019