Volume 67, Summer 2011
Hardenack Otto Conrad Zinck
Complete keyboard works, vol.1: 6 Sonatas
ed CHRISTOPHER HOGWOOD
Edition HH, HH240.SOL, Bicester, 2010
(spiral bound, £25)
ISMN 979 0 708059 73 8
The composer Hardenack Otto Conrad Zinck (1746-1832) is not a household name, so I was pleased to receive music by a composer which I had neither played nor taught. Although much of his professional life was spent in Copenhagen, he had studied with C P E Bach in Hamburg, as had his brother, whom C P E Bach 'personally esteemed and loved', according to Gerber, but Hardenack also seems to have been universally popular in his time.
There is an excellent introduction to this modern reprint, from which I glean that this volume of sonatas, printed in 1783, had a lengthy and significant subscription list, in which are found nearly 300 subscribers' names, including both Ernst and Carl Benda, Fasch, Marpurg, Hässler, E W Wolf, Türk and also Cramer, who wrote a paean of praise for the six sonatas by this very talented composer.
In addition to Christopher Hogwood's editorial comments, his Introduction includes a translation of Cramer's very important contemporary evaluation of these works. He places the music in the context of Zinck's response to the influences which informed his style, and defines its purpose; he also comments on each of these very individual and memorable sonatas. Another bonus is the inclusion of Zinck's own preface to his sonatas, in which he explains the emotional meaning behind his compositions.
These short sonatas, each consisting of three movements, are full of variety of form, figuration and character, and yet of a consistent quality. For players seeking examples of original performance indications, this is a rich source, offering clear articulation markings, ornaments, dynamics and further interpretive advice. I find the sonatas to be all that Cramer so enthusiastically described, and I unreservedly recommend them as a source of delightfully expressive music for either clavichord or early piano.
We are grateful to theThe Consort for permission to reproduce this review.