Rust: Keyboard Sonatas – in G minor; in D major (1794); in C major; 12 Variations on 'Blühe liebes Veilchen' (1794)

Reviewed on Wed 22 Feb, 2017

His compositions covered every genre except Symphony and String Quartet. He was Friedrich Wilhelm Rust (1739-96) and these Sonatas reveal that perhaps his most influential mentor was CPE Bach.

He was a virtuoso on both violin and keyboards. His teachers were WF Bach, Benda, Martini, Nardini, Pugnani & Tartini. His compositions covered every genre except Symphony and String Quartet. He was Friedrich Wilhelm Rust (1739-96) and these Sonatas reveal that perhaps his most influential mentor was CPE Bach, whose empfindsamer Stil (sensitive style) coupled to the 18th century theory of Affekt (emotions) offered music whose meaning could only be gleaned through a new free form of expression. Lack of vision would dilute CPE’s imagination. Jermaine Sprosse suggests it would do the same for Rust. Listen then to interpretations in a style that tries to engage with varied emotions recreated through varying contrasts – in tempo, timbre, phrasing, from rhythms strictly metrical to pliable elongation and contraction – that also echo Joachim Quantz (1697-1773) who equated musical performance with oratory, of ‘distinct and true pronunciation pulsating with life to still or arouse the passions.’
–Nalen Anthoni